By Jessica Naziri, CNBC.com
What goals have you reached in the last year? Where are you still behind? In challenging economic times, people look for different ways to save money and clean up their finances. While the biggest savings come from limiting your spending to the cash in your wallet, the trick is to set reasonable goals. A good approach is to start with a few things that are so easy to fix that you'll stick with the program. You may be surprised how quickly these small changes can add up to real money in your pocket.
Here are 10 simple resolutions that can improve your financial position in the months and years to come.
See the slideshow: 10 Money-Saving Strategies
Shop InsuranceShop for Insurance
The reason you have to shop every year is that home and auto insurers change their prices based on their claims experience. The insurer who was the best bet two years ago may not be such a good value now. Spend half an hour determining whether you can get a better deal, and you might save
Blog Posts by CNBC
By Jessica Naziri, CNBC.comRead More »from 10 Money-Saving Strategies
- CNBC | Work + Money – Wed, Jan 18, 2012 3:08 PM EST
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.comRead More »from The Most Outrageous Mistakes Made at Job Interviews
The job market may be showing signs of life but competition remains fierce, so if you're headed to an interview, don't blow it.
No hugging!"The goal of any interview is to stand out from the other candidates and ultimately land the job, but make sure you stand out for the right reasons!" said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.
CareerBuilder recently polled a couple thousand hiring managers and found out that one of the most common mistakes candidates made at job interviews was answering a cell-phone call or text during an interview. Seven out of 10 hiring managers said they'd had a candidate do that during an interview.
They also cited dressing inappropriately, appearing disinterested, appearing arrogant and chewing gum among the most common mistakes.
That list alone should have you outraged on behalf of American job seekers everywhere, but it gets worse! Here are some of the most outrageous things hiring managers said they've seen
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.comRead More »from 5 Ways Debt is Good for You
Debt can get you into a lot of trouble, as the financial crisis illustrated with an exclamation point, but it's not all bad.
Debt is like a chainsaw: It can help you — or kill you."[T]here are times when taking on reasonable debt is the only way to meet your larger goals," said J.D. Roth, an "accidental personal-finance expert" and author of the popular "Get Rich Slowly" blog.
Roth knows all too well about debt: He calls himself an "accidental" expert, as he learned the hard way after racking up a large amount of debt and digging himself out.
The trick is to know when - and how - to use debt.
"Don't use debt to buy things you can't afford," Roth cautions. "Use it instead to help meet your goals."
"I often say that debt is like a chainsaw," he said. "A chainsaw can be a great tool to help you deal with big problems that might otherwise seem impossible to tackle. But if you're not careful, a chainsaw can kill you."
"Being responsible with your credit is very important," said Stacy Francis, a personal financial
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.comRead More »from What to Do when Your Kid Asks for More Money
Parents tend to be split on the topic of whether you should give your kids an allowance or not. But one thing is for sure - kids will always ask for money. And more money. And more money. MoneyMoneyMoney.
Show me the money!A family friend's daughter recently declared that she thought she deserved a raise - from $1 to a whopping $10 a week.
When asked what she's done in the past year to justify such a hefty increase, she responded with a bout of the giggles and the only discernable rationale seemed to be that she was adorable. (If only we could pull that off with our bosses!)
In her defense, she really is adorable, but it raises a good point: What do you do when your kid asks for a raise in his or her allowance?
"First, take it as an opportunity and ask: Why do you need a raise? What would this be going towards? Are you going to take on more responsibility for more money? And what percentage of this money is going toward savings?" said Stacy Francis, a personal financial
- CNBC | Fashion – Tue, Jan 17, 2012 2:41 PM EST
By Sally Shin, CNBC.comRead More »from What Burberry is Doing Right that Other Luxury Retailers Are Not
High street retailers have had a tough year in 2011, but Burberry is bucking the trend.
A global slowdown and Europe's still-unfolding sovereign debt crisis sets a dark cloud over the luxury market, but the British maker of trenchcoats and handbags turned in strong results earlier Tuesday.
Emma Watson wearing a white one-shouldered custom-made Burberry dress with a central split.Burberry said its revenues rose to £574 million ($879.7 million), a rise of 22 percent in its fiscal third quarter. The boost in Burberry's sales came mostly from growing emerging markets, especially China.
Shares of Burberry in its home market have gained more than 20 percent for the year. But the other ultra-high end retailers haven't been as lucky. Prada is down 12 percent, PPR, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, is down one percent and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton remains flat for the same 52-week period.
While many of these European fashion houses suffered, unable to win market share from more cautious luxury customers, Burberry has been tackling all fronts
- CNBC | Work + Money – Fri, Jan 13, 2012 4:28 PM EST
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.comRead More »from The Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work
Hey, Jim. Yeah, I'm not going to make it in — I'm, uh, trapped in a box again. With the hiccups. Yes! That's it. Trapped in a box with hiccups. Hep!There are 1,001 reasons why people are late to work.
Just bring up the topic of ridiculous reasons to be late and it is sure to stir up an interesting discussion.
A colleague recalled a former employee once called in because it was too hot.
Another recalled an employee at their previous job who was nearly fired for "calling in drunk."
Another recalled a local TV producer from her former job who once canceled a 6pm newscast because "there was too much news - I wanted to wait until 11."
And, perhaps the piece de resistance - one colleague recalled a friend who told his coffee-shop boss that he couldn't come to work because he'd been shot in the buttocks with a pellet gun. (True story!) And just when you thought that was the most incredulous part of the story, his boss replied: "Hey man, I've been shot in the HEAD with REAL BULLETS and I still came to work."
I know, that makes your excuse about having a little head cold sound lame, right?
By Colleen Kane, CNBC.comRead More »from Extreme Bathrooms
Washrooms of American homes have evolved drastically since Mamie Eisenhower first popularized the "Mamie Pink" powder room in the 1950s. Back then, the humble bathroom was simply a private little room with a few essential components: a bath tub, a toilet, a sink, and a mirror.
Oh, how times have changed. Restrooms in today's luxury homes can come equipped with features ranging from the indulgent to the outlandish. Among these are bidets, wall-mounted televisions, his-and-hers sinks, and patios or balconies. Some bathrooms come with impressive views that sometimes go both ways, as some modern bathrooms are noticeably lacking in privacy. There even exists a Swarovski Crystal-encrusted throne for consumers who have $128,000 to flush away. (It's not really for sale, but could probably be special ordered.)
The following extreme bathrooms were supplied by Realtor.com and Luxury Portfolio International.
See the full slideshow: Extreme Bathrooms
Santa Barbara, CA
By Cadie Thompson, CNBC.comRead More »from Celebrity-Promoted Products at CES
Celebrities are making the rounds again this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The tech show has reeled in a star-studded lineup, and the stars are drawing attention.
Whether they are endorsing a product or service, revealing their own branded product line or just there to draw crowds to some of the latest innovations, celebrities are everywhere at CES 2012.
See the slideshow: Celebrity Promoting Products at CES
50 Cent & Pauly D50 Cent and Pauly D
Product: SMS Audio Headphones
The rapper, actor and CEO of SMS Audio, Curtis James Jackson III, better known as 50 Cent, attended CES on Tuesday to promote his company's headphones called Sync by 50 and Street by 50.
Sync by 50, a wireless headphone, features a 17-hour battery life, noise canceling features and built-in controls to allow users to adjust volume, fast forward, rewind and bass.
Street by 50 is SMS Audio's new wired headphone. This headphone has noise-canceling features, a microphone with a
By Jill Weinberger and Joseph O' Dell, CNBC.comRead More »from TV Shows with the Most Product Placement
Major Shows, Major Placement
When a company pays for its product to be featured in a movie or a television show to increase brand awareness, it's called product placement. This form of advertising has been around almost as long as movies and television shows themselves, and has long been a secondary source of income for networks and content producers. When factoring in commercial-skipping technology such as DVR and on-demand programming, product placement becomes even more attractive for advertisers.
However, this type of brand marketing is a double-edged sword. While companies can weave their products into shows, they are in danger of alienating consumers with overzealous product-placement campaigns. The effectiveness of product placement is also a key question, and strategies can range from featuring a brand briefly on screen to having it play a key role in the plot.
In the past year, reality TV shows have been the leaders for
By Cindy Perman, CNBC.comRead More »from Stop Worrying! 8 Tips to Help You Knock it Off
All aboard the USS Adorable. Next stop — your happy place!We have worried A LOT in the past few years - about everything from jobs to money, the stock market and the debt crisis in Europe. Show me someone who doesn't worry, and I'll show you someone who takes recreational drugs.
Do an Internet search for "worry about" and it turns up 779 million results. (A search for "happy place" - as in find yours - turned up a mere 8.7 million results. That's 100 times more results for worrying than happy place, for those of you keeping score at home.)
And where does worrying get us exactly? Just look at the S&P 500 - It ended 2011 almost exactly where it started. (off .003 percent, to be exact)
So let's start fresh for 2012 - and agree to stop worrying so much and get on with it already. Here are some tips for how to knock it off.
1. Create a worry period. OK, so maybe the first rule of worry club is stop worrying about worrying. Instead of trying to wipe it off the map and start living life like a magazine photo shoot, a