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The past few years of economic upheaval should sound an alarm that the old ways of earn and spend demand a critical review.

By Karen Datko Jul 21, 2010 9:45AM

This post comes from Kentin Waits at partner blog Wise Bread.


The financial meltdown of the past three years begs for a new approach to money management and a reinvention of personal employment.


The forces and broader systems that affect our economic lives are unpredictable and, to large extent, not fully understood. How can average folks survive and thrive in the midst of what appears to be a sea change in our economic reality? How do we move away from a reactive duck-and-cover response toward true empowerment?


The five principles I embrace are old ones, slightly modified for the realities of an unstable job market and tightly interwoven national economies. They hearken back to other times when the future was clouded by uncertainty and life demanded a more active and nimble financial response.


After two years and 14 trades on Craigslist's barter section, the 17-year-old is driving a Boxster.

By Karen Datko Jul 20, 2010 8:01PM

Steven Ortiz enjoys driving his 2000 Porsche Boxster S to and from school. But, put off by the $150 oil changes and other maintenance costs, the 17-year-old from Glendora, Calif., is looking to trade it for yet another ride -- once again via the bartering section at Craigslist.

Ortiz started out with an old cell phone and eventually traded up to that sweet convertible, according to a story by Rebecca Kimitch in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. It took two years and 14 swaps at Craigslist to reach this point. She wrote:


Nervous lenders are taking an more severe view of mortgage applications when one borrower is out on new-baby leave.

By Karen Datko Jul 20, 2010 6:00PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis of MSN Money.


Take your pick: Stay home with the new baby, by all means. Or buy a home. But get ready for trouble if you do them at the same time -- while applying for a home loan, that is.

Tara Siegel Bernard reports in The New York Times that increasingly conservative lenders are rejecting or questioning borrowers who are home on maternity leave: "Expectant parents shopping for a home are not the only ones concerned about the date of the baby's arrival."


Free sandwich offered to employees of other fast-food chains who go to KFC in their work uniforms.

By Karen Datko Jul 20, 2010 2:19PM

KFC's latest promotion is sure to be less controversial than the free grilled-chicken meal deal that landed the company in court. Today only, employees of competing fast-food joints who come to KFC in a work uniform can get a free Doublicious sandwich, Original Recipe or grilled. 

Before you think about borrowing your cousin's or kid's (or mom's) McDonald's work attire and heading out the door, keep in mind that the offer is good only for the first 10 uniform-garbed diners who show up at participating stores. A maximum of 50,000 total will be handed out. correctly labeled this a "stunt."


Agency suggests states enact reforms to give consumers more protection in court proceedings brought by debt buyers.

By Teresa Mears Jul 20, 2010 2:04PM

To anyone who has read the stories about consumers harassed, taken to court and even jailed over debts they may not even owe, the latest Federal Trade Commission report on debt collection comes as no surprise.


The system is broken, the FTC concludes, and consumers don't have adequate protection against abuses. "The current situation is untenable," FTC Commissioner Julie Brill wrote.


The nickel-and-dime fees we're used to from banks could become dime-and-quarter fees.

By Stacy Johnson Jul 20, 2010 1:35PM

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


The main idea behind financial regulatory reform is to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis that sent our economy into the Great Recession. But there's more to the new law than that -- a lot more.


In addition to new rules regarding supervision and regulation of U.S. financial firms, other new rules do everything from reducing the amount stores pay for debit card processing to providing more financial literacy to our nation's citizens.


While many of the bill's provisions are designed to protect consumers, some of that protection will come at a price.


Shopping on the Web for basics can be convenient -- and pricey.

By Karen Datko Jul 20, 2010 12:44PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


Consumers running low on paper towels or dish soap used to run to the store. Now, the needed item could already be in the mail.


New sites (a sister site to and aim to keep shoppers in supply of common household goods. Their pitch: fast and often free shipping, competitive coupons, and regular reminders when (by their estimates) you're running low.


The regularity with which consumers buy household goods appeals to Web retailers, says Dawn Iacobucci, a professor of marketing at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Even offers groceries and home products. "They're all hoping to hook you on the convenience of home delivery for a regular order," she says.


But that convenience does come with a cost.


The first president was also one of the richest at his peak.

By Karen Datko Jul 20, 2010 11:11AM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy.


Ever wondered how much George Washington was worth? How about HBO legend (and my new fave) John Adams? Or President Obama? Well, you're in for a treat, kiddos. I got a tip from one of our readers that The Atlantic recently did a story on this.


It won't help you out in your own financial endeavors, but it'll be great for convo starters. And perhaps it will motivate you a bit too.



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