Personal Finance Roundup

Say no to tax-rebate gift cards [MSN Money] “Hand over your check to a retailer and you’ll get a 10% bonus to spend. It’s tempting. But wouldn’t you rather buy your freedom than power tools or a few extra groceries?”

Antique shoppers’ best-kept secret [CNN Money] “Estate sales can be treasure troves for deeply discounted art and collectibles.”

For Many, Thrift Shops Are a Wardrobe Essential [New York Times] “More consumers are concluding that brand new is not necessarily better.”

The Savage Truth: How to Pay for College [The Street] “Given the tough economic times, and the relatively high interest rates on student loans, it’s no wonder that families are questioning the costs.”

Another Family? Keep the Money Straight. [The Wall Street Journal] “Tying the knot in later life also can bring financial complications, which — for most people — weren’t an issue the first time around.”

(Photo: corsec67)


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  1. BigElectricCat says:

    Sometimes (especially when the economy isn’t doing so well), you can score great deals at pawnshops, too. Camera & A/V equipment, sporting goods, power tools, etc. The wife and I are on the lookout for a pawnshop Wii.

  2. r081984 says:

    Here are the best way to pay for college:

    Go to an in-state school!!!

    I go to Purdue which costs me around $16K a year (room and board)

    There are people who pay over $30K to go to Purdue from out of state.
    In-state = $64K for 4 years
    Out-of-state = $120K for 4 years
    To pay $120K to make $30K a year is crazy.

  3. dulcinea47 says:

    Getting a rebate gift card and buying something you don’t need is a bad idea. But you’re going to have to buy groceries no matter what, so why not get a gift card for $330 of groceries, and put $300 of your own cash toward your debt?

  4. TangDrinker says:

    @r081984: Yes, but Indiana has odd residency requirements. When I was at IU for grad school, the requirements to be a resident is that you had to live in the state for a full year without even applying to school before you could be a resident. I did the delayed entry because I thought I could gain residency that way, but nope, no dice.

    It got to be that I wasn’t considered a “resident” of any state for in-state tuition when I was enrolled at IU, paying taxes to, registered to vote in, etc all to Indiana – and my old state (CT) didn’t recognize me as a resident there because of my newfound tax payer/drivers license in IN.

    And UCONN didn’t have the grad programs I was interested in, IU did.

    In retrospect I probably should have moved to Indiana before applying, but heck, what if I hadn’t been accepted – there’s no way I’d live there otherwise!

  5. @r081984: THIS.

    My kid goes to a SUNY school ten miles from home. Even with the current exorbitant gas prices, commuting is way cheaper (and more comfortable) than dorm living. The used car we bought him when he graduated from high school paid for itself the first semester.

  6. ElizabethD says:

    Some of us live in states with no good in-state college choices. Like: one state university, with its budget currently being hacked to death by a state running in the red. So, yay for you guys in larger states with good in-state college choices.

    That being said: I am glad to see that families are urged to appeal financial-aid awards that aren’t adequate. So many people seem to be unaware that it’s not only OK, but normal, to do this. Never take the initial award letter as a final answer! Always write (we sent both a hardcopy letter and e-mail) and list simple bullet points supporting your position that your child will need more financial help to attend. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.