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Many of these are relatively unknown.

By Karen Datko Oct 9, 2009 1:47AM

This post comes from Greg Go at partner blog Wise Bread.

These 10 Web sites help you save or make money in innovative ways, yet they are relatively unknown. We learned of these guys while doing research for the Wise Bread book. (You've got your copy, right?) Enjoy the list, and share with your friends. Don't forget to chime in with more money-saving sites in the comments.


Big eaters share their tips.

By Karen Datko Oct 9, 2009 1:25AM

You've probably heard about the two big guys in Houma, La., who were charged extra at an all-you-can-eat buffet -- the waitress supposedly said, "Ya'll fat, and ya'll eat too much" -- and claimed they were banned from the place as well. Well, those guys couldn't hold a candle to Nick at Punny Money.

We thank Clever Dude for directing us to Nick's side-splitting, belt-busting post, "Eat your money's worth at any all-you-can-eat buffet." Clever Dude also provides a link to getting the most from a side salad when Pizza Hut limits you to one bowl.


Online historians chronicle shopping wastelands.

By Karen Datko Oct 8, 2009 7:03PM

Has the mall of your teens died a slow death by neglect or succumbed to sudden trauma inflicted when vehicle traffic patterns were changed? If so, chances are you can find its eulogy at

Or maybe the current economy is driving it into the ground. With so many mall-based chains flocking into Bankruptcy Court and their hosts in serious need of life support, the mall historians at are chronicling a very bleak period in retail. is an entertaining but sobering site. We decided to see how malls we visited as a teen are faring.


Why not pay for what you actually use?

By Karen Datko Oct 8, 2009 6:43PM

Would you order a six-course meal if you planned to eat only the salad and dessert? No. You'd order a la carte.

Apply the same concept to the subscriptions you pay for, suggests Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich. That includes services like cable, TiVo, cell phones and that underused gym membership. Ramit writes: "In fact, in one remarkable study of three health clubs, two researchers from Stanford and Berkeley showed that gym members overestimate how much they'll use their gym membership by over 70%." 

You can pay as you go for workout sessions, TV programs and songs (from iTunes), and other services you now buy in bulk. And may we suggest a prepaid cell phone?


Even small amounts can go a long way.

By Karen Datko Oct 8, 2009 6:35PM

This post comes from partner blog The Dough Roller.

Generating multiple streams of income can have a major impact on your finances. Even an extra income of $500 each month could go a long way to paying down debt or increasing your investments.

We often hear about the importance of diversifying our investments, but diversifying our income streams is just as important, particularly in difficult economic times. Let me show you just how valuable even an extra $500 per month can be. Then I'll list the factors to consider in deciding how to generate extra income, followed by 10 multiple-income-stream ideas.


Do small steps save enough or should you look for big cuts?

By Teresa Mears Oct 8, 2009 6:18PM

If I had $4 for every day I hadn’t had a latte, I’d have a nice nest egg. Because, let’s see, that would be 365 days times 30 years of adult life… Wow, $43,800 plus the power of compounding …


Except I don’t drink lattes. And giving up a latte every day for a year wouldn’t pay even half my property taxes. I’d better look elsewhere for savings.


The “latte factor,” popularized by David Bach, author of “The Automatic Millionaire” and other personal finance books, has become a synonym for the small money leaks that could be draining away our cash without us noticing. And it’s certainly important to find and plug those small leaks.


But, in some cases, plugging the small leaks and giving up lattes (or soda or bottled water or candy bars) doesn’t really make much difference.


Some are annoying, others are downright unappetizing.

By Karen Datko Oct 8, 2009 5:12PM

We know the tactics restaurants employ to get all you longtime and newbie frugalists to splurge on eating out these days: two entrées plus one appetizer for 20 bucks at the casual chain or great deals like the $1 Junior Whopper.

But what sneaky changes have restaurants made to improve the bottom line?

SmartMoney offers “8 restaurant ploys to watch for” in a lovely slideshow, plus we found more at Slashfood. (We saved the grossest for last.)


We're not on the playground, but others are browbeating us.

By Karen Datko Oct 8, 2009 2:31PM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


When I was in seventh grade, a bunch of 12th-graders grabbed me one day. They tossed me in a trash can, popped a lid on it, and then rolled the can (with me and some trash inside) out into the middle of the school’s parking lot. They then administered some kicks to the can and left me there.


I crawled out as they were laughing and high-fiving each other, grinned, shrugged it off, and went about my business. It was the right attitude to take.


A few other seventh-graders provided an enormous reaction to the situation -- telling the principal, throwing fits, challenging the much older kids to fights. Those reactionary kids were subjected to ever-escalating forms of bullying and hazing, while the ones who just shrugged it off were at worst ignored and at best given occasional positive recognition from the much older kids.


Now that we’re all adults, we might think that such bullying has been left behind. This is playground fodder, after all. The nonsense and torments of high school are in the past for most of us, right?


The truth is that even as adults, we’re subjected to bullying in various, more subtle ways -- and our reactions to that bullying often determine our futures.


Don’t believe me? Take these ideas into account.



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