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Spirit Airlines becomes the first carrier to charge for carry-on luggage as well as checked bags. Will others follow?

By Teresa Mears Apr 6, 2010 12:55PM

Spirit Airlines has become the first U.S. airline -- and maybe the first airline in the world, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Middle Seat Terminal blog -- to charge passengers for carry-on bags.


Charges will range up to $45 each way, with a low of $20 for members of the $9 Fare Club who reserve a bag in advance (and don’t forget your $39.95 annual club membership). Non-members can carry on a bag for $30 if they pay in advance.

Lest you think you can disguise your carry-on bag as a purse or computer case, be warned that Spirit will have “bag sizers” at the gate to make sure your “personal items” don’t measure more than 16 by 14 by 12 inches.


Census jobs are available, but you don't need to pay someone to get federal employment.

By Karen Datko Apr 6, 2010 11:49AM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site


We've all heard or seen the warnings about the possibility of being scammed by purported census takers who are out to steal our identities. But what about those who cheat people looking for honest work taking the government headcount?


Hawaii has the highest percentage of millionaire households; Mississippi has the lowest.

By Karen Datko Apr 6, 2010 10:07AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


Did you know that in 2009 there were more than 5 million millionaire households (5,129,385) in the United States?


That’s 4.46% of all households and a number that is probably a lot higher than you expected. It's also a drop from the previous two years. In 2008 there were 5.6 million, and nearly 6 million in 2007. Who knows what 2010 will bring, but it’s still fun to look at statistics, even if you’re not a millionaire.


Fortunately for us, our friends at MainStreet had a fun little slideshow recently showing the states with the most and the fewest millionaires as a percentage of total households.


So, where are all the millionaires?


A plan to write off some debt for 'underwater' borrowers elicits anger but also stories from people who find themselves stuck.

By Teresa Mears Apr 5, 2010 4:00PM

Is it right to forgive mortgage principal for people who owe more than their homes are worth?


What if they refinanced and took out cash to buy new cars and kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances? What if they stretched to buy a home they could barely afford? What if they didn’t put any money down?


In the meantime, you bought a home that was well below what you could afford, put 20% down and are still staring at the old Formica countertops that came with it 20 years ago. Why doesn’t the lender forgive your balance?


So far the $100,000 plug-in is the only vehicle to qualify for an electric-car tax credit this year.

By Karen Datko Apr 5, 2010 2:39PM

Our hat’s off to Kathy Kristof, a personal-finance columnist (and MSN Money contributor) who has a knack for uncovering financial facts that make absolutely no sense.


Kristof delights in exposing rules and situations that make us cringe -- like the 703.8% interest credit card bill or the bank that allowed a $50,000 fraudulent withdrawal from a business checking account and said, “Oops, you’re out of luck.” In the same vein, she now explains the new $7,500 tax credit for people who buy a $100,000 Tesla Roadster in a new post at CBS MoneyWatch.


Frugal Zeitgeist holds a Bad Boss Festival to acknowledge the contributions of lousy bosses in blogger's life.

By Karen Datko Apr 5, 2010 12:53PM

“FZ” at Frugal Zeitgeist seems like the kind of boss workers would enjoy and respect. How did she get to be so good? Most of what she learned came from observing managers who oversaw her work -- particularly the bad ones, and she’s had some doozies.


Topping her list at a post called “The Bad Boss Festival” was a “boss who tracked his guesstimates for female employees' menstrual periods on a calendar.”


“There have been many instances in which something my boss at the time did made me feel undervalued, disrespected, marginalized, and completely unappreciated,” she wrote.


Among others on her list:


Free downloads aim to help you find better deals. Do they work?

By Karen Datko Apr 5, 2010 10:40AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Sarah Morgan at partner site SmartMoney.


Buying an iPod should be easy, right? That’s what Robin Landy thought when he started shopping for one online a couple of years ago. But as the Londoner tried searching for the best price on the specific iPod he wanted, he kept turning up irrelevant results: the wrong color, the older model, and so on. “All I could think was, it should be easier than this,” says Landy, 30.


What you want or need to own shouldn't be defined by what other people have.

By Karen Datko Apr 5, 2010 9:44AM

This post comes from J.D Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.


A new study out of the U.K. confirms what many of us have already learned: Money makes you happy only if you have more than those around you. According to the London Telegraph:

Despite the vast improvements in general standards of living in the past 40 years across Britain, "keeping up with the Joneses" is still our biggest aspiration, the findings suggest.


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