Alpha Consumer

July 2009


Wedding Guests Rethink Gift Spending

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It's wedding season, which means guests are faced with the often confusing question of how much to spend on wedding gifts. The recession has only made the issue more complicated. With guests trying to keep their own budgets under control, they sometimes feel reluctant to shell out $100 or $200 for ...

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personal finance

The New Generation of Philanthropists

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For a new generation of philanthropists, giving to charity isn't just about writing checks. Instead, the focus is on volunteering, socializing, and networking -- while also contributing to good causes. "Many Generation X-ers are more interested in social advocacy and engagement philanthropy," says ...

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personal finance

How to Make a Micro-Loan Overseas

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Dear Alpha Consumer,

I recently went on a trip to Ecuador and feel inspired to donate money to a micro-lending program in that country in order to help a small business owner there. What is the best way for me to do that? Micro-lending, which usually involves a lender in a wealthier country making a ...

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personal finance

Why Young People are Starting Nonprofits

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When Lindsay Hyde was a freshman at Harvard, she wanted to become a mentor to younger girls in the area, but when she looked into potential opportunities, she couldn't find any groups willing to work with undergraduates. So she organized her own team of volunteers and found two elementary schools ...

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personal finance

Helping Charities by Shopping? Not Really

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The whole idea of “shopping for a cause” is tempting. After all, if you’re going to buy an iPod anyway, why not buy the red one that sends a portion of proceeds to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria?

While you probably won’t be doing any harm, except to your own bank account, by ...

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personal finance

One Income, Separate Bank Accounts

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As part of my checking up on couples to see how their money systems have fared over the last year, I tracked down Dan and Kellie Mercurio, who had since moved from North Carolina to Massachusetts and had a baby girl, now 9-months-old. Dan has a new job overseeing bank branches and Kellie is a ...

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TAGS:
personal finance