Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Frequent flier says he was denied seat upgrade because of his attire.

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2009 4:36PM

A United Airlines Red Carpet Club member -- a Best Buy corporate vice president, no less -- says he was denied a first-class upgrade on a flight last month because he was wearing a track suit.

The My Fox Atlanta Web site reported about frequent traveler Armando Alvarez, who was commuting from his Maryland home to Best Buy headquarters:

He said he used his miles to upgrade to first class on a flight from Dulles to Connecticut. Alvarez said the gate agent called his name and when he walked up to the counter for his upgrade, the agent said he was dressed too casually for first class. "I was humiliated and embarrassed," Alvarez said.

Alvarez wore the same Puma track suit during a Fox interview and, in the video, his attire is very neat -- much nicer than a lot of sloppy-looking customers we’ve seen on flights.

 

Company targets high-end 'advanced devices' for price hike.

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2009 2:26PM

This post comes from Martin H. Bosworth at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

A memo leaked from Verizon Wireless confirms that the company is increasing its early contract cancellation fees to as high as $350 for what it calls its "advanced devices." That's double the current fee.

The memo, obtained by tech blog Boy Genius Report, states that an advanced device's cancellation fee will drop by $10 for each month completed under contract.

 

Though the company did not specify what it meant by "advanced devices," Boy Genius Report's Andrew Munchbach speculated it was targeted at high-end smart phones like the recently announced Droid, which runs the open-source Android platform and was built by Motorola. It's scheduled to debut Nov. 15.

 

Deals on turkey dinners and electronics start this week.

By Teresa Mears Nov 5, 2009 1:22PM

At least one store isn’t waiting until Black Friday to unleash its deals. Rather than leaking its ads early, Wal-Mart is starting its electronics sales early, plus offering $20 turkey dinners for eight.

 

Wal-Mart will begin the first of several one-week “electronics savings events” on Saturday, Nov. 7. Here are the first week’s deals:

 

Once the mortgage is paid off, you're directly responsible for property taxes. Here's what to do.

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2009 12:47PM

This guest post is from Mr. GoTo at Go To Retirement.

 

If you have paid off your mortgage -- as we did earlier this year -- you have some new tasks to take over from the bank or mortgage company. One of those is paying the property taxes on your home.

 

We just received our first tax bill. There are a few rules and procedures to be aware of.

As most homeowners know, when there is a mortgage on the property, the lender or lender’s mortgage service company usually pays the homeowners insurance and property taxes directly.

 

If you're a guest, aren't you entitled to a meal made just for you?

By Karen Datko Nov 5, 2009 11:31AM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.

 

Note from Trent: Recently, I posted a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? Here is one of those posts.

 

“Jim” writes in:

A married couple I’m friends with invited me over to dinner recently. When I arrived, they were rushing around trying to throw a meal together. The main course turned out to be leftover chicken breasts. Yes, leftover. They had been grilled a day or two before and they had merely tossed on some additional spices and warmed them in the oven. I was kind of disgusted by this. I understand that this was an inexpensive route for them to go for dinner, but I was a dinner guest at their home!

When you have guests over, how far does frugality go before it crosses a line? As always, there are two sides to the story.

 

'To Whom It May Concern' screams that you didn't do your homework.

By Karen Datko Nov 4, 2009 8:07PM

Our experience as a manager tells us that Squawkfox is right: If you're not getting called for a job interview, it's likely your cover letter laid an egg on some honcho's desk.

 

What's wrong with your letter? You might find some clues in a post by Kerry Taylor, the "Fox" at Squawkfox, called "6 things that make your cover letter suck." It's part of a series of posts on the topic, including "Anatomy of a killer cover letter." A companion series addresses resume writing, including the memorable "6 words that make your resume suck."

Kerry blessedly demonstrates that a topic that seems oppressive -- don't we all HATE these chores? -- can be fun. OK, maybe that's a stretch, but her posts are informative and entertaining.

 

Among Kerry's cover letter tips:

 

Food, clothing and travel merchants offer deals.

By Teresa Mears Nov 4, 2009 5:42PM

Partner site DealNews has come up with a slew of deals involving gift cards. Here's the scoop:

 

Clothing, accessories, and travel

  • Amazon.com: Receive a free $5 gift card when you subscribe to select magazines at Amazon.com.
  • Boscov's: Spend $50 or more online and receive a free $10 gift card.
  • Eastbay: Receive 20% off gift card purchases of $10 to $500 via coupon code "IPEB9HC2". Deal ends Dec. 19.
 

He says they're out of touch on issues like health care.

By Karen Datko Nov 4, 2009 5:29PM

"Brainy Smurf" has called out fellow members of Gen Y for expecting everything to be handed to them. And now he's criticizing seniors for being focused on "me, me, me."

 

Many seniors' stands on recent issues also indicate they're out of touch with current economic realities, he claims in a post called "3 misguided senior perspectives from a 30-something" at Pants in a Can.

Basically, he says, seniors have had it pretty good compared with the lives of young working people.

 

His three observations:

 

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

11 money lessons from 'The Simpsons'

Tune in to 'The Simpsons' marathon for laughs -- and also for lessons about careers, consumerism, college majors, and what should and shouldn't be used as toilet paper.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More