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New study says people get smarter with money only to a certain point, usually around age 53.

By Kim Peterson Nov 17, 2009 3:16PM
Insurance needs © Siri Stafford / Photodisc Red / Getty Images We're supposed to get smarter about money and finances as we get older, right? One new study suggests that may not be the case.

Researchers have been tracking the financial mistakes people make in their lives, and came up with an interesting conclusion: The mistake pattern is U-shaped, with the most mistakes occuring early and then later in life.

So when are we the smartest in life, financially speaking? At age 53. After that, we get dumber with money. 

DIY isn't the only way to reduce holiday spending.

By Karen Datko Nov 17, 2009 11:49AM

This guest post comes from Anna Viele at ABDPBT Personal Finance.

 

I originally published this post last year in response to Oprah’s annual “Favorite Things” show, which, in 2008, featured gift ideas that cost “next to nothing.” I found the ideas shown on that show really not very good, and in general they supported the idea that homemade gifts suck.

I mean, a box covered in pinecones is not something I want, unless my son, Mini, makes it for me, and even then it’s probably going to end up in a storage box.

 

As I said last year, I think that approaching the holidays without gratuitous overspending requires us to think, not to glue-gun. So here are the 10 realistic ideas I came up with last year for overhauling the holidays, plus a few more that I’ve gathered over the past year. Some will work for you, others won’t, but all of them are better than making silly things that are probably going to show up in somebody else’s trash can.

 

Take these steps to see if you'll be happy living cable-free.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 8:12PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

Want to find a hundred bucks a month in savings without giving up all that much? Cancel your cable television service. That sounds absolutely crazy, right?

 

When people look to trim the fat from their budgets, they often don’t think to cut their cable TV because it feels almost like a utility. Along with your electricity, your water and your telephone are your television and Internet. Who can live in this day and age without those necessities?

 

But it’s not that crazy, and thousands of people are doing this because of all the free video content on the Internet. Forget the homebrew shows that had their start on the Internet. I mean major broadcasting networks putting the shows on TV for free.

In this post, I’ll describe an approach to finding out if canceling your cable TV service is the right move.

 

You may be able to find cheaper alternatives.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 4:38PM

Drug companies will likely face some kind of cost containment whenever health care reform becomes law, so it’s no surprise that they’re raising prices. By some accounts it’s the largest increase in 17 years.

The New York Times reports:

In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9%, according to industry analysts. … The drug trend is distinctly at odds with the direction of the Consumer Price Index, which has fallen by 1.3% in the last year.

What does this mean to you? The NYT says:

 

Fees and expiration dates would have to be disclosed clearly.

By  Nov 16, 2009 1:44PM

By Elizabeth Strott

 

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, the Federal Reserve this morning announced proposed rules that would restrict fees and expiration dates on gift cards.

The rules would protect consumers from hidden fees and costs and would require that gift-card terms and conditions be stated clearly.

 

"Gift cards are easy to give, but they are also easy to forget. If the card has a monthly fee or expiration date, these can become costly little pieces of plastic," Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com and co-author of "The Credit Card Guidebook," told WalletPop.com.

 

Bank teller offers an insider's look at how young people manage their money.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 11:42AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

 

I’m old school: I went to the bank to make a deposit the other day. (I make most of my deposits in person, inside the branch.) While I waited, I chatted with the teller, whom I know from many previous visits. “I’m writing a book about money,” I told him. “What’s the one thing you wish you could tell people about banking?”

 

Save!” he said. He told me there’s a huge generation gap between savers and spenders. “The people who save are generally older. They don’t look like they have money, but they do. They’ve got a ton in their savings account and they chase the best CD rates. But the reason they have money is because they didn’t spend it when they were younger. They’ve been able to let it grow.”

“And that’s not what kids today are doing?” I asked.

 

“No way,” he said. “The young people I see spend all their money. They’re trying to impress their friends. They buy all this new stuff. Their bank balances are always low. They’re not going to have money saved like the older generation does.”

 

Then he gave me another great example.

 

Some of the best deals may also be online in one-hour sale.

By Teresa Mears Nov 16, 2009 12:27AM

This year some parents will be finishing up their Black Friday shopping, just as their children get up.

 

Toys R Us, in a bid to steal business away from discounters Wal-Mart and Target, is offering its door buster specials at midnight on Friday morning after Thanksgiving.

 

Available only until 1 a.m., most of these deals, like the big $300 Furreal Friends S’mores pony for $99, a Nintendo DSi bundle for $159.99 ($10 off list price with sleeve and car charger, and the $199 Apple iPod 8GB Touch for $199 with $50 Toys R Us gift card, appear to be available online as well.

 

Shining your shoes with a banana peel is just one of the low-cost tricks you can learn.

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 9:40PM
This blog has waxed poetically about the many uses of vinegar, baking soda, salt and even vodka. But this might be a new one: Using a banana to polish your shoes.

This video at Lifehacker shows how you can make your shoes shine with a peel. Apparently, the potassium contained in this "yellow crescent of unparalleled beauty" is the main ingredient in shoe polish. The steps are easy: 

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