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  • 5 ways to save money while eating out

    By: Jenny Zhang,

    We all know it's far cheaper to cook at home instead of eating out, but there are those times when you just don't feel like cooking. There are also certain restaurants that no matter how hard we try, we just can't cook that dish the same way.

    Eating out can add up very quickly and by the end of the month, we're left wondering where the hundreds of dollars have gone. But just because we go out to eat doesn't mean it has to break the bank. Here are five ways to dine cheaply (and no, it doesn't mean you have to go to McDonalds), while eating well.

    1. will save you roughly 30 percent off your bill. The website offers $25 restaurant gift certificates for only $10, saving you $15 right off the bat. But there's an even cheaper way to do this. About once a month, Slickdeals will post a great sale at It's usually 80 percent off the already cheap price of $10, so you get a $25 gift certificate for just a few dollars. To find offers

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  • 5 money-saving websites for the savvy shopper

    By: Jenny Zhang,

    There are the people who love to shop because they love the stuff and then there are the people who love a good bargain. Me? I love the bargain. I can buy anything full price anytime, but a real bargain is rare - and perhaps it's the challenge that makes shopping more interesting for me.

    So, here are five great money saving websites every shopper should know about, because let's face it: our busy lives often make running to brick and mortar stores difficult at times.

    1. Slickdeals

    While this forum often features geeky computer stuff like duo processors and monitors, it also has some great finds. With the holidays right around the corner, watch Slickdeals for great sales on digital cameras, HD flat screens and even cooking ware.

    2. Travelzoo

    Love to travel? Check out this site's weekly deals. While Slickdeals has a lot of great vacation packages that are on sale (just type it into their search bar), Travelzoo offers the week's top 20 that are worth

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  • 7 Money Personalities to Avoid Dating

    Money and RelationshipsMoney and Relationships

    By: Ann-Marie Murphy,

    Love and money can be a toxic mix. Whether you're currently on the look out for your perfect match or you've already sealed the deal, beware of sneaky financial issues creeping in and wreaking havoc on your relationship.

    Look for the tell-tale signs early on that your money personalities may not be the best match. Here are the fellas to avoid when it comes to love and money. (And for the guys: This goes both ways. In fact, I may have a touch of the Money Tracker syndrome myself.)

    The Sucker

    These men are sweet and generous and probably far better people than I'll ever be, but there's a fine line between being giving and being taken advantage of. We're not talking about the guys who so heroically donate a portion of their salary to their favorite charity. We're talking about men who money moochers flock to because they can sense his inability to say no.

    Maybe it's the sister who "needs" a designer jacket, or the buddy who buys that big-screen TV

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  • Don't let the winter season cost you an arm... and a vehicle

    By: Angela Burkhart,

    The winter months can prove to be harsh on your vehicle especially if you live in an area where snow is abundant. Don't let the winter weather get the best of your car and your wallet. Here are a few ways you can detect problems before they arise:

    Check the Essentials

    There are several small checks you can do this winter to ensure your car runs on its best behavior:
    Check Your Oil
    Most oil changes are done once every 3 to 4 months - or approximately every 5,000 miles. If you change your oil before the winter season, you may not have to do it the rest of the winter. Plus, there are certain types of oil that may help your car run better in cold, harsh conditions. An oil change can cost as little as $9.95.

    Check Your Tires

    One of the worst things that can happen during the winter months is hitting a pot hole and damaging not only your vehicle's tire, but the rims as well. Have your tires checked to make sure the tread will last through the

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  • Know before You Go: Black Friday Shopping Tips

    Black Friday Shopping Tips

    By: Angela Burkhart,

    The busiest shopping day of the year is just a few days away. While some deals will be the best bargains around, others just might not be worth the hassle. Check out these tips for shopping smart on Black Friday:

    Check the Weather

    The last time I went shopping on Black Friday, I waited in line at Wal-Mart for 4 hours in about 3 inches of snow. The weather in my home state of Michigan can be pretty unpredictable; however, it appears that we will not have snow for this Black Friday's shopping experience. What about where you live?

    Make sure you check the weather and dress accordingly. While most stores will make shoppers form a line outside the store, stores like Wal-Mart have recently changed their Black Friday shopping policy. Be prepared to stand outside for lengthy periods of time.

    Get in Line Early

    In 2008, an employee of Wal-Mart died after bargain hunters breached the doors to the store. To help prevent another accident, Wal-Mart has Read More »from Know before You Go: Black Friday Shopping Tips
  • Men versus women: Who buys more homes?

    By: Jenny Zhang,

    With the first-time home buyer tax credit extension, buyers are rushing back into the housing market. Single-family homes are being bought up all over the country, but who's buying them?

    Contrary to popular belief, families and couples are not the only people buying homes. In fact, many singles are buying up homes now just because it's the best time to invest in a home. So the question becomes, who's buying more: Men or women?

    According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, twice as many single women are buying homes than single men. This could be due to a cultural influence that women are supposed to "nest." Regardless of the reason, there is definitely a statistical difference. These women also go against the "Devil Wears Prada" stereotype of a professional female executive who can afford anything. Instead, we see a full range of women who are divorced, never married, with children and without children. They also work in various professions, from

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  • Save like Scrooge: Money-Saving Ideas for the Holidays

    How to Save Money on Holiday GiftsHow to Save Money on Holiday Gifts

    By: Ann-Marie Murphy,

    You don't have to spend a fortune to bring joy to loved ones and create memories this holiday season. If this time of year stresses you out and empties your wallet of more cash than you can afford, maybe it's time to rethink your priorities. After all, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are about celebrating family and loved ones, not how many gifts you give or get.

    Luckily, there's a happy medium. Show your loved ones you care with thoughtful gifts that keep with the spirit of the holidays and don't cause you financial strain. Here are some money saving ideas to get you started:

    Don't Be a Gift Spendthrift!

    Just like it's not wise to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, it's not a good idea to shop for gifts without setting a personal budget first. Decide the total amount you're willing to spend, make a list of the people you're buying gifts for and break down how much you're going to spend on each person. And, most importantly, stick with it!Read More »from Save like Scrooge: Money-Saving Ideas for the Holidays
  • Home Buying: Things to Know before You Buy

    By: Angela Burkhart,

    If you're in the market for a new home, now is the perfect time to buy. Not only did the government extend the tax credit until April 30, 2009, but they also opened it up to current home owners who are looking to purchase a new house. Home prices are low and buyers have thousands of houses in their area from which to choose. With the downturn in the economy, many of the houses available are foreclosures or short-sales. So how do you know how much and what type of house you should buy?

    Buying The Right Home

    How Much House Can You Afford?

    Buying your dream home will only be a dream unless you can actually afford it. While your affordable price range depends on many different factors, one way to get in the ballpark is estimating two to two and a half times your annual gross salary. If you make $38,000 a year, you may be limited to borrowing only $80,000. While you may be able to borrow $80,000, a good conservative rule of thumb is to make sure your house payment Read More »from Home Buying: Things to Know before You Buy
  • Do peer pressure and saving money mix?

    By: Kristina Hall,

    No matter what your money situation, it's easy to spend like your money will never run out, especially when the company you keep tends to spend like mad.

    One of the perks I had during my recent college experience was living within walking distance of all my friends, which meant rarely needing to spend a lot of money to have a good time. But things are different now and draining my wallet seems to be a consequence of hanging out with friends.

    Peer pressure from friends
    Peer pressure to spend money affects people of all ages. It's your friend who always wants to go out for lunch or a co-worker who keeps up with the latest trends and fashions. That's the downside of all of this -- we feel pressure from those around us to act a certain way even if it's beyond our means. This is where the lesson we learned in grade school of "Just say no!" comes in handy for smart money management.

    Don't spend unnecessarily

    Within a group of friends, there can be a very diverse mix of financial

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  • Free stuff from Uncle Sam

    By: Angela Burkhart,

    Just like free food always tastes better, free stuff from the government is more savory too. We've compiled a list of some of the best freebies from Uncle Sam to help you with everything from smart shopping and educating your children, to damaged bills and unclaimed money from the IRS:

    Become a Smart Shopper

    To help you become a savvy shopper, the government has created a guide chock full of handy tips and tricks. The 2009 Consumer Action Handbook includes information about preventing identity theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint, filing for bankruptcy, finding a lawyer and much more. You can order up to 10 copies for free.

    Take Advantage of FREE Educational Resources

    If you're a teacher, you know how expensive educational resources can be. To lend you a hand, Uncle Sam has put together the Federal Resources for Education Excellence (FREE) website.

    FREE is among the most popular K-12 websites maintained by the U.S Department Read More »from Free stuff from Uncle Sam


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