Money and Happiness – The Search for a Link Continues

The timeless search for a connection between money and happiness has spawned several new stories on the topic. A recent article on _Bankrate.com_, for example, said research has found some interesting variations in happiness by income. Most notably, while happiness increases a lot for one who moves from poverty to the middle class, beyond that, […]

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Savings Made Simple

Is confusion over asset allocation or investment choices in your 401(k) or 403(b) plan stopping you from participating? Get over it and get started. That’s the conclusion of new research by Putnam Investments (okay, they didn’t quite put it that way), which examined the impact of three factors on retirement savings. As reported in a […]

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Millionaire Madness

While a million bucks certainly doesn’t buy what it used to, an 8/15 _USA Today_ story said it remains the monetary benchmark of having “truly made it.” As a result, millionaire madness continues to permeate our culture. Game shows with million dollar prizes are among the biggest hits, books offering to teach us the “Secrets […]

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Scammers Show the Way to Savings

When Sid Kirchheimer decided to write about smarter spending, he turned to an unusual source: “reformed scammers.” The resulting book, “Scam Proof Your Life”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=as2&path=ASIN/1402730411&tag=wwwfinancia00-20&camp=1789&creative=9325, includes money-saving insights from an assortment of former con artists and other schemers. It also includes honest insiders’ tips on how to get better deals on everything from homes to healthcare. […]

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Is That Five-Dollar Tomato Worth It?

Organic products, once limited to specialty food stores, have become mainstream. With so many products now labeled as organic, and especially because of their higher prices, it’s important to know which ones are worth the extra cost. A New York Times article on 7/29 cited a that helps shoppers make informed choices. The study recommends […]

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The Piggy Bank Balance Transfer

Banks and other financial institutions are going after kids’ lemonade stand money. According to an article in the 7/29-30 issue of the Wall Street Journal, many financial service providers are offering everything from stick-on tattoos to iPods to entice kids to bank with them. And they’re offering more than just passbook savings accounts. Today, kids […]

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Lessons Learned on a Spending Sabbatical

Many people complain about the “consumer treadmill,” but few are willing to actually step off. An article on MSN recently profiled someone who did. Judith Levine spent a year buying only essentials—no movies, no restaurant meals, no ice cream. While her spending sabbatical enabled her to pay off nearly $8,000 in credit card debt, she […]

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When Filling Up Taps You Out

With fuel prices at record highs, filling the gas tank is starting to feel more like an investment than an expense. For some ideas on how to save on gas, a 7/26 posting on Businessweek Online said the most important steps are all pretty simple: keep our tires properly inflated, accelerate and brake gently, slow […]

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