Congress has said no. So what's next for the millions of people depending on those checks?
You've likely read that Congress can't agree to renew extended unemployment benefits, meaning 2 million jobless Americans will lose those checks by the end of December, and 2 million more will join their ranks in the first two months of the new year.
Sounds simple enough, but confusion reigns. Some seem to think the current debate is over whether every unemployed person is entitled to 99 weeks of benefits -- or even more.
That's not what's happening here. To best understand, let's look at the benefits unemployed people have been eligible for in the last two years and what will happen now.
Some believe you're better off leaving it lie, though a good Samaritan might take more initiative.
You're walking down the street, you look down and you see a debit card lying at your feet.
Do you pick it up?
Picking up a fallen debit card and trying to return it to the rightful owner isn't necessarily the best course of action. Are you surprised?
Shopping for that special someone, guys? Here are five things you might want to cross off your list.
When it comes to gift giving, the thought does count -- but think twice before you shop for the special lady on your list.
Although we pick presents with good intentions, let's not forget that good intentions also pave the road to hell. So if you're a guy without much experience in gifting, or if your special someone has ever found your "perfect gift" perfectly offensive, read on.
Blogger gets disappointing results after participating in four auctions at the website.
A reader recently asked for my opinion of QuiBids, an online auction site where you have to pay for your bids, but bids only make the auctions go up in 1- or 2-cent increments. I replied that my back-of-the-envelope math makes the site not worth your time.
- Quick quiz: 10 questions to estimate your credit score
Several readers wrote to me immediately afterward, bragging about various items they got at a steep discount and urging me to reconsider my perspective on it. So I decided to give the site a fair shake.
Budgets are tight and gift lists can be long, so it's time to start looking for ways to find more cash.
This post comes from MSN Money's Liz Pulliam Weston.
The holidays can be expensive -- and there are only so many people you can kick off your gift list before you start to feel positively Scrooge-like. When you can’t trim expenses any further, it’s time to look for ways to raise more cash.
Now, you could try holding a yard sale (in the snow) or opening a lemonade stand (in the snow), but there are other, easier ways to come up with free money, including the following:
New technology brings new ways to use mobile devices, but it also is likely to bring even more complex wireless pricing plans.
Here's news you didn't want to hear: Cell phone plans are likely to get more complicated.
That's right. A product with which you can easily incur $34,000-plus in charges for just a few months of misunderstanding is going to make it even more difficult to understand your service –- at least if you want to do more than talk. You didn't think new technology was all fun and games, did you?
Trying to find the right holiday gift for someone who has everything? Consider a gift that helps a worthy cause.
First, the bad news: Even rich people are feeling the pinch in this recession -- and the poor are paying for it. Charitable donations are down more than a third among the wealthiest Americans.
In 2009, nearly all -- 98.2% -- of Americans with a net worth above $1 million gave to charity. But the amount of their giving dropped significantly from just two years earlier. After adjusting for inflation, average charitable giving by millionaires plummeted 34.9%, from $83,000 to $54,000.
"Charitable giving follows the overall economy," said Una Osili, director of research for the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, which conducted the 2010 Bank of America Merrill Lynch Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy (.pdf file). "When economic conditions improve, charitable giving improves as well."
But average Americans may be picking up the slack. A new survey by Christian relief agency World Vision found that 51% of Americans said they'd be more likely to give a charitable gift -- a gift that benefits a charity -- as a holiday present this year.
Think inside the box and put used cardboard back to work.
Cardboard boxes are part of our visual vernacular -- trash to shopkeepers, treasure to eBay sellers, an annoyance to blade-wielding stock boys (and girls) around the world. Whether we're breaking them down or taping them back together, we are awash in a sea of these multisized corrugated work horses.
The list below is a love letter to the cardboard box -- 30 tips to reinterpret, reinvent and reuse it either temporarily or permanently. Take some tongue-in-cheek, take some to heart, and the next time you can -- take a few home from the curb.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'