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Most lawyers don't make enough to justify the cost of law school.

By Karen Datko Sep 10, 2010 10:26AM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


Guess what a first-year lawyer right out of law school makes at a major law firm. For major firms outside of New York City, the starting salary is $145,000, plus a bonus that can add $20,000 to the total package. For major firms in NYC, starting salary can hit $160,000 or more, with bonuses as high as $40,000. Welcome to the world of big law (salary source: FindLaw).


But here's the kicker: The high salaries may not be worth the cost of law school.

I was one of those crazy kids who actually knew what he wanted to do by the eighth grade. Having sat through a criminal trial with a friend of mine whose dad was a cop, I knew then I wanted to be a trial lawyer.


What is it that separates the financially free from the financially inept?

By Karen Datko Sep 10, 2010 9:33AM

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


The other day a friend and I were discussing why some people manage to live their lives in complete control of their finances, while others are constantly in debt up to their eyeballs no matter how much money they make.

I've preached that financial freedom can be achieved by anybody regardless of their income level more times than I care to count.


So what is it that separates the financially free from the financially inept?


Why is it that there are families out there with household incomes under $40,000 comfortably making ends meet and saving for retirement with no debt on the books, or, at worst, a single mortgage payment. while others who make millions per year -- people like Sinbad, Ed McMahon, Mike Tyson and Stephen Baldwin -- have trouble keeping their financial heads above water?


Target is a great source for the Kindle and green household cleaners, among other things, but better deals for some products can be found elsewhere.

By Karen Datko Sep 9, 2010 7:30PM

Target has its loyal fans and deservedly so, with competitive prices, quality goods and decent apparel. Plus, it's an acceptable discount alternative for those who love to hate Wal-Mart. (For those who dwell on such things: Despite the "Tar-zhay" nickname, Target is not a French company. Can that silly urban myth finally be put to rest?)

Still, just like any major chain, Target is a great place to buy certain things, but for others, not so much. CBS MoneyWatch recently compiled lists of both. Those posts made us wonder: What are the good and bad buys at other stores? (For more on that, see below.) Here's what CBS MoneyWatch found:


Consumer Reports found the average savings with store brands was 30%, but shoppers saved as much as 52% on some items.

By Karen Datko Sep 9, 2010 6:55PM

This post comes from partner site


When it comes to taste, store-brand products can compete with their name-brand counterparts and save shoppers more than $1,000 a year on grocery bills, according to a new Consumer Reports study.

In 21 head-to-head taste matchups, national brands won seven times, the store brand came out on top in three instances, and the remainder resulted in ties.


There are ways around high ticket prices, as nearly every pro team offers some sort of discount or fan incentive to maximize the experience.

By Karen Datko Sep 9, 2010 5:45PM

This guest post comes from Coupon Sherpa.


It took only eight months, but the NFL season is here, and Chad Ochocinco's reality TV show is finally giving way to real, interesting sports news. Now is also time to think about the most cringe-inducing part of football season (aside from Ochocinco): astonishingly overpriced tickets, food and parking.

In a monumental example of upselling, 18 of 32 teams in the league raised single-game ticket prices this year, some as much as 7%. Season tickets are also out of the question for many families, considered a luxury on par with Learjets and caviar.


Yet an NFL game is something to experience live at least once, and price gouging shouldn't keep you from the tailgate or game. There are several ways around these fares, as nearly every pro team offers some sort of discount or fan incentive to maximize your experience, even outside the stadium.


The federal government is proposing stricter rules for financial aid at for-profit colleges.

By Teresa Mears Sep 9, 2010 1:08PM

The economy has brought new emphasis to a debate that has long plagued education circles: Are students paying too much for college educations that don't lead to good jobs?


A recent Department of Education report looked at student loan repayment rates for each institution, including for-profit colleges that often emphasize career opportunities in their advertising.


The report found that students of many for-profit colleges were the least likely to pay their student loans.


When the emotional and rational parts of the brain square off, guess which one is liable to win?

By Karen Datko Sep 9, 2010 12:30PM

This guest post comes from Pop at Pop Economics.


Back in the '60s, it was apparently OK to torture little kids. Just kidding, but one study came close.


Here's the gist. Stanford economists took 4-year-olds one at a time and put them in a room with a single marshmallow sitting on a table. The experimenter told them that he had to leave for a short errand, but if they waited without eating the marshmallow, they would get an extra one upon his return.

Seventy percent of the kids caved, on average lasting three minutes before eating it. The rest of the kids were visibly frustrated as they tried to wait. Some turned away from the table so they wouldn't see the marshmallow. Some covered their eyes.


Decades later, the researchers asked the kids (now adults) for their SAT scores. The patient kids scored better.


Since then, the study has been replicated a number of ways. But just a few years ago, scientists took it to a new level.


More outlets are going online. What savvy shoppers need to know.

By Karen Datko Sep 9, 2010 11:00AM

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


Finding deals at outlets used to require serious effort: a lengthy drive to the nearest outlet mall, followed by hours spent combing through racks, item by item, and waiting in long lines behind like-minded bargain hunters. Now, it often takes just a few clicks from home.

Camera manufacturer Nikon launched an online outlet store last week, and J. Crew plans to make its outlet store clothing available online this month. The two join a host of retailers with an online outlet presence, including J.C. Penney, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Zales, Sears and The Disney Store.



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