Personal Finance Column


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 Personal Finance, This is why you're broke 
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This is why you’re broke, luxury water edition

As part of our new #WhyImBroke series, J. Money reminisces about one of the strangest, most face-palming money mistakes we’ve heard so far.

Luxury Water
I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff in the past, but the one that always stands out (and for good measure), was the time I blew $40 on a shiny bottle of “luxury” water. Yes, water. As in, something you can literally get for free by turning on your faucet and then cupping your hands beneath to retrieve it.

Back in the day I didn’t care much for that though. I liked “cool” things, and this company I sent my forty hard-earned dollars to — BlingH20 — promised to send back one of the most awesome, blingy’ness (new word), bottles of water I had ever seen in my entire 25 years on Earth, complete with “Crystallized Swarovski elements” that were “exquisitely made” in “Limited Edition.” Music to my young, naive, ears.

I still have it to this day – check it out:


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 Personal Finance 
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Want to do well financially? Don’t listen to baby boomers

Boomers have lots of advice for millennials about money but you probably shouldn't listen to any of it.I’m a little annoyed with the baby boomers these days.

While many younger people are having well-documented trouble finding jobs, there seem to be a lot of boomers making good money writing crotchety op-eds about all the ways that millennials fall short. They’re not career oriented enough, they say. They’re too dependent on their parents, they say. They stay single too long, they don’t think enough about the future, and so on.

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 Personal Finance 
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Can you resell Xbox One or PS4 consoles and make bank?

Can you make money when you resell Xbox One or PS4 consoles?The new video game consoles being released this month look cool, but will they flip?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while and followed our McDonald’s Monopoly Challenge, you know that we here at Bargaineering love a good financial experiment. As part of a series of stories on the financial side of the new video game consoles being released this month, we wanted to test whether flipping highly in-demand merchandise can actually make you money.
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 Personal Finance 
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Comments of the week, food costs edition

Readers were split on whether SNAP would cover their food costsLast week asked readers if we should continue this feature and got a positive response, so we decided we’d delve into the comments again.

This week we tackled a couple of controversial topics: SNAP, better known as food stamps, which was substantially cut starting Friday, and the rollout of the Obamacare exchanges, which has gotten off to a very rough start. Here were some of the best comments we got on those and other topics that offered a unique or helpful take.
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 Personal Finance 
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Haven’t started budgeting for the holidays? Now’s the time

If you don't start budgeting for the holidays until Black Friday, you may end up overspending.
Americans have a habit of getting buried in debt during the holidays.

In November 2011, Consumer Reports conducted a holiday spending survey and found that 14 million Americans were still paying off bills from the previous year’s holidays. That’s only about 6 percent of us, but the point is, we usually don’t start budgeting for the holidays until it’s too late, and that can lead to overspending and ultimately, debt.


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 Personal Finance 
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McDonald’s Dollar Menu to disappear soon

McDonalds Double Menu will soon disappearIf you’re the type who has a $1-a-day McDonald’s habit, prepare to be disappointed.

McDonald’s “Dollar Menu” will suddenly disappear starting Nov. 4 (no word yet on whether the Hamburglar is involved). In its place will be “Dollar Menu & More” with higher prices on some old Dollar Menu favorites, as well as some more expensive items in the mix. Prices will transition from a uniform $1 to a range between $1 and $5, according to Ad Age.


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 Personal Finance 
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Cellphone insurance: Is it worth it?

Is cellphone insurance worth it?When you buy a new cell phone, most companies take the opportunity to offer you insurance that’s supposed to protect you in case it breaks. But does it really help?

A couple of Christmases ago, I splurged and bought my boyfriend a smartphone. Because it seemed like a good idea at the time, I also paid for an insurance plan at about $10 a month.

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 Personal Finance 
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Comments of the week, debit card fraud edition

Debit cards can have pretty kitties, serious fraud riskWe had some great comments this week; as always, Bargaineering readers weighed in with perceptive commentary on the issues we covered.

A few readers had stories to share about how debit card fraud had affected them or people they knew, most of which turned out better than my poor friend’s story.
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