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Free music, BOGO coffee and free restaurant gift certificates for friends are among the holiday offerings.

By Teresa Mears Dec 3, 2010 1:50PM

What's better than a deal? Days of deals.

 

Starbucks is celebrating 12 Days of Sharing by offering a new deal every day through Dec. 12.  To get the deal alerts, text 12DAYS to 29943. You can also see the deals online. Today's deal is a BOGO: Buy one 12-pack of Via instant coffee and get one free.

 

Amazon also has a gift for you: 25 days of free Christmas music. You can download a new song every day, and it looks as if you can go back and get the songs you missed throughout the month.

 

You can also get deals during the 12 Days of Whataburger, as well as free Christmas music from Target and People magazine, which we wrote about previously.

 

Shopping for that special someone, girls? Everybody is different, but here are some things you might want to add to your no-buy list.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 3, 2010 12:50PM

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

 

It seems to me that, by and large, men are much easier to buy gifts for than women. Although I'm a man, and therefore biased, I think I have a strong case: In general, women want gifts that represent feelings and emotions, which for men tends to result in a lot of head-scratching and trips to the jewelry store.

Men, on the other hand, just want to have fun.

 

Homelessness among children appears to be rising, yet little is known about it.

By Karen Datko Dec 3, 2010 11:11AM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.

 

One of the odder aspects of the foreclosure crisis is how much the media coverage focuses on the financial fiasco and how relatively little you hear about the actual families who're thrown out of their homes. You don't see congressional committees, for example, asking for testimony from ordinary people.

Yes, there have been stories in The New York Times, here and here, at CBS News and AlterNet, among others. But with 11 million foreclosures possible, you'd think the media would cover this like a war.

 

"This foreclosure crisis is the largest forced relocation event we've had in this country since the Great Depression," one expert told The Washington Post recently.

 

Ice cream, burgers, pancakes and more, just for being born.

By Donna_Freedman Dec 3, 2010 10:08AM

Over the next 10 days I'll be eating at Red Robin, IHOP, Qdoba and Cold Stone Creamery. The good news is that all the food will be free because Dec. 5 is my birthday.

The bad news? I have to speak the phrase "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n' Fruity," the name of the gratis grub being offered at IHOP.

 

Agency calls on industry and Congress to create more privacy protections for consumers.

By Teresa Mears Dec 2, 2010 4:52PM

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed that Internet users get more privacy from the spying eyes of marketers who are tracking their moves around the Web.

 

In a 122-page report, "Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change" (.pdf file), the FTC staff recommended that marketing firms, technology companies and Congress take steps to protect consumer privacy, including creating a "do not track" mechanism. While "do not track" has been compared with the "do not call" list that keeps telemarketers from interrupting your dinner, "do not track" is a much more complex issue.

 

The FTC is collecting public comment on what mechanisms would work best. Any significant moves would have to come from industry or Congress.

 

Congress has said no. So what's next for the millions of people depending on those checks?

By Karen Datko Dec 2, 2010 4:10PM

You've likely read that Congress can't agree to renew extended unemployment benefits, meaning 2 million jobless Americans will lose those checks by the end of December, and 2 million more will join their ranks in the first two months of the new year.

 

Sounds simple enough, but confusion reigns. Some seem to think the current debate is over whether every unemployed person is entitled to 99 weeks of benefits -- or even more.

 

That's not what's happening here. To best understand, let's look at the benefits unemployed people have been eligible for in the last two years and what will happen now.

 

Some believe you're better off leaving it lie, though a good Samaritan might take more initiative.

By Teresa Mears Dec 2, 2010 12:47PM

You're walking down the street, you look down and you see a debit card lying at your feet.

 

Do you pick it up?

 

Not necessarily, says Sally Herigstad, a CPA who writes the To Her Credit column at CreditCards.com.

 

Picking up a fallen debit card and trying to return it to the rightful owner isn't necessarily the best course of action. Are you surprised?

 

Shopping for that special someone, guys? Here are five things you might want to cross off your list.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 2, 2010 12:18PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.

 

When it comes to gift giving, the thought does count -- but think twice before you shop for the special lady on your list.

 

Although we pick presents with good intentions, let's not forget that good intentions also pave the road to hell. So if you're a guy without much experience in gifting, or if your special someone has ever found your "perfect gift" perfectly offensive, read on.

 

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