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The World Cup is almost over, but Major League Soccer plays through November.

By Karen Datko Jul 7, 2010 10:44AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Sarah Morgan at partner site SmartMoney.


Americans are watching this year's World Cup tournament in record numbers -- a blessing and a curse for U.S. soccer fans.


Although the contest, which ends this weekend, could translate to a boost for Major League Soccer in the U.S., the new attention raises the possibility that fans may find it harder to secure cheap tickets to MLS games.


As technology gets more advanced, so do the crooks who are trying to take advantage of it. And, in turn, us.

By Karen Datko Jul 7, 2010 9:37AM

Updated Oct. 4, 2011, 9:33 p.m. ET


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


The ATM has always been a prime piece of real estate for thieves. You're exposed, you're handling money, and you have your back to the world. But it's been a dangerous game for criminals to play, as they too are exposed and risk being caught, or being seen. These days, it's far better to use advances in technology to do the dirty work for them. The skimmer is the direct result of that.


A skimmer is usually composed of two sections. The first attaches to the card slot, usually covering it completely. The second is a camera, which can be very close to the card slot or some distance away, at the top of the ATM. The card reader records the electronic data from your ATM card, which the thief can use to make an exact copy of it. The camera is there to record your PIN.


49 businesses were cited after undercover probe.

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2010 6:01PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


With the high price of gold, jewelry stores that advertise they will buy your gold jewelry are becoming more common. But increasingly, this may be a case of "seller beware."

For example, the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures has cited 49 gold- and jewelry-buying businesses for alleged violations of state statutes. Following a statewide inspection sweep, officials say they found inaccurate scales that improperly weighed items and resulted in consumers receiving less money than they should.


Bloodsuckers that travel to your home via your luggage or clothes can end up costing you plenty. Here's how to keep them at bay.

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2010 4:47PM

Yet another thing to worry about when you're planning a trip: Do the hotels on your itinerary have bedbugs, requiring a  change of reservation? And, if you don't know for sure, what can you do to keep the tiny bloodsuckers -- the size of an apple seed -- from hitching a ride home with you? Ridding your house of bedbugs is costly.


It's common knowledge that New York City is engaged in an epic battle with bedbugs -- stores have been closed because of infestation -- but how many people realize how widespread they are? A map at The Bedbug Registry will give you an indication.


Plus, a New York City flier (.pdf file) warns, "No hotel is immune from a bedbug infestation." Travelers can unknowingly bring them from home.


More importantly, how long can you afford to live?

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2010 2:19PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.


Imagine living to the age of 122. That's the oldest recorded age of a human, achieved by Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. Calment died in 1997. Just last week, scientists claimed to have discovered genetic markers that can predict, with 77% accuracy, who's destined for extremely long life.

Interestingly, the markers have nothing to do with the other discovered traits that are linked to certain forms of cancer and other diseases. The extremovives (I made that word up) had those "bad" markers in the same proportion as the general populace. Their "good" markers just trumped them.


Now, fear of dying -- thanatophobia -- is a pretty common thing. I'm happy to say I don't suffer from it. Either there is an afterlife, which is my personal belief, or there's not. And if there's not, it doesn't seem like death would feel like much of anything. I'm not afraid of nothing.


But anyway, if you did live to an old age, it seems like there would be something to fear: Going broke or becoming a burden to your children.


The more coins we have locked away in piggy banks and sock drawers, the more the U.S. Mint needs to produce.

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2010 12:30PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


You all probably know my stance on the penny: I think we should kill the penny. Unfortunately, the only lawmaker willing to put some teeth in the move retired from Congress in 2007. Since then, there hasn't been a peep out of Congress on the issue, although I suspect it's because there are a lot of other, more pressing issues on the docket.


So, it's up to us to figure out a way to give the penny (and maybe even the nickel) the boot.


If Mom and Dad's estate isn't large enough to cover their debts, will the kids have to pay?

By Karen Datko Jul 6, 2010 8:28AM

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


Most of us have some sort of vague idea about what happens to our assets when we die. The stuff we own gets passed on to the people we specify -- assuming we've jumped through the right hoops. But what happens to our debts when we die?


That's what Matt wants to know. He wrote recently looking for clarification:

My parents are both in their 60s, and don't have the best financial position. They have a significant amount of debt. I don't know exact amounts, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear they owe more money than they have in assets. Because their health is rather frail, I'm curious what could happen if they die and the liabilities (credit cards, mortgage, home equity line of credit) are greater than their assets (home, 401ks, life insurance). Do my sister and I get stuck with their remaining debt?

J. Money's 'Would You Rather' series helps readers focus on priorities while tickling the funny bone.

By Karen Datko Jul 2, 2010 3:50PM

Would you rather be a poor hottie or an ugly millionaire, given the choice? Which would you pick: rich with a job you hate vs. poor with a job you love?


You get to choose when you read Budgets are Sexy's "Would You Rather?" occasional series. It's one of our favorite regular features in the personal-finance blogosphere.


These exercises may seem silly to some. We think they're fun. And they force you to think about what's important.


The latest installment from blogger J. Money (J$ for short) is:



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