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TV host ranks at the top of 'best boss' poll, followed by both Obamas and Donald Trump. Who would be your favorite celeb boss?

By Teresa Mears Oct 13, 2010 5:24PM

Friday is National Boss Day. But do American workers want to celebrate?


They would if Oprah Winfrey or Barack Obama were their boss.

In a survey done by Braun Research for Adecco Staffing, 37% of respondents said they would like to have Oprah as their boss, and 35% said they would like to be supervised by the president. Next in line were Donald Trump (28%), Michelle Obama (26%), former President George W. Bush (19%), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (16%), Sarah Palin (15%) and Martha Stewart (14%).


BP's Tony Hayward and Simon Cowell of "American Idol" were ranked the least desirable bosses in the survey, at 4% and 8%, respectively.


The cashier is offering you 20% off for signing up. Is it worth it?

By Stacy Johnson Oct 13, 2010 4:46PM

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


With holiday shopping season soon in full swing, you're likely to encounter an offer like this: Sign up for our store credit card and receive a 15% to 30% discount on today's purchases.


Should you jump on it?


Reporter's experiment found high charges to cash checks, prepaid cards with hefty fees and lots of standing in line.

By Teresa Mears Oct 13, 2010 1:23PM

About one in four U.S. households doesn't have a bank account. Associated Press reporter Candice Choi did a one-month experiment to find out what it would be like to be one of them.

Her conclusion: Living without a bank account is expensive and time-consuming.


In one month, she paid $93.50 in fees for such services as check cashing, money orders or prepaid cash cards. That would amount to an annual cost of $1,122 a year just to use her own money.


Among the products where you're better off with generic: baby formula, bleach and gasoline.

By Karen Datko Oct 13, 2010 1:14PM

This guest post comes from Kate Forgach at the Go Frugal Blog.


Where do you stand in the generic vs. name-brand products debate? Do you proudly flaunt your thrifty buys or stealthily slip your generic purchases under oversized toilet paper packages?

Is your selection a reflection of your personal tastes or simply a matter of money?

The main reason for buying generic products is simple enough: You're a thrifty consumer. But there's something to be said for turning your nose up at marketing manipulation by major manufacturers.


You can overcome the fear that you'll make a mistake that will cost thousands of dollars to fix.

By Karen Datko Oct 13, 2010 8:02AM

This post comes from Elizabeth Sanberg at partner blog Wise Bread.


Just over a year ago my spouse and I bought our first home -- a foreclosure. A lot of repairs needed to be made -- an asbestos abatement to remove the original 1925 "octopus" furnace, refinishing hardwood floors, fixing locks, replacing electric outlets, and painting.

We hired professionals for the major projects -- furnace replacement, plumbing updates, and hardwood floor refinishing. And the easiest issues we fixed ourselves.


But there were a lot of more difficult, but not impossible, projects that needed to be done.


Under a formula in place since the 1970s, Social Security recipients likely won't get an increase for the second straight year. Is that fair?

By Karen Datko Oct 12, 2010 7:48PM

For the second year in a row, it looks as if Social Security recipients won't get a cost-of-living raise next year.


"How can that be?" you're probably wondering. Answer: The cost of living hasn't gone up -- enough.

Whether seniors can expect an increase will be announced later this week, but numerous reports say the monthly benefits will remain where they are for 2011. The same occurred for 2010. (The Social Security trustees predicted this in 2009, so it should not be surprising.)


How can this be? A year without an increase, let alone two in a row, hasn't happened in at least 30 years.


McDonald's in Hong Kong responds to demand and will offer weddings, complete with balloon dresses and apple pie cakes.

By Teresa Mears Oct 12, 2010 5:00PM

Here's a frugal wedding reception idea we hadn't considered: Several McDonald's restaurants in Hong Kong will start offering wedding packages next year, providing a baked apple pie wedding cake, balloon dress, party favors and food for the equivalent of a few hundred dollars.

"It's unlikely that the couple will be able to book the entire restaurant for their wedding, but at that price, who cares if there are babies screaming in the booth next door?" CNN Go's Tiffany Lam wrote.


Retailers are rolling out discounts early. Let the holiday shopping season begin.

By Karen Datko Oct 12, 2010 4:08PM

This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.


Retail giant Wal-Mart has fired its first shot in the holiday toy wars, dropping prices on everything from a Nerf dart gun to a poochie potty-training Barbie.

With budgets tight, analysts expect many retailers to start cutting prices ahead of the usual Black Friday shopping kickoff, so families can spread out their holiday spending.


But, says Jim Silver, editor of, they won't necessarily be slashing prices on all of the hottest toys.



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