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That's not as dangerous as it sounds. Free how-to clinics teach small fry the joys of DIY.

By Donna_Freedman Jun 18, 2010 12:09PM
My niece, Alison, is all about the affordable family fun. As an elementary school teacher, she has summers off and has already mapped out this one: free summer movies, library programs, coach-pitch Little League, free outdoor concerts, and heavy use of annual family memberships to the Alaska Zoo and the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

And twice a month her two boys grab hammers and don goggles for free how-to clinics at Home Depot and Lowe's. Lucky mom: She gets two jewelry organizers, two miniature Adirondack chair flowerpot stands, two pet-treat keepers, etc.

Since the family's ancient cat has passed beyond the treat stage, what exactly is a pet-treat keeper good for?  

Today's graduates may not find a job, but they should find it easier to be insured.

By Stacy Johnson Jun 18, 2010 8:18AM

This post comes from Donna Gehrke-White at partner site Money Talks News.

 

Just graduating from high school or college and don't have health insurance? You're not alone. Almost one-third of Americans under 26 lack health insurance, the largest group in the U.S., Uncle Sam estimates.

 

A job seeker's confession in a post ignites a lively debate.

By Karen Datko Jun 17, 2010 6:46PM

A recent post at DailyWorth set off a heated debate at DW and at the Bucks blog: Is it acceptable to lie about your previous or current salary when you're applying for a job?

 

The issue was presented from a female perspective: Women need to be more aggressive about asking for higher pay, in their current jobs and when applying for new positions. In the post, a job seeker said she upped her current salary by a mythical $5,000 when a job recruiter asked how much she made, and then "summoned up my inner guy" and successfully negotiated another $5,000 when the prospective employer offered to meet her current salary.

 

Bonus! "Between my white lie and my assertiveness, I'd managed to snag $10,000 more than I was making," she gloated.

 

How do you feel about that? Readers had plenty to say:

 

Debtors' prisons may have been outlawed in the 1800s, but residents of some states are being arrested over unpaid bills.

By Teresa Mears Jun 17, 2010 5:00PM

Deborah Poplawski was feeding a parking meter in downtown Minneapolis when city police pulled up, arrested her and took her off to jail. She was forced to change into jail-issue underwear and an orange uniform and sleep in a room with a dozen women, one of whom offered her drugs. She spent 25 hours in jail.

 

Her crime? She failed to pay $250 in credit card debt. 

 

Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the U.S. in the 1800s, but more debtors are being sent to jail through the efforts of aggressive third-party debt collectors, who are using the courts and the police to collect old debt they bought for pennies on the dollar.

 

It was easier than I thought to dump cable and go online for all my television needs.

By Kim Peterson Jun 17, 2010 2:16PM

For as long as I can remember, I've paid for cable. But as the years have gone by, I found myself watching less and less of it while my monthly bill crept higher.

I was finally at the point where my family was paying $65 a month for cable -- just so my son could watch an hour of the Disney Channel each day. Wow, that was a pricey hour!

It didn't take me long to come up with a plan. First, call up Cox Communications and cancel. Resist urge to say nyah-nyah-nyah to polite customer service agent. That was the easy part. Then I had to get creative.

 

Or you could pay for the right to display your love for your team on an electronic plate.

By Karen Datko Jun 17, 2010 1:48PM

Here's where technology and California's hulking budget deficit may make a happy match. The Legislature there is considering a bill to study the benefits of selling advertising on electronic license plates.

The advertising or another message of the driver's choice would appear on a rear license plate only after the vehicle has stopped for four seconds. Otherwise, we'd have a new form of distracted driving: "Sorry, officer, I was mesmerized by the ad for the (strip club, cheeseburger and fries, Los Angeles Dodgers, etc.)"

 

The extra cost per month for driving to work is all about flexibility and saving time. How valuable is that to you?

By Karen Datko Jun 17, 2010 12:12PM

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

 

Aaron writes in:

I love your cost breakdowns when you calculate the real truth behind some financial choice. I've got one for you. Is it really cheaper to ride public transportation to work? I have a bus stop about a block from my house. For about $2 each way, I can use public transportation to get to work, which is about 15 miles away. But I have a car that gets about 28 miles per gallon and gas is about $3, so I'm breaking even to make the commute and I have a lot more flexibility. I just don't see how the numbers add up.

In the numbers you give above, you're neglecting a whole bunch of factors.

 

Think April 15 is taxing now? If you own a small business, you haven't seen anything yet.

By Stacy Johnson Jun 16, 2010 7:16PM

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

 

Laws as complex as the recently enacted 2,000-page health care reform bill often bring about unexpected consequences. Example? To help pay for health care, tucked inside it is a provision that will release a potential tidal wave of unwanted paperwork for businesses ranging from huge corporations to mom-and-pop shops.

 

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