Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Bank teller offers an insider's look at how young people manage their money.

By Karen Datko Nov 16, 2009 11:42AM

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


I’m old school: I went to the bank to make a deposit the other day. (I make most of my deposits in person, inside the branch.) While I waited, I chatted with the teller, whom I know from many previous visits. “I’m writing a book about money,” I told him. “What’s the one thing you wish you could tell people about banking?”


Save!” he said. He told me there’s a huge generation gap between savers and spenders. “The people who save are generally older. They don’t look like they have money, but they do. They’ve got a ton in their savings account and they chase the best CD rates. But the reason they have money is because they didn’t spend it when they were younger. They’ve been able to let it grow.”

“And that’s not what kids today are doing?” I asked.


“No way,” he said. “The young people I see spend all their money. They’re trying to impress their friends. They buy all this new stuff. Their bank balances are always low. They’re not going to have money saved like the older generation does.”


Then he gave me another great example.


Some of the best deals may also be online in one-hour sale.

By Teresa Mears Nov 16, 2009 12:27AM

This year some parents will be finishing up their Black Friday shopping, just as their children get up.


Toys R Us, in a bid to steal business away from discounters Wal-Mart and Target, is offering its door buster specials at midnight on Friday morning after Thanksgiving.


Available only until 1 a.m., most of these deals, like the big $300 Furreal Friends S’mores pony for $99, a Nintendo DSi bundle for $159.99 ($10 off list price with sleeve and car charger, and the $199 Apple iPod 8GB Touch for $199 with $50 Toys R Us gift card, appear to be available online as well.


Shining your shoes with a banana peel is just one of the low-cost tricks you can learn.

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 9:40PM
This blog has waxed poetically about the many uses of vinegar, baking soda, salt and even vodka. But this might be a new one: Using a banana to polish your shoes.

This video at Lifehacker shows how you can make your shoes shine with a peel. Apparently, the potassium contained in this "yellow crescent of unparalleled beauty" is the main ingredient in shoe polish. The steps are easy: 

Find out where smart gamers go to find bargains.

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 6:46PM

© Ryan MacClanathan/MSN MoneyVideo gaming can be an expensive hobby.


The $200-plus you've just spent on that new game console is just a start. Throw in some extra controllers, cables and a stack of A-list titles and you're talking about a big chunk of change. 


So how can a video gamer on a budget save money? That's where David Abrams steps in. Known as CheapyD in the gaming community, Abrams is the founder of Cheap Ass Gamer, the de facto Web site for video game bargains.


Abrams and his legion of frugal gamers have turned the six-year-old site into a thriving community of budget-conscious shoppers. To put it simply: If it's a good deal, it'll be listed on his site.


With the help of Abrams, we've compiled a list of smart ways you can save on video games. (If you're a nongamer, and you have gamers on your Christmas shopping list, skip to the bottom of this post). Here are six ways to save:


Doorbusters include extra games bundled with Xbox, PS3

By TracyC Nov 13, 2009 4:54PM

Holiday bargain shoppers are crying “Bah Humbug!” after seeing the leaked Black Friday ad from electronics giant Best Buy.


Many of its so-called hot deals on laptops, GPS devices and TVs have already been bested by pre-Turkey Day sales from Target, Sears, Wal-Mart and others, says Michael Brim, founder of, which posted the ad.


However, there are some gaming doorbusters to be had.


When do you cross the line from being frugal to being a thief?

By MSN Money producer Nov 13, 2009 2:25PM

This guest post comes from Kevin at The Red Stapler Chronicles.

Do you consider yourself to be an honest person that would never steal? I am sure that most of us would like to believe that this is indeed the case.

We look at those who steal as evil criminals that need to be punished. However, although we all know that stealing a car is wrong, we tend to justify taking smaller items and do not consider it to be stealing. In fact, sometimes avoiding paying for small things is actually celebrated as being frugal. Indeed, during these tough economic times, the line between being extremely frugal and stealing is slowly being erased.

Below, I have identified six common scenarios in which normal, everyday, taxpaying citizens often resort to a debatable form of stealing. 


Free steak dinner for military, smoothie samples and free Bloomin' Onion coupon.

By Teresa Mears Nov 13, 2009 1:50PM

It’s Friday the 13th, and we have the good luck of bringing you the Friday food freebies and deals.


Some of last week’s deals are still valid, including coupons from Quiznos, Denny’s and Buca di Beppo. When you’re not eating, you can get free wi-fi at airports during the holidays or send your kids to free craft workshops.

The sale at that gives you a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant for $2 has been extended until Monday, Nov. 16. Use promo code ENTRÉE.


Wigs, tanning salons, summer camp may also be eligible expenses

By Donna_Freedman Nov 13, 2009 11:49AM
Flexible spending accounts are a great boost to the budget since they let you pay for health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax monies. Since this is a "use it or lose it" situation, it's important to make sure you've spent all your funds by the end of the grace period, which ends March 15, 2010.

There certainly are plenty of ways to spend the money. For example, condoms, IUDs and birth control pills are all on the eligible expenses list.

Or you can head in the other direction, since sterilization reversal, ovulation kits, Viagra and Levitra, in vitro fertilization, pregnancy test kits and Lamaze classes are also allowed.  


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