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If the big fixes -- diets, gyms, even surgery -- haven't worked for you, try some of these ideas.

By doubleace May 31, 2011 12:55PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


It's expensive being fat. Or, to be more precise, it costs a lot trying not to be fat.


A recent study by the Canadian Obesity Network showed that, over the past year, people who spent money on weight-loss initiatives forked out -- clever, huh? -- an average of $2,666. That figure included a not-surprising $900 on commercial weight-loss programs, $766 on gym memberships and $400 on special diets, and a rather shocking $600 on prescription diet pills.


The study didn't say whether this spending was cost-efficient, but I suspect not. I know about such things: I'm a fat guy -- officially obese. 


As satisfying as getting a huge haul of discounted frozen juice may be, how much time is spent organizing the trip and storing the product?

By MSN Money Partner May 31, 2011 11:48AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


Reality television shows are getting more and more "extreme." Whether it's families with enough kids to field a football team or people who tip the scales at several hundred pounds, it seems like the television-watching public is obsessed with any extreme. The first reality show was basically extreme living on a remote island -- remember the first season of "Survivor"? (Surprisingly, I've never watched a full episode of any season of "Survivor." Not sure how I avoided it.)


Well, the latest craze seems to be a show called "Extreme Couponing." If you haven't seen the show, it basically follows people who buy a ton of stuff without paying a lot of money.


Some card companies have policies that restrict even legal purchases.

By MSN Money Partner May 31, 2011 10:17AM

This post comes fromQuentin Fottrellat partner site SmartMoney.


A little-noticed move by American Express to ban the purchase of medical marijuana with its credit cards has reignited a longstanding debate: How much can a credit card company control what you buy?


To the surprise of consumers, major credit card companies are making decisions about what they can and can't buy with their credit cards. What's off-limits?


Reader likes the finer things, like nice clothes and purses, but also carries credit card debt and saves nothing for the future.

By MSN Money Partner May 31, 2011 9:03AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.


I've received a lot of interesting out-of-the-ordinary questions from Get Rich Slowly readers recently. For instance, Rita asked about the moral implications of spending. Last week, Crystal wanted to know: What if she is materialistic? Is that wrong? If so, how can she change?


Here's what she has to say:


$10,000 for milk? 'Slightly used' toilet paper? We couldn't make this stuff up.

By MSN Money Partner May 27, 2011 3:11PM

This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.


I don't know about you, but I find a lot of things in life that often make me stop and just shake my head in pure bewilderment.


For example, why do tourists go to the top of tall buildings and then put quarters in telescopes so they can see things on the ground? And I still can't figure out why Hawaii has interstate highways. Then there are the audacious prices some folks are charging for the most mundane products. It's enough to make one wonder if people really buy this stuff.


To see what I mean, just look at some of these products I recently found on eBay and Amazon:


Personal-finance personality Suze Orman says prenuptial agreements are for everyone contemplating a marriage. Good advice?

By Stacy Johnson May 27, 2011 2:45PM

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


When you hear the word "prenup," what comes to mind? If you're like most people, you probably picture an old rich guy about to marry a young, not-so-rich gal.


While that's one traditional use for a prenuptial agreement, there are some personal-finance pundits -- notably, Suze Orman -- who  insist that prenuptial agreements are something virtually everyone considering marriage should have. In fact, in articles like this one, she says that even those who just want to move in together should consider a "cohabitation agreement."


Counting too much on Social Security is one of them. So is underestimating how long you'll live.

By MSN Money Partner May 27, 2011 2:22PM

This post comes from Tim Beganyat partner site Investopedia.


Retirement planning may be the most important financial task you can undertake. The stakes are sky high because it's up to you to make sure your retirement is secure -- or that retiring is even an option.


And there are no do-overs. If you mess it up, the only things you'll be able to look forward to in your golden years are money worries and penny-pinching, not financial freedom and a comfortable lifestyle.


There are certain mistakes people commonly make with their money, and any of them can spell disaster for a retirement plan. You can avoid them, though, if you know what they are. Here are five such mistakes you may already be making -- and how to deal with them:


Small town in Idaho says if you text while crossing a street, you'll pay a fine.

By doubleace May 27, 2011 12:25PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


Laws that forbid texting while driving are as common as a :) on your cellphone, but Rexburg, a small college town in southeastern Idaho, may be the first place to also ban texting while walking.


Officially, only texting while crossing a street is illegal. Which raises a question: If you are so engrossed in texting that you fail to notice that a bright-red 4,000-pound pickup is bearing down on you at 35 mph, how likely is it that you would realize you have left the sidewalk and entered the street?


OK, the real question is whether such a law is even needed. According to reports, there have been no accidents, just a few "close calls," in Rexburg, mostly near the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho. 



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