Alpha Consumer

March 2011


Men and Money: The Missing Manual

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While there are enough pink-jacketed financial books for women to fill up a small bookstore, shelves suffer from a noticeable lack of financial tomes aimed at men. Whether that dearth results from an oversight or lack of demand, Men’s Health magazine, which usually features perfect abs and sex tips ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

Reasons to Spend Your Tax Refund

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The vast majority of Americans overpay the IRS during the year, which means they are due for a tax refund right about now. Last year, 77 percent of taxpayers received a refund, with an average size of $3,000, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education. Of course, most financial ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

How to Save Money on Breastfeeding

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When we recently asked readers for their best money tips for new parents at USNews.com, one of the most popular suggestions was to breastfeed. “It’s free,” a reader said.

But is breastfeeding really free? Sure, it used to be, back when we lived in caves, but today, nursing moms buy $400 pumps,

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personal finance

Smart Ways to Split the Check

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The other day, my friend mentioned her frustration about splitting restaurant bills evenly when she barely ate, which means she ends up subsidizing the drink and food orders of her friends. It makes her more hesitant to go out with groups of people, especially to pricey places pushing pitchers of ...

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personal finance

How to Plan an Affordable Babymoon

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For many pregnant couples, a “babymoon,” or one last romantic escape before the newest family member arrives, has become almost as necessary as the crib purchase. After all, you’re about to be sleep-deprived and covered in spit-up, so you might as well relax while you still can.

But at a time with ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

How to Give to Japan’s Victims

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The heartbreaking images from Japan, which has been devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami and now faces a nuclear threat, are moving many Americans to help in whatever way they can. Before opening up your wallet, consider these guidelines for giving:

Give to vetted organizations. The ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

Is Your TV Turning You Into a Shopaholic?

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When I put a call out on Twitter for money advice for parents, author Zac Bissonnette responded with an unusual tip: “Put a sledgehammer through your TV… watching TV increases materialism.”

When I asked him for more details, he had this to say: “Marketers have used television to lure children into ...

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personal finance

5 Financial Tips You Should Ignore

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Have you heard the one about houses being a sure-fire investment? Or the tip that you should close all your credit card accounts? Bad financial advice can circle the web faster than the latest e-mail scam from Nigeria, and some of it originates from personal finance gurus themselves (although their ...

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personal finance

Social Security Tax Cut: What Will You Do?

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If you’ve noticed a bump up in your paycheck since the beginning of the year, here’s why: Workers are enjoying a bit of a Social Security “tax holiday” this year, with Social Security payroll taxes reduced by almost one-third. The percentage of the break is the same for all workers, so the highest ...

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TAGS:
personal finance