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Is getting the homebuyer tax credit worth rushing your purchase? Maybe and maybe not.

By Teresa Mears Apr 8, 2010 3:31PM

If you want to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for new homebuyers (or $6,500 for some repeat homebuyers), you have just 22 days to sign a contract on a house, then two more months to close.


But should you feel pressured by that deadline?


If you’re already looking for a house and you find the house you want in time, it makes sense to try to lock in a deal by the April 30 deadline for the credit, which is 10% of the purchase price or up to $8,000. But if you haven’t started looking or you don’t find a house you love in time, remember that a tax credit is just one piece of the financial puzzle you’ll need to solve to decide when (or whether) to buy a home.


A New Yorker is asking her friends to support her U.N. summer program. Worthy cause? Or tacky move?

By Janet Paskin Apr 8, 2010 12:21PM
At Bundle, our contributors are becoming expert in the ways Americans spend, save and earn money. Recently, Greg Spielberg reported the story of a young woman who is asking for money via Facebook:
Two years after graduating from NYU, Tanya Welsh was accepted to a United Nations summer program. Her problem: The program cost $2,500 -- about $2,500 more than Tanya had. Desperate to get to Geneva, Tanya posted a plea on Facebook. If each of her 300 friends gave her $8, she figured, she'd be well on her way to Switzerland. 

Which 'cures' for baldness, gray hair and wrinkles actually work?

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 11:54AM

This post comes from James Limbach at partner site


Let's face it: Getting older is no picnic. There are the aches and pains, wrinkles, gray (or no) hair and -- in some cases -- the absence of the energy upon which we all came to depend.


For these and other reasons, helping those of us getting older cope has become big business. In its May Issue, Consumer Reports takes a look at the various products -- baldness treatments, do-it-yourself hair dyes, and over-the-counter anti-wrinkle serums -- being hawked in hopes of keeping us from becoming too despondent every time we pass a mirror.


These are versatile and hugely nutritious. And did we mention cheap?

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 10:32AM

This guest post comes from Kris at Cheap Healthy Good.


Whether you’re broke and waiting for the next paycheck, or simply trying to cut back on your grocery bill, it’s vital to choose foods that give you the healthiest bang for your hard-earned buck.

These 10 foods do just that. They’re nutritional powerhouses for pennies on the dollar. Many could be considered superfoods, and have long been staples of frugal households. I included almost all of them (sorry, lentils) for CHG's $25 Challenge, and you’ll see that Hillbilly Housewife uses quite a few in her famous $45 Emergency Menu, as well.

To compile the final list, I used three main criteria. Each food is:


Mental anchors of we think things ought to cost cause us to overspend.

By Karen Datko Apr 8, 2010 8:25AM

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


I have a quick four-question quiz for you. Just give your snap response to these. Don’t think about each one too much.

  • What is a wedding supposed to cost?
  • What is an automobile supposed to cost?
  • What is a home supposed to cost?
  • What is a three-week vacation for a family of four supposed to cost?

Every year hundreds of thousands of consumers complain to the FTC. Here's how to avoid some of their most common problems.

By Stacy Johnson Apr 7, 2010 4:04PM
This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.
Every year the Federal Trade Commission puts out a list of the top sources of consumer complaints. As you go through the list, you’ll understand how you might fall for some of these come-ons. With others, you’ll wonder how anyone can be so dumb.
Earlier, we looked at the FTC’s top five sources of consumer complaints. Now let's take a look at complaints 6-10 on the list.  

Good news for guests: The amount you're expected to spend on gifts hasn't gone up.

By Karen Datko Apr 7, 2010 2:21PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Elilzabeth Trotta at partner site SmartMoney.


Memorial Day marks the unofficial kickoff of wedding season, which means we are about to enter the thick of wedding-gift-buying time. OK, sure, so you’ve known for months about the string of matrimonies you’ve promised to attend this year -- but you didn’t really add up the costs. The good news is that with couples spending less on their weddings, they will (hopefully) understand if you have to scrimp a bit on the gift, too.


Last year, the average wedding budget in the U.S. (not including honeymoon), was $28,385, down about 5% from 2008, according to a and registry study.


Web site helps sift fact from fiction in forwarded e-mails. No, Bill Gates is not going to send you money.

By Teresa Mears Apr 7, 2010 1:17PM

Be warned that if you ever send me a forwarded e-mail warning me of dire consequences (hypodermic needles at gas pumps, assailants in the back seat of my car, cell phone numbers being given to telemarketers), I will send you back the words “another urban legend” with the link to the debunking of the tale at


I am always amazed that otherwise intelligent people actually believe this stuff. I guess that’s why popular scams, such as the Nigerian letter scam, remain persistent. Here’s my first piece of advice: If information comes to you in a forwarded e-mail, there is a good chance it’s not true.


And, of course, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


For 14 years, David and Barbara Mikkelson of California have been researching -- and debunking -- widely circulated misinformation for



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