If you feel like you are getting less for you money, it might be because your food package is smaller, not just because food costs more. During the economic downturn, food manufacturers have been quietly shrinking food packaging. As the rate of food inflation has been accelerating, so has the rate of food package shrinkage. As shoppers start to notice they are paying more for less, the spin from food manufacturers is that smaller food packaging is good for the environment and more convenient for consumers.
The incredible shrinking food package
Shrinking food packaging isn’t a recent phenomenon. When unemployment is high [...]
To stay on budget is harder every day. The economic crisis affects most of us every day as we tighten our belts and keep our wallets in check. But like a dieter craving sweets, temptation is always there to consume beyond our means. Thankfully, there are simple things you can do when the cravings get to be too much.
Thinking long term can help. Instead of seeing savings and frugality as a chore, think big picture. You and your family will be happier if you aren’t overextending to pay off last month’s splurge.
Realistic frugality begins with a realistic plan. If [...]
There are few things in life as monotonous and frustrating as waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Yet the most unlikely of heroes – dmv.ca.gov – has stepped forward with a sanity-preserving service, reports the Modesto Bee. Driving records are now available online.
Don’t stand in line, go online at dmv.ca.gov
Bureaucracy is self-perpetuating, so let staying home and logging on to dmv.ca.gov for driving records online be your small way of refusing to feed the line monster. According to a recent California Department of Motor Vehicles news release, secure access to a driver’s record is now just a [...]
Many people would like to give more to charity; giving to a worthy cause or a person in need is among the noblest of deeds. However, rampant charity fraud and corruption among non-profit organizations make it difficult to know who or what organization is worth giving to.
Americans are charitable people
According to MSNBC, around $291 billion was donated to charity in 2010. Though it was 6 percent less than charitable donations in 2007, it was still a 4 percent rise over 2009. The bulk of it, $211.1 billion, was by individuals.
13 percent of charity revenue goes to charity fraud
Fraud and embezzlement [...]
The hotel industry is one that most of us patronize only occasionally, especially when you find the hidden hotel fees. For many travelers, the proliferation of new hotel fees are proving very surprising. Here are the most common new fees and how to avoid them.
An extra $800 million in fees
The hotel industry, in 2001, generated about $1 billion in add-on fees and services that were, at one point, included with the cost of a room. In 2011, that figure is expected to clock in a record profit of $1.8 billion. This additional $800 million is expected to come from fees [...]
Applying for a loan by phone is perhaps the fastest, most convenient way of borrowing money. You don’t have to drive anywhere or visit multiple lenders just to get a helping hand. Sites like Personal Money Market are here to help you through your cash needs the fastest, easiest way possible.
A loan by phone can get you money fast
You can access quick funding using your iPhone, smartphone or any other wireless device. Call the toll-free number located in the top left corner of the page and a loan application specialist will help get you started right away. Or better yet, [...]
The Story of Bottled water is a short film by Anne Leonard. In The story of Bottled Water, Leonard shows how corporations have convinced Americans to spend extra cash on half a billion bottles of water every week though most people in this country can get it for free. “Purified” bottled water has become a $5 billion-a-year industry in the U.S. and ironically threatens public health and the environment.
World Water Day
In an article on huffingtonpost.com, Anne Leonard said she chose World Water Day to release the Story of Bottled Water because World Water Day is:
“a good day to pause and [...]
Short term loans and similar money loans have been a thorn in the side of banks and credit unions who have sought to gain a foothold as direct lenders in the short term credit market. Payday lenders have addressed the consumer need for quick cash with aplomb, making successful entry into the market perhaps more difficult for traditional financial institutions. As a recent study by UC David Ph. D. Victor Stango entitled “Are Credit Unions Viable Providers of Short-Term Credit” suggests some of the reasons why credit unions (and by extension, even traditional big banks) aren’t mounting any serious completion [...]
Retail sales and consumer confidence are key economic indicators closely watched by economists and investors. People often assume retail sales and consumer confidence would rise and fall in tandem. But separate reports released show strong retail sales trend followed by declining consumer confidence.
Retail sales surge
Retail sales in the U.S. increased at a greater rate than in any year since 1999, according to the Commerce Department. From 2009 to 2010, U.S. retail sales increased 6.8 percent, the strongest growth since an 8.2 percent surge in 1999. December retail sales rose for the sixth month in a row, increasing 0.6 percent to [...]
The growing wealth gap in America is a disturbing trend. The wealthiest of Americans are getting wealthier, and the gap is wider than most people realize. With conditions like these, it’s no wonder people are running for payday loans.
Wealth gap is astounding
The gap between the wealth held by the richest 20 percent and the rest of the nation is growing, and it’s significantly larger than a lot of people realize. According to the Los Angeles Times, recent data indicates that the richest 20 percent of Americans hold about 85 percent of the wealth. The poorest 40 percent hold close to [...]
Dentures usually require a denture cream to attach to an individual’s gums, and Fixodent is a popular product for that. An ABC News investigation has led to a Fixodent lawsuit. The lawsuit is based on the allegation that Fixodent could be poisoning customers. The secondary allegation is that the company knew and did not warn customers.
Damage to nerves can happen with fixodent
In 2006, researchers at the University of Texas found a connection between denture creams and zinc poisoning. Zinc poisoning can cause loss of sensation, muscle weakness, paralysis and numbness. When people use Fixodent, the zinc in sits all day [...]
Nationwide mortgage rates are creeping up despite dismal sales and demand. Interest rates on major mortgage products have been rising steadily for the past few months, though the rates are still near record lows. The real estate industry is still embroiled in a quagmire involving foreclosures, and demand is nearing an all time low.
Cheap housing cannot stimulate much demand
Even some of the cheapest real estate on record cannot seem to boost sales. Recent housing data revealed new home sales and existing home sales fell during February. Interest rates on mortgage rates are climbing since hitting near-record lows in the fall [...]
If you’re looking to have fun on a budget this summer, but are burdened by a miniscule budget, consider what your community has to offer. A little creativity and a community activity guide can lead you to free fun in no time. Here are some ideas about how to have family fun without spending any (or much) money.
Mining your community for gems
It’s easy to plop down major coin on entertainment. Food, activities and monthly memberships are fabulous fun, but not if you’re left with too little money to pay the bills. City tourism bureaus and chambers of commerce are great [...]
The past few months have featured a lot of coverage about the booming levels of student loans. Unlike other installment loans, there’s no way to discharge the debt, and many students are left holding the bag with fewer opportunities for decent employment. Many are questioning whether college is worth it.
College not worth student loans, says wide swaths of media
One may notice that similar columns appear on various news and opinion sites bearing a headline implying “College is not worth it” and some that assert the opposite. Billionaire Peter Thiel controversially offered anyone willing to drop out of or forgo college [...]
What should you know about finances before a certain time? There really is no answer to that, but here are three things to do before you’re 30. If you haven’t done these yet, don’t worry it’s never too late to start.
Stay out of debt
This is possibly the most complicated piece of advice out there. Consumer debt is essentially any debt that does not have a chance of appreciating in value. Generally, credit cards of any kind are considered consumer debt. Debt that is likely to pay back on the investment may be justifiable, but debt to pay for a want [...]
Popular wisdom would have us believe that seniors are more susceptible to falling for scams because of diminished brain activity, coupled with an accumulation of assets. However, new research suggests that as people age, they may lose those “spider senses,” or gut feelings, that alert people to situations in which they should raise their guard.
Are seniors more vulnerable to scams?
An estimated $2.9 billion was bilked from American seniors in 2010 alone, according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute. What makes the elderly more vulnerable to this kind of crime? Shelly Taylor, a professor of psychology at the University of California [...]