All kinds of information about you can be purchased online. Here's how to opt out, if possible, and protect your privacy.
Now that the Facebook privacy firestorm has, for the most part, eased up, people seem to be a little more concerned about Internet privacy. The scary thing is that of all the things that should worry you, Facebook probably has the least amount of information about you.
When it comes to personal information, who your friends are, what your hobbies are, and how many hours you spend on Farmville are the icing on the cake. The cake itself is made up of your actual personal details (name, address, age, Social Security number, e-mail addresses), your purchasing behavior (where you shop, when, and what you buy), your borrowing behavior (loans, credit cards), and other juicy bits.
You can buy a lot of that data from data brokers and marketers.
A New York company recently announced a plan to collect 1% of the sale price of a home each and every time it's sold for the next century.
Many consumers are rightfully upset at the explosion of charges they now face when doing anything from not using their credit card to getting water on an airplane.
Well, as the saying goes, "You ain't seen nothing yet."
A company called Freehold Capital Partners has introduced a plan that will put all other fees to shame: a 1% "transfer fee" split between Freehold and the developer of your house every time it's sold over the next 99 years. So if you sell your house for $300,000, you'll owe $3,000. And if 20 years later it's sold for $600,000, that seller will owe $6,000. And if 30 years later the house has fallen down but the lot is sold for $1 million, the developers and Freehold get another $10,000.
Blogger does the math on what it would cost to install and maintain a swimming pool -- $67 for each day it's used.
It's that time of year again when the weather is nice and the pool parties are starting. We recently went to our first one of the year and, as always, my wife said, "Boy, the kids would love a pool. We have the room. Would it be crazy if we did a pool?"
In years past, I immediately replied that she was in fact crazy. More recently, though, I've started to at least give credence to the notion of either footing the bill for a new inground pool or perhaps even moving to a house that has a pool already.
There are some key hurdles I continue to struggle with, though, and it's clearly a mix of tangible costs and intangible costs and benefits.
What does a pool cost?
Taxpayer supports for homeowners are three times the bone that government throws to renters.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.
Should nearly everybody be a homeowner? It's a discussion -- OK, argument -- going on in Washington, D.C., and at a lot of water coolers and dinner tables.
The National Association of Realtors, not surprisingly, is a big fan of widespread homeownership. The NAR website elaborates on the benefits, including "financial gain, stability, health benefits, benefits the children" and "social benefits."
Health benefits? The NAR doesn't explain.
Should they take anything they can get, or will future bosses hold a stint at Starbucks against them?
In a wry "Lament for the Class of 2010," Wall Street Journal writer Joe Queenan tells us the sad story of his son's friend, graduate of an Ivy League university with a degree in drama and music, who is working as an intern at a New York street fair for $250 a week.
Far from seeing this as a problem, we think Ivy League graduates SHOULD work at street fairs, Starbucks, McDonald's, etc., to learn something about the world from which they have been insulated all these years. Queenan warns these young graduates they'll have to work with people who believe in UFOs and play in REO Speedwagon tribute bands. We think they need that experience.
But stories about the difficulty 2010 graduates are having finding jobs raise an interesting question:
When should new graduates take a job, any job, rather than keep looking for the right job?
Deal cuts service fees for amphitheater shows, plus tips on other ways to hear music on the cheap.
Last weekend, I experienced the un-frugal experience of hearing Carole King and James Taylor together in concert. Both were favorites of my youth (and they're aging well, I'm happy to report), and I still remembered the words to all the songs.
When it comes to picking experiences that are worth my hard-earned money, I find that concerts and plays are at the top of my list. The joy from those experiences lasts much longer than the joy I receive from buying things.
Through June 30, ticket seller Live Nation is making the concert experience a little cheaper by waiving the service fees for concerts at its 50 amphitheaters. The "Hello Summer, Goodbye Service Fees" deal includes tickets to more than 700 shows by 110 artists, including Meatloaf, Alice in Chains, Dave Matthews Band, Green Day, Phish, Rush, Santana, Jimmy Buffett, Jethro Tull, Tim McGraw, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Black Crowes and Sugarland.
Some in Congress think your medical debt shouldn't count in determining your creditworthiness.
A bill was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate that would prevent paid or settled medical debt from negatively impacting your credit score. The bill is a companion to one introduced last year in the House, the Medical Debt Relief Act.
The three national credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax -- currently regard medical bills like any other consumer debt. According to those sponsoring the legislation, that's not fair because medical debt isn't in the same category as other consumer debt and thus shouldn't be equally weighted by credit-reporting agencies when determining a consumer's credit score.
Many shelters turn away pets, and even if you find a place that would let you bring your animal on principle, would they really accept your pit bull?
While it's crucial to get the people out harm's way come flood, wind, wildfire, quake or terrorist, the televised sight of all the dogs and cats left behind in the New Orleans flood was heart-rending. Many shelters turn away pets, and even if you find a place that would let you bring your animal on principle, would they really accept your pit bull?
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