One technology that hasn't kept up with the times is the power meter outside your house. Now new devices can help you track minute to minute how much you use.
They say knowledge is power, but Microsoft and a partner are betting more knowledge means less power. The computer software giant has teamed with Blue Line Innovations and created a device that charts your home's electricity consumption -- and cost -- every 30 seconds, and displays it on a handheld device or your computer.
"You're getting real-time data so you can take real-time action," says Troy Batterberry, product unit manager for Microsoft Hohm -- Microsoft's energy-saving website.
Knowing what to reject is just as important as knowing what to grab.
The idea of dumpster diving seems to push the limits of even the most frugal among us. Visions come to mind of foraging in muck, half-disguised out of fear of being spotted by a neighbor, only to rush home for a shower worthy of Silkwood when it's all over. But the reality is far more reasonable, clean, and civilized than you might imagine.
Dumpster diving (an unfortunate misnomer in most cases, as I've never seen anyone actually get in a Dumpster) is a spectrum activity; you can go as far as your comfort level allows and there are great finds to be had at each point.
Let's face it: The recession has uprooted a lot people -- folks are on the move as they return to college, downsize, look for work, and consolidate households.
Extra spending for hybrid cars, store memberships and rewards cards may not be the best choices. Here's why.
Upgrading your wardrobe, car, or wine collection might sound like a rewarding thing to do. After all, you work hard all day, and you deserve to come home to some luxury during your off-hours. But crunching the numbers shows that these five splurges aren't worth their additional cost. Here's why:
Products you viewed on one site are following you around the Web as more companies embrace targeted marketing techniques.
We wrote recently about a new phone app that knows when you're in a store and rewards you for stopping by, perhaps with relevant coupons. It's the latest twist on location-based services such as Foursquare, where users get rewards and sometimes deals for "checking in" at establishments.
Some people reject those technologies. They don't want to tell marketers where they are.
We have news for you. They already know, at least if you're in front of your computer.
The New York Times reported recently on a marketing technique known as personalized ad retargeting, in which ads from websites you have visited follow you around to other websites, in some cases even showing you the exact products you viewed but didn't buy.
Even with gold-plated health insurance, the cost of a major illness can wipe out your savings.
A new study by insurer MetLife shows that half of all Americans have only $5,000 in savings to tap for a major illness -- while critical illness like cancer or stroke can reduce a family’s income by more than $12,000 in the first year alone. And that's for those with medical insurance.
Many people realize that their insurance won't cover 100% of the treatment and recovery for, say, a heart attack. But not only have they not saved enough to offset their share of the cost, they also typically underestimate how long they'll be out of work and not making any money.
How to find the best prices on tickets for the Grand Slam tennis tournament.
The U.S. Open is in full swing, and ticket resellers are serving great deals -- at least if you're interested in catching players in early rounds before the competition really heats up.
Prices for the first rounds of the tournament, which began Monday and wraps up Sept. 12, are lower than last year's.
In one study, the women wearing the knockoff sunglasses were more likely to cheat on a test than those wearing the real deal.
We've all cheated in some way or another. Maybe you tricked your little sister into a bad trade at Monopoly. Maybe you copied an answer off the test next to you.
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Hopefully, those minor indiscretions never evolved into major betrayals at work or in relationships later on. But psychologists and economists have recently run a multitude of tests to help determine what makes us cheat and how to stop it.
The results are pretty surprising and, at times, counterintuitive. Our propensity to cheat doesn't seem to have to do with getting caught. It doesn't even seem to do with how much you gain by cheating.
Balance transfers can be an effective way to pay down debt. But they shouldn't be used as a way to delay payment.
In the last few years, I've received a lot of questions about balance transfers from people looking for an edge in battling their credit card debt.
A few years ago, most cards with balance transfers didn't have a transfer fee and, with comparable post-promotional interest rates, the transfer itself was an easy "yes." A 12-month 0% period meant a borrower got a full year to catch up on their debt, as long as they didn't accumulate more.
Nowadays, with balance-transfer fees and less favorable post-promo rates, the decision isn't as obvious. Fortunately, I believe a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation is enough to help you decide whether a balance transfer makes sense financially for you.
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