Personal Finance Roundup

When should you spend to save? [MSN Money] “Are warehouse store memberships a good deal? How about extended warranties? It all depends on the products — and on you, the shopper.”

7 reasons to review term life coverage [Bankrate] “There are several life events that may modify your need for term life insurance coverage.”

Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed [Wise Bread] “Here are some tips that could be helpful for those [facing unemployment].”

Four Habits of Financially Peaceful People [Yahoo Finance] “Some people who have found financial peace — and the habits they share.”

4 Ways to Save on College Textbooks [Smart Money] “Here are some other ways students can save [on textbooks].”

(Photo: balotto)


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  1. Not Alvis says:

    I don’t know that life insurance falls under the “personal finance” banner. Isn’t it by definition concerned with OTHER people’s finances?

  2. battra92 says:

    Saving on college textbooks was always hard for a business major. It seems the companies were just out to get you.

    I loved my math professor who assigned us a $12 textbook and put up on the board showing 50 some odd copies in the used and new section with a cost of $5-8 shipped.

  3. synergy says:

    OK, I don’t know what classes some of these people are taking and how many books they need, but I have never known ANYONE to spend in a single semester $900 much less $1700 (like a commenter to the article) on books! I have a science degree and the most I ever paid for a book 8-12 years ago was, I think, $120 before I wised up.

    In our bookstore I once went around in anger seeing that the science/tech books (biology, chemistry, engineering, computers etc.) were the most expensive books in the whole place. I’ve since been in other college bookstores and this remains true.

    Now that I’m going part-time back to school in science again I just got two books, new, through Amazon Marketplace for just under $93. That includes shipping. Those or whatever it is that are targetting only college students, I’ve found, still cost more than Amazon. In some cases a lot more.

  4. theblackdog says:

    I have always loved, unfortunately some of the publishers have made it practically worthless to sell your textbooks at the end of the semester.

    Many of my computer science textbooks started coming with software that could be used with the book along with a one-time use code that was sent into the company, rendering the software worthless if you tried to sell your book to someone else. Other books advertised websites with additional information…using a special 2-3 month only code to get in. So if your professor used any of the extras in the book, you were potentially screwed buying a used copy.

  5. @synergy: It’s gotten so much worse; most if it now comes bundled with CRAP, sometimes crucial to the book or the class, and new editions come out every couple of years.

    My students use a standard ethics text 1/4 of the size of the first Harry Potter that costs FORTY DOLLARS and is in its sixth edition. It’s not like a lot of labor continues to go into it. What’s absolutely mad about the whole process is that if the bookstore continues to sell the old edition after the new edition debuts, they lose their contract with that distributor, full stop, and can’t get any of the textbooks from that company! The students complain, and rightfully so, that the bookstore won’t buy back their used books when the edition changes (and they change more and more often these days), but they don’t realize the bookstore is actually forbidden from doing so by the companies.

  6. ColoradoShark says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: An overpriced frequently updated ethics book. I’m pretty sure you can file that under irony.

    To be generous as possible, perhaps they are setting the bad example that you are not supposed to follow.

  7. DaWezl says:

    @synergy: When I was in school back in the 80’s, I easily had to spend $300-500 per semester on books (and I was studying the arts, so I only had a limited number of textbooks to buy). I would not be at all surprised to find people spending $700+ now.

    Speaking of ethics, the school had a nasty habit of requiring you to buy the latest edition of textbooks that had been written by the faculty. They would change just enough so that you could not really follow along if you tried to use the older edition.

  8. I teach at community college — MANY of my students pay more per semester on books than on tuition.