Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Meanwhile, Congress may make it more difficult to hide money overseas.

By Karen Datko Oct 27, 2009 8:10PM

When the IRS offered amnesty to those hiding money in offshore accounts if they fessed up, it was just getting started.

 

The Internal Revenue Service has formed the Global High Wealth Industry Group, which will delve into the often fantastically complicated finances of the very rich to discover what they may be hiding. A small number of audits targeting those with tens of millions in income or assets will begin next month, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"You cannot assess compliance among the nation's wealthiest individuals by looking only at their 1040s," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman told the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' national conference this week.

 

Some are vampires that can suck your finances dry.

By Karen Datko Oct 27, 2009 4:48PM

This guest post comes from Ron Haynes at The Wisdom Journal.

 

Some people claim that fear is based on ignorance, but my personal fear of 13 financial vampires masquerading as loans is based on knowledge. Some of these loans are scary because of how they’re structured, some are scary because of what you’re buying with them, and still others qualify because of whom you’re borrowing from.

 

I plan to stay far away from these loan monsters:

 

This week's airline sales are a treat, not a trick.

By Teresa Mears Oct 27, 2009 2:11PM

In the mood for a winter trip? This may be the year to take one. The airfare sales just keep coming, including some great sales this week.

 

Southwest Airlines launched a 72-hour sale today with fares as low as $25 each way for short flights. According to Tom Parsons’ Best Fares, these are the lowest fares offered by Southwest in 13 years.

 

Tickets are $25 each way for up to 375 miles, $50 for up to 549 miles, $75 for up to 999 miles, and $100 one way for more than 1,000 miles. On some routes, it’s a great deal. On others, the deals have been better.

 

Fake e-mail says your bank has been taken over by the FDIC.

By Karen Datko Oct 27, 2009 1:11PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

It's all too easy to believe these days that your bank has failed and been seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The current crop of bank failures is ripe for scammers trying to fool unsuspecting account holders into handing over their personal information.

The FDIC has received numerous reports of a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of being sent by the FDIC.

 

The subject line of the e-mail states: "Check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage."

 

There are several ways besides not answering the door.

By Karen Datko Oct 27, 2009 11:24AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

 

As the sugar-fueled, much-anticipated mischievous holiday of Halloween draws near, frugal families are trying to figure out how they can save money on Halloween candy. Unfortunately for the money-conscious, this year's Halloween falls on the worst possible day, a Saturday.

A Saturday Halloween means trick-or-treaters will be out earlier and longer than if it were on a workday, and that means there will be more ghosts, pumpkins and football player zombies wandering up to your door asking for candy.

 

However, if you're smart about how you approach Halloween, you can save yourself a little bit of money. Every little bit counts.

 

Quality of life is more important to him than a high-paying job.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 5:53PM

This guest post comes from David Weliver at Money Under 30.

 

When Forbes named Portland, Maine, the most livable city in America this year, it didn't surprise me or my wife or any of Portland's other 64,000 denizens. With a low cost of living, great culture and dining (we were also named Bon Appetit's "foodiest small town") and easy access to the ocean and mountains, Portland freaking rocks.

The only big thing Portland lacks for well-educated, ambitious 20-somethings? An abundance of career options.

 

There's nothing scary about these deals.

By Teresa Mears Oct 26, 2009 4:52PM

Halloween is coming, and that’s as good an excuse for free stuff as anything. This year, merchants have all kinds of freebies for us.

 

Monroe on a Budget has a good list of sales on costumes and candy at national chain stores. Nestle has printable coupons good for $1 off Nestle and Wonka candy products. (Look for the boxes on the right.) You can get coupons for $2 off larger bags at Coupons.com.

Other deals are as wide-ranging as coupons for free bowling, yogurt for used candy wrappers and free burritos for anyone who dresses like one.

 

The downturn arrived late or hardly at all in some U.S. metro areas.

By Karen Datko Oct 26, 2009 3:48PM

What does San Antonio have besides great food and the Alamo? The right stuff to beat back the Great Recession.

 

San Antonio ranks No. 1 in a BusinessWeek ranking of the top 40 strongest U.S. metropolitan economies, based on a Brookings Institution MetroMonitor survey.

 

In Texas' second-largest city (yep, San Antonio is now bigger than Dallas) the unemployment rate in June was just 6.9%, two points higher than a year ago, according to BusinessWeek, which produced a slideshow of its top 40 cities. San Antonio, it says, "has one of the strongest job markets in the nation."

 

No. 2 on the list is the Austin-Round Rock area in Texas, the last state to experience the recession. Also representing Texas on BusinessWeek's list are Dallas, Houston, El Paso, and McAllen, despite that metropolitan area's 11% unemployment rate.

 

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.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More