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Here's a tip for reducing the influence of advertising on your child.

By Karen Datko Dec 17, 2009 1:04PM

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

 

Recently, my 4-year-old son was watching a television program at his grandparents’ home. At our own home, we don’t watch much non-PBS programming, so this was one of my son’s first real exposures to advertising.

 

I came into the room after he had been watching for about 40 minutes and started to get his coat on and get him ready to go. He asked to finish watching the show, so I sat down with him for a few minutes.

 

At the end of the show, a commercial came on for some toy -- I think it was some sort of mechanized hamster. A couple of seemingly happy children were playing with them. After about 10 seconds, Joe turned to me and said, “Dad, I want one of those,” while pointing at the screen.

 

There are so many ways to waste money, I can't name them all. But I can name 5.

By Stacy Johnson Dec 17, 2009 11:52AM

The world is full of evidence that when something’s heavily advertised, it should be heavily scrutinized. In this TV news story/blog post I cover five of the countless examples.

 

Frequent flier cards that just don’t fly. Credit cards that offer frequent-flier miles used to be great deals, but with rising expenses and fewer fliers, airlines have had to cut back wherever they can. And in many instances, frequent-flier programs took the hit.  
 
These days, they’ve raised the number of miles needed to cash in on free seats and lowered the number of free seats available, so it’s really not such a good deal anymore.

 

Better idea?

 

The Miami Herald is asking online readers to charge a donation to their credit cards.

By Karen Datko Dec 16, 2009 7:35PM

People are generous with donations during the holiday season. But would you put your local newspaper on your giving list?

 

Yes, it’s come to this. The Miami Herald is asking online readers for a contribution. You can donate with your Visa, American Express or MasterCard.

 

No. But the holidays can be a great time to adopt one -- responsibly.

By Karen Datko Dec 16, 2009 5:49PM

The interwebs are filled with stories of happy pet adoptions. (Heck, we’ve even written one, reprinted here.) Disastrous tales also can be found. Here’s one, via AP, that got our attention:

Chihuahuas make up 30% or more of the dog populations at many California shelters. And experts say pop culture is to blame, with fans imitating Chihuahua-toting celebrities like Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus, then abandoning the dogs.
 

Don't take out thousands in student loans if you want to be a poet.

By Teresa Mears Dec 16, 2009 4:23PM

During a recession, with college tuition rising, some young people are questioning whether a college degree is worth the money.

 

No matter which article you read, the answer is usually: It depends. What are you going to study and what is your earning potential with or without the degree?

 

Perhaps the best question to ask is not whether a degree is worth it, but whether the degree you hope to attain at your college of choice is worth what it will cost you, especially if it means going deeply into debt to pay for your education.

 

Millions of shades and blinds are being recalled. Here's what you should know.

By Karen Datko Dec 16, 2009 3:25PM

This post comes from partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

The potential hazard of strangulation to young children has prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council to announce an industrywide recall involving millions of Roman-style shades and roll-up blinds.

 

The recall involves window coverings that can form a loop and cause strangulation. Here's what you can do if you have these shades or blinds in your home.

 

Take advantage of last-minute travel deals for popular New Year's destinations.

By Karen Datko Dec 16, 2009 1:43PM

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

 

In Decembers past, a New Year’s resolution to travel more stood in conflict with a resolution to save more money. This month, consumers can resolve to do both at once -- before the new year even begins.

This year, drop-offs in regional tourism along with the usual year-end push by the travel industry to meet its financial goals are yielding more last-minute deals on trips to popular destinations for New Year’s Eve.

 

6 ways to avoid becoming the stereotypical starving student.

By Karen Datko Dec 16, 2009 12:01PM

This post comes from Linsey Knerl at partner blog Wise Bread.

 

Back in 1996, I was a partial-scholarship private-college student with the “gold” meal plan. Despite having access to food almost anytime I wanted, I often went hungry. Why? I was a horrible planner, a bit bad with my time, and I really had no knowledge of food savings strategies.

Here are six things I finally learned about how to get more from your very limited college food budget.

 

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