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Social network posts can cost you a job.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 1:14AM

Trying hard to get or keep a job in these tough economic times? Learn a real-life lesson from head Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, who had to apologize to Sen. Hillary Clinton after an embarrassing photo of him was posted online.

It's unclear how the party photo showing Favreau, 27, groping a full-size cardboard likeness of the secretary of state nominee ended up briefly on Facebook. And he didn't lose his new White House job. But the incident emphasizes a point we've tried to make.

Don't post your most-embarrassing moments or, if you must, use the privacy settings at your social-networking site. Make sure your drunken or otherwise stupid moments -- and we all have them -- aren't being displayed online for the world to see.


You can eat well on only $100 a month, blogger says.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 12:46AM

Can one person get enough to eat by spending only $100 a month on groceries? "Tight Fisted Miser" says he can.

The topic came up at his blog when he posted about his experience with food stamps. He argued that people who can't make food stamps stretch through the month are probably making poor choices when they buy food.

Tight Fisted Miser is a 40-year-old law student and the blogger who is thinking about cutting expenses by moving into a van. He said he was on food stamps in Texas for three months in 2003 when he wasn't making very much money.


Words of wisdom: Eat before you visit a grocery store . . . or the state fair.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 12:39AM

This post comes from Paul Michael at partner blog Wise Bread.

How are you doing with your money? Do you have everything under control, or are you spending a little more than you should?

Well, if you'd like to blow even more of your money, this list will help you empty your bank account in half the time you usually do. Enjoy. 


Blogger has saved thousands with his basic buzz cut.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 12:20AM

This post comes from partner blog Five Cent Nickel.

On the heels of my confession that we take our own treats to the movie theater instead of buying them at the snack bar, I thought I’d throw out another one: I cut my own hair.

I’ve been doing it for at least 10 years. I don't have special skills in this area. I simply give myself periodic "buzz cuts" with inexpensive clippers. My current weapon of choice is a  Remington Precision haircut kit I picked up at Wal-Mart for less than $20 a couple years ago.


Many denied because of 'outdated' state laws.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 12:14AM

Did you know that many people who've lost their job aren't eligible to collect?

In fact, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes at his blog that "most people who lose their job these days don't qualify for any unemployment benefits at all."

And, we'll add, it's often low-wage and female workers who get left out.


It's safer than investing in the markets, blogger says.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 12:03AM

What's the best route as you near retirement: Use extra money to pay off the mortgage or pad your investments? That question deserves a new look in light of the recession, argues Mr. GoTo, a baby boomer and blogger who comes down on the side of paying off the house.

The No. 1 reason: A guaranteed rate of return of 6% (or whatever your mortgage rate is) tax-free. "Compare that to what we have experienced in the markets recently," Mr. GoTo says.


The NYT says cell-phone refuseniks are a tiny, shrinking group.

By Karen Datko Oct 23, 2009 5:39PM

My blogging partner Teresa sent me this link to The New York Times. At last, I thought, I've found my people. Just in the nick of time, because we -- the small number who don't want a cell phone -- are disappearing, it seems, from the face of the Earth.


About 15% of U.S. adults don't have cell phones, but the vast majority of them are challenged by the technology or the cost. "These are people who have a bunch of other struggles in their lives and the expense of maintaining technology and mastering it is also pretty significant for them," Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, told the NYT.


I’m among the estimated 5% of cell-phone-less folks who simply don't want one.


But I have to wonder: Does our cell-phone-free status inconvenience or, perhaps, irritate those who never go without? Do they see us as odd ducks who resist getting into the water?


From season tickets to tithing, helping others takes many forms.

By Donna_Freedman Oct 23, 2009 2:48PM

Last week I wrote about "radical optimism," or planning for a future I can't quite see. Now I'd like to talk about another optimistic step at an inauspicious time: giving away a little more money next year.

In 2007 I was pledging $20 a month to my church's social assistance programs. That pledge rose each year as my finances improved, to its current $80 a month. After some thought, I decided to inch it up to $100 a month for 2010.

Let me be clear: This is not an essay about religion. It is, however, an essay about faith.



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