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Who knows what lurks online about you? Unfortunately, a lot of people could, including potential employers. Here's how to deal with it.

By MSN Money Partner Tue 2:01 PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThe Internet is a wondrous tool. It can answer virtually any question. It can find the best deal on anything from cars to cat litter. It allows you to maintain contact with virtually everyone you've ever met.

Damaged laptop © Jason Stang, Photo LibraryLike many tools, however, the Internet can be used for both good and evil. For example, while it allows you to find friends, it allows strangers to find information about you -- including information you'd prefer to remain private.

Here's this week's reader question:

I'm a big fan of your newsletter! I would love to see an article on an easy way to remove online personal information from people search websites (,, etc.). Are cleanup (services) such as's DeleteMe worth it? -- Sylvia

Should you fear what the Internet knows about you?

The Internet is an ocean of information. Floating in it, like plankton, are the details of your life. Swimming in it, like sharks, are data miners, collecting and selling that information.


Forty-six percent of Americans know someone who has a problem with hoarding, according to a new survey.

By QuinStreet Tue 12:33 PM

This post comes from Barbara Marquand at partner site

Reality TV and talk shows have put hoarding in the spotlight, showing in vivid and heartbreaking detail what happens in the worst cases.

Caption: Kevin McCrary, a Manhattan hoarder, faces a March 14 eviction from the City of New York unless he cleans his East 65th Street rent controlled apartment © Doug Meszler/Splash News
But hoarding is also something many of us witness firsthand.

According to a survey by, 46 percent of adults say they know someone who hoards.

Among those who know a hoarder, here are the culprits:


Not all debt is created equal -- sometimes it actually makes good financial sense.

By Tue 12:06 PM
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site on MSN MoneyYou’ve been warned about the evils of debt, and there is plenty to be wary of. But debt isn't always bad.

Shopping online © Creatas, SuperStock“There’s a difference between good debt and bad debt,” says attorney Garrett Sutton, founder of “Bad debt takes things out of your pocket; good debt puts money in your pocket.” For example, he says if you leverage a loan to buy an apartment building, you can benefit from appreciation and depreciation while you are paying back the loan, and someday own an income-producing asset free and clear.

Sometimes, though, it's not that clear-cut. Using a credit card to put gas in the car while you look for work may seem like a bad way to go into debt, but whether that proves to be true in the long run depends on how those interviews pan out. And the debt you took on to go back to school to pursue your dream can either feel like the best -- or worst -- decision you ever made.


You don't always have to sacrifice quality when you buy secondhand.

By Mon 4:52 PM
This post comes from AJ Smith at partner site on MSN MoneyTightening your budget doesn’t have to mean cutting out the things you need or even want.

 Couple shopping for car © Image100, JupiterimagesThrift shops, garage or yard sales, online resources, flea markets and pawnshops are great sources of savings. Turning to these options can bring you the most value for your dollar because there are some things that most people simply do not need to buy new. There are plenty of items that come much cheaper secondhand, and without sacrificing much quality.

Check out these six purchases that you should consider buying used.



The average cost of a movie ticket is more than $8. But why pay at all?

By MSN Money Partner Mon 12:56 PM

This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneySummertime, and the viewing is busy: From the superhero to the supernatural, Hollywood has been delivering new product since early May. Keeping up with a steady stream of blockbusters (and blockbuster wannabes) can put a serious strain on your wallet.

Hollywood © Comstock, SuperStockAccording to The Wall Street Journal, the average cost of a movie ticket was $8.13 by the end of 2013. That gets pretty pricey if you’re taking a date, let alone an entire family. It's tempting to wait until the summer flicks end up at the $3 house, or become available via Redbox or Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Yet some movies -- especially those that involve superheroes or disasters -- are just made for the big screen.

Fortunately it's possible to see movies without paying out-of-pocket. This can be as simple as the first of these tips for seeing free movies.

1: Join the rewards program at your theater of choice. Show the loyalty card every time you see a movie, and you'll eventually build up enough points to get a free ticket.


Free credit scores are available like never before. But are they making things clearer or causing confusion?

By MSN Money Partner Mon 12:23 PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyRemember how hard it used to be to see your credit score? Now it's easy.

Gone are the days when the credit industry guarded this all-important number -- despite the fact it's your number -- as if it was the recipe for Coke. Free credit scores are offered in lots of places now, and so you'd think the problem of knowing your credit score would be solved.

But it's not. Here's the trouble with free credit scores.


High-quality drinking water is free at the tap, in many restaurants, and in many public places. Why pay for a bottle?

By Mon 11:53 AM
This post comes from Olivia Lin at partner site on MSN MoneyWhether you're at the mall, the gym, or in a new city, you won't go far without spotting a bottle of Poland Spring, Deer Park, or Dasani in someone's hand or bag. Marketed as safer and better than tap water, bottled water is a multi-billion dollar industry in America.

But do you really need to spend $1 or so on a 16.9-ounce bottle (and more for larger sizes) when there's plenty of free drinking water?

Fresh tap water flowing into a glass © Rudy Pira/AlamyProbably not.

Drink tap water
Every year, new brands of bottled water launch with new additives that promise thirst-quenching satisfaction and healthfulness. Tap water in America, however, is perfectly fine to drink and costs nothing (except for your monthly or quarterly water bill). The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), passed in 1974, created guidelines for drinking-water quality that govern water suppliers and the water-related responsibilities of state and local governments. The SDWA requires an intricate set of processes to maintain and protect drinking water and its natural sources. Experts assert that some are stricter than systems used to process bottled water.

Even with insurance, you may be spending a lot on health care. Read our 10 tips to learn how to drop the balance on your medical bills.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 5:26 PM

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWe may all have health insurance now, but that doesn't make our medical bills magically disappear. No, we still have plenty to pay out-of-pocket.

In recent years, employers have shifted a greater portion of health care costs to workers. The 19th annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health employer survey found that employees now pay for 37 percent of their health care, including premiums and out-of-pocket costs, up from 34.4 percent in 2011. What's more, nearly half of employers surveyed expect to be making significant changes to their health care benefits by 2018.



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