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Luckily for the sellers, the buyers announced on their wall how much they loved the place -- before they closed the deal.

By Karen Datko Mar 4, 2010 7:30PM

Want to better the odds that you won't get the best possible deal on the house you're trying to buy?


Before you’ve closed, tell your friends -- and the world -- via your Facebook account how much you love the house and that you’ll spend anything to get it. Chances are the seller might be reading.


Steve at brip blap explained how this happened in real life in a post wryly called “How to make money on Facebook.”


Finance gurus trade a few tweets as to whose advice is worse. What do you think?

By Teresa Mears Mar 4, 2010 5:23PM

Oooh, a Twitter smackdown!! It’s Suze Orman vs. Robert Kiyosaki in a knock-down, drag-out fight over who dishes out the best financial advice.


OK, maybe it was just a few tweets on the microblogging service, but it still has the personal-finance world all a-twitter (pun intended).


Some utilities and cell providers offer miles for switching over. Should you make the move?

By Karen Datko Mar 4, 2010 2:25PM

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


Receiving your monthly bills may not seem like much of a reward, but paying them can earn you more travel discounts than ever before. Many airlines have widened the playing field on offers for miles in exchange for doing business with a particular phone or electric company.


Continental is offering 5,000 bonus miles for Connecticut, New York and Texas fliers who sign up with Energy Plus as their electric supplier, plus two miles per dollar spent on the supply portion of their monthly bill. United offers a bonus of 5,000 miles when you use its site to sign up for or extend service with a major wireless provider.


Long commutes don't always mean higher costs, according to Bundle data.

By Janet Paskin Mar 4, 2010 1:24PM

Brotherly love or no, residents of Philadelphia spend almost twice as much time getting to and from work as people who live in Wichita, Kan., according to census data. The average commute times for folks who live in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., or any of California's major cities are at least a third longer than those of the good people in Omaha, Oklahoma City, or Lexington, Ky.


But do people with a short commute necessarily spend less on gas or car maintenance? 


Self-motivated students can always make college work if they choose to do so.

By Karen Datko Mar 4, 2010 12:21PM

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


One of the most common debates I hear about from people such as myself -- 20- and 30-somethings with young children -- is whether it makes more sense to save adequately for retirement or save adequately for their children’s college education. Young career folks often don’t have the means to do both, so it becomes a choice.


Retirement or college? Today, I’ll look at both sides of this coin, which is central in my own life.


You may owe money, but you're not required to pay with your dignity.

By Stacy Johnson Mar 4, 2010 10:45AM

This post comes from partner site Money Talks News.


Owing more than you can pay is bad enough. Being badgered, hounded and abused by a debt collector can make your life a living hell.


But if you ever find yourself harassed by dozens of phone calls daily, here’s something you should know: You don’t deserve to be treated like a doormat. Nor should you tolerate it. And if your legal rights are being violated, you might qualify for free legal help to make it stop.


Survey says Americans are getting comfort and strength from the four-legged members of their households.

By Karen Datko Mar 3, 2010 7:53PM

poll by Catalyst Direct Inc. found that the majority of pet owners surveyed are experiencing various degrees of nervousness or stress about the economy. However, these folks don’t have to face their troubles alone:

  • 89% said their pets help them cope with the stress.
  • 83% “value the steady presence their pets provide in an uncertain economy.”
  • 86% “value their pet’s appreciation.”

But here’s the real tribute:


Think again before you get in a rush to pay off the loan.

By Karen Datko Mar 3, 2010 4:58PM

This guest post comes from Frank Curmudgeon at Bad Money Advice.


Conventional wisdom holds that a mortgage on the house you live in is a special kind of debt, one that, mostly because of favorable tax treatment, is so cheap that you should be in no particular hurry to pay it off.


But there is a popular heresy that opposes this firmly established orthodoxy. It holds that all debt is a bad idea, and paying 3X to the bank so you can save X on your taxes is loopy. Free Money Finance made this case recently. And Dave Ramsey is probably the high priest of this particular sect.


I have an instinctive contempt for orthodoxy and a sympathy for heresies of all kinds. But, alas, this is one of those cases where the conventional wisdom is spot on. Sad and boring, but true.



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