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Taxpayer supports for homeowners are three times the bone that government throws to renters.

By Karen Datko Jun 15, 2010 7:09AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


Should nearly everybody be a homeowner? It's a discussion -- OK, argument -- going on in Washington, D.C., and at a lot of water coolers and dinner tables.

The National Association of Realtors, not surprisingly, is a big fan of widespread homeownership. The NAR website elaborates on the benefits, including "financial gain, stability, health benefits, benefits the children" and "social benefits."


Health benefits? The NAR doesn't explain.


Should they take anything they can get, or will future bosses hold a stint at Starbucks against them?

By Teresa Mears Jun 14, 2010 5:43PM

In a wry "Lament for the Class of 2010," Wall Street Journal writer Joe Queenan tells us the sad story of his son's friend, graduate of an Ivy League university with a degree in drama and music, who is working as an intern at a New York street fair for $250 a week.


Far from seeing this as a problem, we think Ivy League graduates SHOULD work at street fairs, Starbucks, McDonald's, etc., to learn something about the world from which they have been insulated all these years. Queenan warns these young graduates they'll have to work with people who believe in UFOs and play in REO Speedwagon tribute bands. We think they need that experience.

But stories about the difficulty 2010 graduates are having finding jobs raise an interesting question:


When should new graduates take a job, any job, rather than keep looking for the right job?


Deal cuts service fees for amphitheater shows, plus tips on other ways to hear music on the cheap.

By Teresa Mears Jun 14, 2010 3:48PM

Last weekend, I experienced the un-frugal experience of hearing Carole King and James Taylor together in concert. Both were favorites of my youth (and they're aging well, I'm happy to report), and I still remembered the words to all the songs.


When it comes to picking experiences that are worth my hard-earned money, I find that concerts and plays are at the top of my list. The joy from those experiences lasts much longer than the joy I receive from buying things.


Through June 30, ticket seller Live Nation is making the concert experience a little cheaper by waiving the service fees for concerts at its 50 amphitheaters. The "Hello Summer, Goodbye Service Fees" deal includes tickets to more than 700 shows by 110 artists, including Meatloaf, Alice in Chains, Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Phish, Rush, Santana, Jimmy Buffett, Jethro Tull, Tim McGraw, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Black Crowes and Sugarland.


Some in Congress think your medical debt shouldn't count in determining your creditworthiness.

By Stacy Johnson Jun 14, 2010 1:35PM

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


A bill was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would prevent paid or settled medical debt from negatively impacting your credit score. The bill is a companion to one introduced last year in the House, the Medical Debt Relief Act.

The three national credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax -- currently regard medical bills like any other consumer debt. According to those sponsoring the legislation, that's not fair because medical debt isn't in the same category as other consumer debt and thus shouldn't be equally weighted by credit-reporting agencies when determining a consumer's credit score.


Many shelters turn away pets, and even if you find a place that would let you bring your animal on principle, would they really accept your pit bull?

By Karen Datko Jun 14, 2010 12:24PM

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


What with tornado season bearing down on the South and the Midwest and earthquakes rumbling along any number of Western Hemisphere faults, most of us think now and again about emergency preparedness.

While it's crucial to get the people out harm's way come flood, wind, wildfire, quake or terrorist, the televised sight of all the dogs and cats left behind in the New Orleans flood was heart-rending. Many shelters turn away pets, and even if you find a place that would let you bring your animal on principle, would they really accept your pit bull?


Blogger's one-month experiment showcases his insane couponing skills.

By Karen Datko Jun 14, 2010 7:33AM

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


Recently, Ron Lieber, who writes the "Your Money" column for The New York Times, posted an innocuous little tweet:

This person will have book deal & Today show slot in 5 minutes. RT @marypilon Personal finance blogger eats on $1/day.

To translate into plain English, Jeffrey from the Grocery Coupon Guide blog undertook a little experiment last month. In response to a challenge from his sister, he "ate well" on just a buck a day, thanks largely to his awesome shopping skills and couponing prowess.

Because I love stories of extreme personal finance, and because I haven't highlighted one in a long time, I decided to take a closer look; I spent an hour reading about his project. Holy cats! This fellow's shopping abilities are insane.


The trunk of the car, under the garden, and in plain sight are among the favorite spots, a survey shows.

By Karen Datko Jun 11, 2010 6:43PM

Have you ever bought something you didn't want your spouse to know about? (Fess up. We know some of you have done it.) To what lengths would you go to hide it from him/her?


Would you remove the tags from new clothes and say they came from Goodwill? Bury it in the backyard? Give it to a friend, who then returns it to you as a "gift"?

Real people actually did these things, according to CBS MoneyWatch columnist Kathy Kristof, who has a knack for identifying crazy, oddball and illuminative personal-finance information. This time, her source is the new American Express Spending & Savings Tracker survey, which explored how couples communicate about money.


Apparently, many don't. And when they do, they sometimes make things up.


Kids starving in China would be glad to get them! (Or so say the 'true money-savers.')

By Donna_Freedman Jun 11, 2010 12:43PM

Over at partner blog Wise Bread, writer Marla Walters warns of expected hikes in food prices in the U.S. She thinks this would be a good time to learn to garden and to bake.

And, maybe, to remember how our parents and grandparents made the most of their food budgets. Walters has made a list of "20 signs that you were raised by TRUE money-savers" that is by turns intriguing and horrifying -- and to me, strangely familiar.


For example:

4. They taught you that a plate of mashed-up kidney beans was "just as good as pizza."
20. You were regularly admonished about food with gems like: "Waste not, want not." "There are starving children in China." "Finish that so you can belong to The Clean Plate Club."

I'll see Walters those mashed kidney beans and raise her a "You don't need a whole aspirin -- cut that in half." (No dope fiends in our house.)



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