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The financial troubles of Greece and other European countries could make them bargain vacation destinations.

By Karen Datko Apr 12, 2010 9:56AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Joan R. Magee at partner site SmartMoney.


Investors are on edge about Greece's ability to finance itself. Spain, Italy and Ireland are mired in debt woes, too. Could it be a good time to book a trip to Europe?


Not only is the dollar up about 7% against the euro since the beginning of the year -- making everything from baklava to Irish stout cheaper for American travelers -- flights and hotels to some of Europe’s weaker economies are looking like bargains.


Spend based on who you are, not who you want to be. Stuff you buy won't transform your life.

By Karen Datko Apr 12, 2010 9:02AM

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


Recently, I wrote about my obsession with gadgets and how much that has cost me over the years. As always, your comments and stories were more entertaining (and instructive) than the post itself. In fact, a comment from "chacha1" gave me a flash of insight. She wrote:

The thing that’s a *headdesk* for me is the digital piano in my dining room. It’s an excellent instrument, but at the time I bought it I hadn’t played regularly for over 10 years. And I’ve had it over six years and have barely played it.

Oh my word. I’ve done this sort of thing so many times in the past, and I continue to make this mistake even today. But it wasn’t until reading this comment that I realized what exactly I was doing wrong.


A number of wealthy Americans have banded together to insist that their tax rates go up.

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 6:20PM

Happy Tax Freedom Day to a group of folks I consider real patriots -- millionaires who want to pay higher taxes.


They’re the antithesis of the people (generally not economists) who complain that taxes are way too high but add, “Don’t touch my (Social Security, Medicare, farm subsidies, or whatever their favorite government program is)."


And these noble rich folks are getting their message out there.


Why do some people who have tons of money pursue extreme frugality?

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 2:09PM

Everyone loves the “lived like a pauper but secretly a millionaire” stories. We wonder: What would possess people who have lots of money to live like that?


The latest story comes out of Skelleftea, Sweden, where Curt Degerman died in his sleep of a heart attack and left $1.4 million to a cousin. Degerman was a raggedy-looking guy who was a local fixture for decades, picking up bottles and cans and turning them in for cash. It turns out he was partial to mutual funds, Robert Frank said at The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Report.


Week of free visits to national parks is one of the deals offered for Earth Day-Week-Month. Don't forget appliance rebates.

By Teresa Mears Apr 9, 2010 12:17PM

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than make a free visit to a U.S. national park?


In celebration of National Parks Week (which just happens to coincide with Earth Day on April 22), entry to all 392 U.S. national parks will be free April 17-25. Some park concessionaires also are offering special deals that week.


Free bagels, 25-cent Blizzards and free movie tickets for eating chocolate.

By Teresa Mears Apr 9, 2010 11:04AM

We’re heading into a great time for food deals and freebies. In addition to our normal fare, we’ve got special deals ahead for Tax Day, April 15, and deals coming up for Earth Day, April 22. We’ll be writing separate posts for those days, so check back later.

Some of the nonedible deals we wrote about last time are still good, including a free 60-day trial membership to BJ’s Wholesale club. The rising number of happy hours provides some good deals for early diners.

With some help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap, we found these new food deals and freebies:


An emergency trip cost more than I wanted to spend. But you can't put a price on some things.

By Donna_Freedman Apr 9, 2010 10:40AM
Springtime in the country whips me into a fevered state. I want to garden and then preserve the harvest. I want to pitch a clothesline and buy a wood stove.

The best I could do this week was to hang out a couple of loads of wash, help my dad stack a pickup's worth of stove lengths, rake salt hay mulch off the garden patch and sneak covetous looks at the pressure canner in his basement.

See what happens to a Seattle resident after a few days in the boonies?  

A new poll adds to the debate over what's right and fair.

By Karen Datko Apr 9, 2010 9:13AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


There’s a deep new divide in the U.S. right now, and it’s not over politics -- not the red vs. blue kind, anyway. It’s over who’s the victim and who’s the villain in the mortgage meltdown. 


A new survey, commissioned by Fannie Mae, the government agency that buys mortgages from lenders, shows that Americans are split nearly down the middle when asked whom to blame for the mortgage crisis.



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