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Cheap seats clock in at $1,500. Read these tips before you buy.

By Karen Datko Feb 3, 2010 11:43AM

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


When does a $1,500 ticket qualify as a bargain?


When it gets you a seat -- any seat -- at Sunday’s New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl game in Miami.


There is good and bad news here.


Some rules of house-sitting etiquette and tips for finding locations and clients.

By Karen Datko Feb 3, 2010 10:46AM

This post comes from Margaret Garcia-Couoh at partner blog Wise Bread.


I just got back from spending two weeks in one of America’s most expensive cities, staying in one of that city’s toniest neighborhoods, for free. You can do it too, you know.


It’s true. I spent two weeks in San Francisco and stayed on the north side of town (Russian Hill) and I didn’t spend a dime on accommodations. What did I do?


Earning opportunities are available if you're willing to be a guinea pig.

By Karen Datko Feb 2, 2010 8:18PM

We weren’t eligible for the free vacation offered in exchange for trying out a new traveler’s diarrhea drug. (Darn.) But the opportunities to make money from clinical trials keep on coming.


Newest on our radar screen is research involving two forms of a smallpox vaccine, organized by St. Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development and available at five locations across the U.S. It pays $75 for each of seven monthly visits. That’s $525.


Smallpox? Isn’t that a deadly disease that was wiped from the face of the Earth years ago -- in 1980, to be exact? As far as anyone knows, whatever is left is stored in heavily secured (we hope) locations.


We found answers via a post at Riverfront Times, a St. Louis blog.


Take the money you're lending the government and apply it to debt instead.

By Stacy Johnson Feb 2, 2010 5:35PM

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


Think you don't have any money to pay down debt? If you're an average American, you may have more than you think.


Much of what I've done for the last 20 years, in both books and news stories, is talk about debt -- specifically, why you should avoid it and how to find the money to destroy it. Most of the money I suggest harnessing for debt destruction comes in dribs and drabs from doing things like smart shopping and avoiding dumb deals. But sometimes there's something big you can do.


This is one of those times.


Simplified form, new online resources aim to help students and parents apply for college aid.

By Teresa Mears Feb 2, 2010 5:24PM

Here’s good news for prospective college students and their parents: The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid.) has been simplified.


The Kansas City Star notes that “most high school seniors and their parents would rather sandblast the oil stains from the garage floor or rearrange the attic” than complete the form, which is required to receive federal grants and loans for college.


Citi had planned to impose fees on holders of two types of 'free checking' accounts.

By Karen Datko Feb 2, 2010 3:33PM

This post comes from partner site


Citibank has reached an agreement with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to alter its plan to charge more than 1 million consumers nationwide fees on what were supposed to be "free checking" accounts.

Under the agreement, Citibank will extend the benefits of those free checking accounts throughout 2010 for consumers who signed up for them in 2009. Citibank also will not charge fees on checks until Jan. 31, 2011. The company had originally planned to begin charging the fees on Feb. 1.


Who qualifies


The best way is to avoid the post office and print postage at home. Here's how it works.

By Karen Datko Feb 2, 2010 2:02PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


You don’t have to ask too many of my friends, or my wife, to learn that I am not a fan of waiting. I hate sitting in traffic, especially if it’s just “congestion,” and I really hate waiting at the post office, where it seems as if there are always twice as many counters as there are people staffing them.

So that’s why, over the years, I’ve developed a few simple strategies to help me avoid waiting at the post office.


The overall strategy is to deconstruct the post office experience and try to avoid needing counter service whenever possible. Here are some tips to help you reduce the time it takes to get your packages on their way.


People are sacrificing top-shelf booze for the cheaper stuff in tight times.

By Kim Peterson Feb 2, 2010 1:58PM
Expense habits © Steve Mason/Getty ImagesAmericans have set the bar lower when it comes to drinking liquor. We're still drinking, all right, but Grey Goose has been replaced by Popov, and Macallan has been booted by Black Velvet.

The amount of liquor sold in 2009 edged up only 1.4%. That's the smallest increase since 2001, reports The Associated Press.

The lowest-priced liquors grew the fastest, at 5.5%, while the top-shelf brands fell by 5.1%. 


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