Alpha Consumer

May 2008


Vote: How Is the Economy Affecting You?

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The verdict is in: Americans are worried about the economy. The latest evidence comes from an AARP nationwide survey that asked respondents ages 45 and over about how they have responded to the slowdown. Most participants said that the economy is in bad shape and that they have changed their own ...

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TAGS:
economy

Surviving a Layoff

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I am the kind of person who needs a back-up plan. That's why I'm a big fan of emergency funds and tend to make (probably overly) safe investments with my short-term savings.

So I was eager to read the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's ideas for surviving a layoff, a worst-case scenario ...

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TAGS:
careers

Eat Better for Less

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I recently chatted with Fred Grandy at Retirement Living TV about how to save money at the grocery story. (Fred, a vegan, even makes his own hummus.) You can view the video below.

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5 Ways to Stop Wasting Food

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While I'm on vacation this week, other bloggers will be writing guest posts. Here is the first one, from Jonathan Bloom, who blogs at WastedFood.com.

OK, quick quiz:

Which purchase is likely to yield food waste?


a) Discount club—the 30-pack of hot dogs.
b) Supermarket—that bag of washed, cut ...

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TAGS:
environment

Beware the Latest Credit Card Scam

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If you get a call from your credit card company informing you that your account has been flagged because of suspicious activity, be skeptical.

A current scam works like this: A fraudster, claiming to be from the security department of a credit card company, tells the consumer he is checking unusual ...

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TAGS:
credit cards
fraud

Podcast: Why We Shop

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Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow recently spoke to me on the Alpha Consumer podcast about what shopping means to us, beyond the ability to buy material goods. She explains how it can define us, how to get control of overspending, and what makes generation Y different.

You can also hear the Alpha ...

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TAGS:
shopping
personal finance
psychology

Reporter's Query: Leaving a Legacy

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For an upcoming story, I am looking for parents who have decided to give money to their children well before dying. For example, some parents contribute to a mortgage or set up charitable donations in their kids' names. If you would be willing to share your story, please E-mail me at

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TAGS:
money
parenting

Last Call for Submissions

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The Alpha Consumer Challenge will remain open to submissions until 9 a.m. Monday. To participate, just post your answer below to this question: If you suddenly had $1,000, what would you do with it? After we've narrowed the entries down to three, you can vote to pick the best one. The winner will ...

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TAGS:
money
personal finance

How to Spend a $1,000 Windfall

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It's Day 2 of the Alpha Consumer Challenge, which means there is still time for you to answer the question: If you suddenly had $1,000, what would you do with it? To participate, just post your answer below. After narrowing the entries down to three, we'll vote to pick the best one. The winner ...

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TAGS:
money
personal finance

What Would You Do With $1,000?

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If you suddenly had $1,000, what would you do with it? Would you save most of it, spend it on a new bike, or buy a plane ticket to Paris? That's the question I put to three personal finance bloggers, all of whom have very different approaches to spending and saving. Over the next few days, I'll be ...

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TAGS:
money
personal finance

Waste Not, Want Not

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Waste not, want not. That was a favorite saying of my father when I was growing up. He also liked to remind my sisters and me that when he was a young boy in England in the 1950s, no amount of food was ever wasted. My grandparents, who experienced strict rationing during World War II, made sure of ...

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TAGS:
personal finance