Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Depending on the subject, debt might outweigh benefits.

By Karen Datko Oct 11, 2009 1:14AM

This guest post comes from "vh" at Funny about Money.

Tina, my associate editor on the day job and my moonlight business partner, sent a link to this interesting discussion. The main post itself has several links to relevant, equally interesting posts and conversations.

Given the astonishing burden of student loans that too many young people are saddled with -- my son's roommate's girlfriend, for example, remarked that she will graduate from a top-quality institution with a master's degree in international business and $1,400-a-month student loan payments -- assessing the "value" of graduate education is not a crass or pointless exercise.


Make sure you use the cheap stuff, though.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:58PM

Three cheers for vodka, an excellent jewelry cleaner, stain remover, glue dissolver, wasp killer, fever reliever, and cure for poison ivy and stinky feet.

We had no idea that vodka has so many uses, other than the obvious. And if you've indulged in too much of that, here's another tip from "The many uses of vodka" at Divine Caroline that may come in handy: "Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry."

If you employ any of the 19 tips on Divine Caroline's list, common sense dictates that you use the cheap stuff.


Socializing with co-workers worth more than what you'd save.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:49PM

This devil's advocate post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

This devil's advocate post attacks one of the hallmark money-saving ideas for the working professional: Bring in your own lunch. The money you save by not buying a $5 to $10 lunch every day amounts to more than $1,000 a year in savings ($5 x 48 weeks x five days = $1,200).

It's hardly bad advice and practically unassailable from a financial standpoint. But there are many reasons why you shouldn't bring in your lunch every day and eat it at your desk.


Blogger complied the best tips found on the Web.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:33PM

David at My Two Dollars has prepared what has to be the granddaddy of all how-to-save lists. His post is called, appropriately, "The big list: 1,019 different ways to save money."

OK, there is some repetition. (Believe it or not, brown-bagging your lunch for work comes up a number of times.) But David has gathered the best money-saving tips from the personal-finance blogosphere and assembled them in one place. We dare you to come up with one that's not included.

Savings tips are broken down by spending categories, including utilities, cars, food and health care. Among the links:


You can sign up for e-mail alerts about defective products.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:08PM

We got a lukewarm response when we urged readers to sign up for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's daily e-mail report about recalls. How boring, you thought. Well, folks, you don't know what you're missing.

Every day we scan the e-mail and invariably cringe. At the top of today's list: Under Armour's voluntary recall of about 211,000 athletic cups. Wouldn't you want to know about it if you owned one of them? It also said:

Hazard: The cups can break if hit, posing a risk of serious injury hazard to athletes.

Incidents/injuries: Under Armour has received five reports of cups breaking, including an injury involving cuts and bruising. 

We tried to warn you. And sometimes these notices are even worse.


Do you ever regret not spending?

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 8:21PM

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

As any reader of Bad Money Advice knows, I enjoy nothing more than tweaking the nose of personal-finance conventional wisdom. Well, joy of joys, The New York Times recently had an article, in the science section no less, that spits in conventional wisdom's face, knees it in the groin and then kicks it as it rolls on the ground.

The piece discussed the work (.pdf file) of Ran Kivetz and Anat Keinan, two professors of marketing from the Columbia and Harvard business schools, respectively. (Marketing professor is, incidentally, the same line of work as the authors of "The Millionaire Next Door.") They have discovered a new malady to avoid: saver's remorse. It's just what it sounds like: that sad feeling you get with money in your pocket that you could have spent in some enjoyable way but, in a moment of weakness, chose to save.

This is just so awesome.


Free entertainment abounds online.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 8:13PM

One luxury you can cut when costs for essentials are rising is your cable or satellite TV service. But how can you still watch your favorite shows?

David at My Two Dollars presents "35 ways to watch television without cable or satellite," and he's not just talking rabbit ears. After Option No. 1, an antenna, the rest are Web sites. Readers provided more suggestions, so the list is now up to 42 possibilities.


With a little care, your duds won't die early.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 7:31PM

This post comes from Andrea Dickson at partner blog Wise Bread.

With everyone trying to stretch their dollars further these days, it makes sense to take care of the things we have, rather than buy replacements. This goes for clothing as much as anything else we own and use on a daily basis.

As a reformed clotheshorse, I struggle to prevent myself from shopping for new duds on a daily basis.



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.


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.