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Am I the only dummy in the room who had no idea kids with cell phones love to text so much?

By Karen Datko Jul 23, 2010 11:24AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.


We held out for as long as we could. We really did.


Despite an intense and relentless lobbying effort from my son, the Honeybee and I stayed strong and denied his repeated requests for a cell phone.


And, boy, were there a lot of requests.

I can't remember the exact day he first requested his own cell phone, but I am quite certain the first letters he learned in school weren't A-B-C. They were A-T-(T).


When Matthew turned 12 last year, we decided it was finally time to grant his wish. 


The textbook business, which ought to be an altruistic endeavor, has turned into industrial exploitation of a captive audience.

By Karen Datko Jul 23, 2010 10:30AM

This guest post comes from "vh" at Funny about Money.


One of next fall's English 101 students e-mailed the other day. This is a kid who was in one of my other courses and decided to take the upcoming class because she liked my style (read: she got a good grade). She asked how much we will be using the textbook and then said she went to the bookstore and found it was selling for $150.


She's not eligible for financial aid this semester and says she doesn't think she can afford that much. She's doing the best she can, she adds, to stay out of debt.


A hundred and fifty bucks. For a freshman comp book. That, my friends, is a $30 paperback.


The benefit estimates in your statement can help you plan for retirement.

By Karen Datko Jul 23, 2010 8:08AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


I just received my Social Security statement in the mail and thought it would be a good time to write about this important document. Mailed once a year to workers and former workers 25 and older, a Social Security statement provides information that can help you plan for retirement.


It also provides information about disability and death benefits that many don't realize they have through Social Security.


A quick tour

The Social Security statement provides two important pieces of information.


Websites connect lenders and borrowers of clothes, tools and more.

By Karen Datko Jul 22, 2010 6:27PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


Borrowing a cup of sugar -- or anything else, for that matter -- from a neighbor has gone high-tech.


Consumer confidence this month hit its lowest point in nearly a year, and people are still spending cautiously. June retail sales were 0.5% lower than May, but 3.3% higher than last year, according to the National Retail Federation. A growing number of free websites are capitalizing on that spending reluctance by encouraging people to borrow what they need instead of buy it.


Space, transportation and access to fresh food are among the challenges urbanites face.

By Karen Datko Jul 22, 2010 2:57PM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.


Since 2000, I've lived in seven apartments in three different boroughs of New York City. The rentals have ranged from a spacious three-bedroom in a riverside high-rise to a microscopic box adjacent to a dive bar. While I've truly liked almost every place, each has presented some interesting obstacles for grocery shopping.


Since a lot of big city apartment-dwellers have probably met with the same hurdles, I figure I'd address a few and provide alternatives.


Arizona is one of 16 states that have set limits on interest rates for short-term loans. Is this the beginning of the end for payday lenders?

By Stacy Johnson Jul 22, 2010 11:42AM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.

We are disappointed that we will be unable to continue serving consumers in Arizona. Our customers have consistently told us that they are highly satisfied with our services. Advance America strongly believes that a regulated, competitive and transparent financial environment benefits consumers. We believe that consumers are best served when they can choose the financial service that best suits their needs, and in many cases, that may be a cash advance. We regret that we can no longer serve the interests of many Arizonans. -- Ken Compton, CEO, Advance America

This isn't a good time to be in the payday lending business.


Arizona recently became the 16th state to pass a law (or in some cases, allow enabling legislation to expire) that wrecks the business model of payday lenders -- businesses that offer two-week loans at annualized interest rates that can reach 400% or more


Airline travelers are getting ruder. Some blame fees and the stress of travel, but others say those are just excuses for bad behavior.

By Teresa Mears Jul 22, 2010 11:07AM

I still remember my first airline flight. I was 17, and I bought my first "suit" to be properly attired for the experience.


That was more than 35 years ago, and how flying has changed. The hushed tones of airports have given way to hustle and bustle, and what was once a relaxing experience has become much more stressful.


And our fellow passengers have gotten much more rude. Sigh.


What surprised me was that students could easily take out a much larger stipend than they could ever possibly need.

By Karen Datko Jul 22, 2010 10:06AM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


Along my financial journey in life, I've made a great number of mistakes. In a 10-part series, I’m focusing on my worst mistakes and the difficulties and successes I’ve had in overcoming them. This is Mistake No. 1:


I financed an unnecesary lifestyle in college with extra student loans.


My first few years in college were supported by a collection of scholarships that covered my tuition, room and board. However, it was up to me to come up with the means of supporting myself over my final two years in school. As is the case for a lot of college students, that meant student loans.



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