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Here's how to find the right one.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 18, 2010 10:29AM

For the next several months, I’m doing TV news stories and writing blog entries that are designed to help you find motivation, methods and extra money to pay off debt.


But this story is for those who can't yet embark on a debt-destroying mission because their debt is currently destroying them. 


The retailer charges for reusable shopping bags as part of its effort to help the environment.

By Teresa Mears Jan 15, 2010 4:36PM

In another effort to go green, Wal-Mart has quit providing free bags to customers at three of its stores in Northern California.


According to The Sacramento Bee, the move is part of an experiment to see whether customers are willing to bring their own bags to help the environment. If they forget bags, they can buy reusable bags from Wal-Mart in two sizes, for 15 cents and 50 cents. The company is also training checkers to put more in each bag.


I don't expect a dollar to fund my dream. But I won't sweat an occasional greenback spent on the weekly drawing.

By Donna_Freedman Jan 15, 2010 1:40PM
Every now and then I buy a lottery ticket.

I'll pause for a moment to give some of you the chance to draw in a big ol' breath of righteous indignation.

All puffed up now? Let's hear it:  

Get free tacos, then download free workout music to stay in shape.

By Teresa Mears Jan 15, 2010 1:20PM

It’s time for Friday food deals and freebies, with a little help from our friends at Cities on the Cheap.


Some of last week’s deals are still valid, including any size pizza at Pizza Hut for $10. If you’d rather have Papa John’s or Domino’s, check their Web sites before you order. The big pizza chains often offer a list of neighborhood-specific coupons after you enter your address.

Don’t forget the usual disclaimer: Not all local restaurants participate in all national promotions so it’s wise to check ahead of time.


Here are the latest deals:


Even if you're in your 50s, it's not too late to get started.

By Karen Datko Jan 15, 2010 12:42PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.


A reader recently asked about financial goals for those 50 years old or better. Here’s her question:

Now I'd like to know if you can list ways of setting up long-term goals for people 50 years and over. At least some examples would do the trick.

While I’m not quite 50, I’m much closer than I care to admit. And so the reader’s question was timely for me. And it got me thinking about whether financial goals should be different based on your age. The answer it seems to me is unequivocally yes. It’s not that any particular age is significant, but your stage in life likely will affect your goals and desires. And why shouldn’t financial goals be part of this?


So I sat down and thought through what financial goals many baby boomers should have or at least strongly consider. What came from that exercise is the following list of five financial goals.


An extended warranty might keep you from a budget-busting repair bill. But make sure you buy it right.

By Stacy Johnson Jan 15, 2010 7:08AM

You insure against untimely death, bad health and damage to your property. Should you insure against giant car repair bills too?

An extended warranty can provide protection against a budget-busting bill. But keep it in park until you understand what they do and how they work.


It's not quite as bad as it sounds, but you too could see this on your card statement.

By Karen Datko Jan 14, 2010 7:08PM

As the Feb. 22 deadline approaches for most of the new Credit CARD Act requirements to kick in, weirdness abounds. CBS MoneyWatch columnist Kathy Kristof can attest to that.


She opened up the first bill for her new Macy’s store credit card and read that the “minimum interest charge" on her average daily balance “worked out to ‘an actual annual percentage rate’ of 703.8%,” she wrote.


What, we thought -- are our eyes deceiving us? Sure enough, the headline on her post is “Credit reform and my new 703.8% card.” There is an explanation for this, and you should read it, lest you open your credit card bill and suffer a heart attack.


We're creatures of habit, and our new habit of saving more is sinking in.

By Karen Datko Jan 14, 2010 5:38PM

Will people continue to save, pay down debt and pursue frugal ways once the economy noticeably improves (oh, and can that day come soon enough)? Everyone has an opinion about that, but when Dan Ariely speaks, we tend to listen very closely.


Ariely thinks we’re developing a new set of habits.


He’s the Duke University behavioral economist (formerly at MIT) who wrote the bestselling book, “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.” In it, he examines why we make the spending choices we do. For instance, “free” compels us to do strange things.



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