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How to make the most of your wedding registry

by Miranda Marquit on December 03, 2013

Creating a wedding gift registry is a great opportunity. Don't blow it.
Registering for wedding gifts can be a lot of fun. I remember the heady feeling that accompanied wielding the scanner gun. Choosing your own wedding presents — what could go wrong?

But my husband and I soon found ourselves pointing the barcode reader at increasingly silly items, some of which we actually received. I’m sad to say that many of the gifts we registered for were donated to the thrift shop two or three years later, after we realized that they were just taking up room in the apartment.
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3 ways to avoid becoming a consumer victim during Black Friday shopping

by Miranda Marquit on November 27, 2013

Avoid becoming yet another victim of Black Friday shopping.It seems like such a good idea: spend a few hours on a day you’d otherwise just be sitting around in a turkey-induced stupor to knock out your holiday shopping at a fraction of what you’d normally pay.

Yes, Black Friday is billed as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and has a reputation as the time to get the best deals on toys, clothes, electronics and everything else on your holiday shopping list.

But is Black Friday really such a good time to score deals? How much are you truly saving when you drop everything to try for a doorbuster?
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How to fight a price hike when your limited-time cable offer is ending

by Miranda Marquit on November 25, 2013

When limited-time cable offers end, it's time to put on your haggling helmet.Many of us have been there: You sign up for a great deal with a cable or satellite provider, only to face a price hike at the end of six or 12 months.

The good news is that you don’t have to put up with price hikes. With so much competition in the telecom industry, and with cable and satellite providers threatened by newer, cheaper entertainment options, there’s a good chance you can keep your cable bill low.
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Tax breaks for teachers and others getting the ax next year

by Miranda Marquit on November 21, 2013

Teacher tax credits and others will disappear next year.Which tax breaks have you become accustomed to? Over time, even many  tax breaks that are written to be temporary from the get-go start to feel like they will be around forever. As a result, it’s often a shock when these tax breaks disappear rather abruptly. In fact, it often feels like a tax increase when these breaks expire. If you’re not paying attention for tax planning purposes, such changes can mean a large — and unexpected — tax bill.

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Letting your man manage your finances? Watch out

by Miranda Marquit on November 19, 2013

Must-knows about money for womenIn many relationships, financial decisions are delegated to one partner, and overwhelmingly, that person is male.

A recent study from Fidelity found that just 24 percent of women say they take responsibility for day-to-day financial decisions. And that actually  represents an increase since 2011, when just 15 percent of women said so.

That gender gap presents a danger for women, in part because the life expectancy for women is longer than it is for men, and because women traditionally give up some of their earning power to be caregivers for at least part of their careers. Divorce can also hit women harder than men; according to a 2011 Census report, 23.3 percent of divorced women had taken public assistance in the last 12 months, versus 14.7 percent of divorced men and 15.2 percent of married women.
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Evil bedbugs will devour your blood, wallet

by Miranda Marquit on November 14, 2013

Bedbugs are gross, incredibly expensive to get rid ofIt starts small: waking up with a few itchy red bites on your skin, and maybe finding some of their empty shells in your bedroom. But a bedbug infestation can eventually get really, really bad, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to resolve and potentially torpedoing your home’s value in the process.
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5 tips for making money with Airbnb from someone who’s actually done it

by Miranda Marquit on November 13, 2013

AirBnB can help you turn a dusty old spare room or extra property into quick cashGot an extra room or an unoccupied property somewhere? Airbnb can turn that in to cash-money, and quickly.

Airbnb is one of the leading travel rental web sites that let you become the proprietor of what amounts to a mini-hotel. If you have a spare room sitting uselessly in your home, you can use Airbnb to arrange a short-term rental with travelers looking for inexpensive accommodations.
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Do e-gift cards sent on social media make good holiday gifts? Not always

by Miranda Marquit on November 07, 2013

Giving e-gift cards doesn't mean your gift can't be personalizedOver the last couple of decades, gift cards have become the gift of choice for many. It’s not hard to see why: They are convenient to give, and recipients often enjoy them more than a gift you’d pick out for them, since it allows them to get what they want.

Gift giving is even easier now, thanks to the fact that it’s possible to send e-gift cards through social media. Over the summer I sent an Amazon gift card to my brother-in-law via Facebook. It was a huge hit, since he loves shopping on Amazon, and we keep up with each other through Facebook. It was the perfect way to send him a birthday gift he could use. But Facebook isn’t the only social media gift source. Now Twitter has gotten into the act, allowing users to send Starbucks e-gift cards to other Twitter users.

But what do e-gift cards mean for etiquette? Do we run the risk of alienating friends and family by sending gifts through Facebook and Twitter?


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