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It sounds creepy, but some people recommend it.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 3:37AM

True confession: We made some extra money in college by drinking a prodigious amount of vodka in a hospital setting. By participating in this study, we earned $200, or maybe it was 50 bucks. (The memory was probably damaged by all the brain cells we killed.)


Have you ever helped the cause of science to make extra cash? Several bloggers wrote recently that they have.


Hank of Own The Dollar, guest posting at Budget Are Sexy, said he made a quick $40 by participating in a study about vaccines. "I was given the money for about 30 minutes of my time, a brief medical questionnaire, and five small vials of blood. Not bad for a half hour’s worth of 'work,'" he wrote.


Company's size is mind-boggling.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 3:27AM

Have you seen the e-mail making the rounds that says Wal-Mart's size is so immense that it's mind-boggling and scary? (The e-mail concludes with the statement, "Let Wal-Mart bail out Wall Street.")

It lists some amazing statistics about the recession-proof retail behemoth and, according to Snopes, almost all of them are true, including this one: "Wal-Mart will sell more from Jan. 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17) than Target sells all year."

And, in terms of sales, Wal-Mart truly is bigger than Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Sears, Costco and Kmart combined.

But is Wal-Mart truly the biggest company in the history of the world? (Imagine Keith Olbermann saying that.)


It's easy to opt out, but just hanging up won't do the trick.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 3:18AM

We're on the Do Not Call list, but we still get prerecorded calls from the likes of "Heather" and her fellow drones. Why is this happening? It's terribly annoying.

Luckily we came across this post by Herb Weisbaum, aka ConsumerMan at MSNBC, while we were researching another topic. He says you can now opt out of these calls -- and can do it quite simply. 


You might be surprised.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 3:11AM

Pinyo's wife thinks he's cheap. In his mind, he's frugal. Who's right?

He scored a 20 on the cheap vs. frugal test he devised and posted at Moolanomy. That score indicates that he's neither, but that he "appears to be reasonable" with his spending.

Take the test. It's fun. For example, here's Question No. 6.

You have some old clothes. Do you ...?
  1. What are you talking about? I don't have old clothes.
  2. I donate them when they get a little older.
  3. I turn them into rags.
  4. I am still wearing them.

It's easy to do with CDs, but it may require some planning.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 3:05AM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

Plenty of articles discuss the importance of emergency funds and how to set one up, so this is not going to be one of those. I assume that you already understand all that good stuff. (If not, check out these great articles at a Money Blog Network writing project.)

Here I'll discuss a strategy to maximize your emergency fund's interest earnings so you can lessen the pain of not having the funds in an investment account.

The strategy is quite simple and works on the assumption that you are using the emergency fund to cover month-to-month expenses and not an enormous cost that is in the multiples of a month, though it can handle that too.


Younger children often prefer simple, cheap toys.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 1:19AM

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

Over my son’s life, he's received numerous gifts from me and my wife, his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles. We have many toys he doesn't regularly play with, so we've given a few away and have some in storage so we can rotate them monthly, giving him the enjoyment of having “new” toys to play with.

His second birthday is approaching, and we've been thinking about what sorts of gifts are appropriate for him. What would he enjoy at this age? The surprising answer is that almost everything he indicates an interest in is very inexpensive.

This would likely be his gift list if he were writing his own:


Holiday shopping season is a great time to find one.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 1:06AM

This post comes from Andrea Dickson at partner blog Wise Bread.

Right now may be the perfect time to take a second job. The holiday season is gearing up in most retail stores, and chains everywhere are hiring seasonal workers. Whether it's stocking shelves, mopping floors, filling displays or selling goods, the shopping season is ramping up and now is the time to locate and nab those holiday gigs.  

If you, like many Americans, are deep in credit card debt, you might be wondering how you are going to pay it off. Or maybe you're not in debt, but need to make some extra cash to put a down payment on a car or condo, or start your own business. Maybe you just want to buy your sweetheart (or cat) something really special this holiday season.


Some folks take extreme measures to save some pennies.

By Karen Datko Oct 7, 2009 1:02AM

Some frugal-living tips -- turning two-ply toilet paper into one-ply -- seem over the top, but others, like reusing Ziploc bags, are accepted practice in lots of households. The Happy Rock provides six "cheaper than cheap" tips "that border on fanatical to the point of being humorous" and asks readers to vote on their usefulness.

"Rock" provides a thorough explanation of each über-frugal tip as part of an ongoing series of posts, complete with how-to links in case you need some help implementing them.



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