Why You Should Move To North Dakota And Order Only Large Pizzas (Plus, Other “News”)

Posted on February 28, 2014 by:

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Every once in a while, the SALT™ Blog digs into money-related “news” from college and beyond—sometimes, way beyond. Here are the special stories we found this week. (Note: The GIFs make them extra special, and not just because they mean we don’t have to come up with witty jokes.)

It’s been a few weeks since we last looked at what’s going on in the world.

Since then, I’ve spent endless hours wondering whether a gold medal or a gold Oscar is worth more money. Turns out, it’s the medal—and it’s worth “only” $548! (Everyone knows the Oscar gift bag is where the real money is anyway.)

With that settled, here’s some other news that recently caught my eye.

***

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (info.healthways.com)

We know money can’t buy happiness; however, you may not need to buy those good feelings if your home state provides them free of charge … or something like that.

New data from Gallup and Healthways offers a “well-being score” for every state. They calculated this by examining “Americans’ perceptions on topics such as physical and emotional health, healthy behaviors, work environment, social and community factors, financial security, and access to necessities such as food, shelter and healthcare.”

You might think a tropical place would win the top spot (as Hawaii did in 2012). Not so! This year, the winner was none other North Dakota. Oh, yeah—I totally get that.

Would You Do Volunteer Work To Pay Off Your Student Loans? Now You Can (TakePart)

Working a part-time job is a great way to earn extra income to put toward student loan payments. And while you may enjoy the rewards of that labor, you may not find the labor itself all that rewarding. Enter SponsorChange.org.

Through this organization, grads with student loan debt can sign up for volunteer opportunities. At the same time, donors also sign up to reimburse the volunteers for their effort—via payments toward their student loans. Win-win, right?

I think we all know where this is going.

74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza (NPR)

The good folks at Planet Money keep doing important work; this time, they’ve crunched the numbers to answer the age-old “pizza-value question.” So, is a 16-inch large pizza a better value than an 8-inch small pizza?

As you might expect, pizza is like many foods—the “more” (i.e., larger amount) you buy, the cheaper it becomes. And, yes, this article offers “74,476” reasons why this makes sense, but to convince me, I really only need one: more pizza is always better than less pizza.

(Well, almost always.)

Job Hunting? Dig Up Those Old SAT Scores (Wall Street Journal)

You should always bring a few things to a job interview: copies of your résumé, a pen and paper for notes, and your SAT or ACT scores. Wait? What was that last one …

Yup, according to The Wall Street Journal, many employers want to discuss standardized test scores in job interviews—even if the applicant took the test decades ago. According to hiring managers, this helps figure out “whether someone has the raw brainpower required for the job.”

Totally get it. However, I bet even those applicants lacking “brainpower” can ace this analogy: “Potential employer” is to “judging me by tests I took in high school” as “potential employee” is to …:

How To Have The College Finance Talk With Your Children (US News)

OK, this one caught my eye because I wrote it.

It’s still good advice, though! Let’s move on …

It’s America Saves Week! (CBS Boston)

I know it’s Friday, but you should still know that this week is America Saves Week. The initiative, coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council is “ a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.”

To show I take saving seriously, I dug through this blog’s archive so I could use the same joke from when I celebrated this initiative last year: “It’s OK if you forgot to get me something … I think that’s kind of the point.” Not the case? Well, at least I’m not too far off …

(Yup, Tony Parker and I both missed the point.)

What money-related news has caught your eye of late? Let us know!

Sallie Mae’s Thank Yous, Beyoncé’s New Class, And More “News”

Posted on January 31, 2014 by:

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This blog’s loyal reader(s) have probably noticed some changes over the past month, as we’ve cut back on our recurring features.

Perhaps you simply thought these were in hibernation. And who could blame them for going there—I mean, especially with this Polar Vortex!? (Yup, this is the topical humor you missed.) Alas, this is the new normal, and we don’t plan to cancel it soon.

***

However, there’s still a place on the SALT™ Blog for money-related news from college and beyond. We’ll just post about it less frequently.

Consider this “Special Interest” instead of “Daily Interest” (because people never get upset when you combine “special interest” and “money”). So, without further ado, here are some stories that caught my eye over the past few days—now with GIFs, so they’re, you know, extra special. (Plus, it’s easier than writing jokes.)

Sallie Mae Claims Borrowers’ Thank-You Notes Exceed Complaints (Huffington Post)

Times are tough for the nation’s largest student loan company, as at least three federal agencies are investigating Sallie Mae’s business practices. Fortunately, in this tough time, the student loan giant has people to lean on for moral support: its borrowers.

In a letter from earlier this month, the company revealed that “it receives three times as many thank-you notes from borrowers in default than verbal complaints.” I get it. Recovering from student loan default is an accomplishment borrowers should celebrate. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something else behind all these “thanks” …

What To Buy In February (Cheapism)

The “What To Buy” post is one of my favorite recurring features; how I’ve missed it so.

With a few big events this month (this weekend’s Super Bowl Sunday, Valentines Day, the long weekend for Presidents Day), Cheapism outlines items you can expect to find deals on over the next few weeks. Topping their list are electronics, tax-filing software, and perhaps most surprisingly, “the winter off-season and mid-winter boat shows make February the right month to buy a boat.”

(T-Pain sold separately.)

College Offers Course On Beyoncé (Jezebel)

Rutgers University is offering a new course that students can put on their tuition bills, bills, bills. (Yes! I’m totally back now.) The course, “Politicizing Beyoncé,” uses the “performer’s music and career … as lenses to explore American race, gender, and sexual politics.”

Now, having “studied Beyoncé “ on your résumé may not help you run the world when it comes time to apply for jobs. Then again, I have “studied journalism” on mine, and yet, here I am writing about this. So …

A Surprising Number Of College Students Struggle To Find Enough Food (Smithsonian)

Western Oregon University researchers recently found that 59 percent of about 350 students surveyed at their college qualified as being “food insecure” at one point in the past year. Now, that’s not “insecure” in a freshman-15-type way. Rather, it means that they have “uncertain access to safe, nutrional [sic] food, either because that food’s not available or it’s too hard to get in what the USDA calls ‘socially acceptable ways.’ ”

The scientists labeled the results as “shocking,” and I have to agree. I mean, the stuff below does have have nutritional vegetables in it, right?

Justin Long Joins DoSomething.org’s Personal Finance Campaign‏ (Look To The Stars)

Earlier this week, we highlighted a new experience from our friends over at DoSomething.org. However, we’re not the only famous people on board with “Would You Rather”; they’ve also enlisted the help of actor Justin Long to spread the word. Click through above to hear his pitch for joining this experience, as well as some outtakes from him.

Now, one of the big things with “Would You Rather” is getting your friends to play along with you. Since I have no friends, I’m wondering if I could call Justin up to join me in a game.

Oh, I see.

What money-related news has caught your eye of late? Let us know!

Daily Interest: Are Waiters An Endangered Species?

Posted on December 11, 2013 by:

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ipad home screen with eight apps

Would apps count as flare for tablets? If so, looks to me like someone is doing the bare minimum …

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while wondering how I get to battle for the title of top finance expert.

(I mean, Jean Chatzky or Dave Ramsey didn’t write one thing about *NSYNC this year! Oh, that helped their candidacies. I see …)

  • Working in food service is a rite of passage, but that passage may soon be dammed up, thanks to new start-up E La Carte. Slate details this company’s mission to replace restaurant servers with table-side tablets. These computers will take your order and let you pay your bill when you want, all at a fraction of the price of actual humans. However, I bet they won’t be nearly as good as people at doing “The Goat.” (Oh? That’s pretty much what the whole Internet is? Shoot.)
  • I don’t know what new year’s resolutions our Twitter follower @sihua_qiu might have, but if getting mentioned in Daily Interest is one of them, she can check that box early! Hat tip to her for sharing this link from Forbes about nine financial resolutions for millennials. Their list includes being your own handyman and getting rid of your cable box, but it omits getting a mention in this space. Don’t let that dissuade you, though. This is instant gratification, people!
  • Speaking of 2014, Business Insider dusts off its crystal ball to come up with three financial predictions that will be good for your wallet next year. So, what do you have to look forward to in the upcoming year? Well, for one, based on some new credit card partnerships from last year, you can expect your credit card company to send more perks your way. Also expected to head your way? A handsome stranger. Wait … I think I may have mixed up my crystal balls.
  • This holiday season, Bargaineering is helping you and (likely) your parents’ wallets take a trip down memory lane. They wonder whether “must-have” holidays gifts are getting more expensive, and the answer, unsurprisingly, is yes—at least over the past decade (an increase of $270.32). However, the fun part of their post is the infographic in the middle of it, which highlights each top toy for the past 50 years. Take a look, and then get mad at your folks all over again for not getting you that Turboman.
  • What would you give up to work at home? Supposedly, 12% of people would happilyforego daily showers to do so, which kind of makes sense if you’re not interacting with people. However, 15% would also give up half of their vacation days—now, things are getting interesting. Luckily, you can work at home without making any of those sacrifices, thanks to these “surprising” jobs highlighted by CBS News. Personally, I think it’s the work that’s “surprising,” not the jobs (unless lawyers “surprise” you). Then again, maybe their writer gave up placing modifiers in the right place to work from home.
  • Earlier today, Shane shared some holiday shopping tips for his fellow unemployed new grads. It’s clear that Shane’s still got some money set aside for the holidays (unless that shopping spree for his girlfriend is at his favorite place: the dollar store. If so, awesome). However, if you’re broke broke, check out these 14 gift ideas that don’t cost anything except your time, like babysitting and chores you don’t want to do. That last one makes a lot of sense to me. For instance, when I emailed those plumbers for quotes earlier this week? That was your gift, honey! Merry Christmas! (Sorry it’s not wrapped.)
  • Another way to give this holiday season if you don’t have the money to do so? Donate some clothes. Sure, your family and friends may not want that old T-shirt of yours, but someone in another country will. Over at NPR, Planet Money has been tracing the economy of T-shirt creation (a really interesting interactive documentary in and of itself). As part of that, they share how your clothing donations could end up on sale all the way in sub-Saharan Africa. (By the way, if a November 1993 “Jennifer’s Bat Mitzvah” T-shirt is on your holiday shopping list, I know exactly where you should look.)

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments. 

(Photo: Sean MacEntee)

Daily Interest: What The Size Of Your Latte Says About You

Posted on December 10, 2013 by:

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Big Coffee Cup affixed to brick wall

I’m guessing this building oversees all other buildings.

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while thinking that this is the most a-mah-zing holiday gift anyone could get me.

(Well, maybe a coupon for my name eaten into an ear of corn would be better. But it’s close.)

  • We’ve talked quite a bit about the Latte Factor. Well, apparently, there’s a new factor you should take into account when spending cash on that latte: size matters—and for more than just your caffeine intake. According to QZ (via The Billfold), latte size signifies your status at work, as more important people order bigger drinks. So, if you want to get ahead at the office, forget about these skills and focus on walking around with the biggest coffee you can find. After all, who wouldn’t want to report to this guy?
  • It seems inevitable that the “unpaid” internship will soon be a thing of the past. However, these roles still offer value in some professions, including politics. For example, check out Cody Keenan. The 32-year-old started as an unpaid intern under Ted Kennedy. Then, after an internship with Jon Favreau (sadly, not this Jon Favreau), Keenan worked his way up to a pretty solid role: lead speechwriter for President Obama.
  • Apparently, it’s a very DIY day. Earlier, Evelyn shared some simple ways to use kitchen ingredients to stay beautiful this winter. Well, over on Wise Bread, they offer up eight ingenuous DIY ideas to clean your bathroom on the cheap (you probably wouldn’t want to use their “commode cleaner” on your face, I’d imagine). An even more ingenious idea? Use these as a gift for your roommates! Because there’s no better passive-aggressive way to ask someone to do some cleaning than a lovely bottle of homemade “toilet bomb fizzies.”
  • Yesterday in this space, we talked about whether to give your boss a gift. Well, if you fell into the “you should” camp but aren’t exactly sure what to get, check out the robot boss. Yes, for the low price of $2,499 (you may want to split the cost with coworkers), you can not only let your boss telecommute, but he or she can also be telepresent. If this sounds like something your boss would appreciate, I’d look into getting a surrogate first. That could be a less expensive option, although the quality just may not be as good.
  • You may not have fun going home for the holidays, thanks to pushy parents. However, you’ll still be better off than college senior Jessie McCormick, who’s been homeless since she ran away in high school. She is one of many college students who have no place to live over break (as campuses typically shut down dorms to most students). Fortunately, as CNN reports, her story has a happy ending this season. After launching a petition with her school, they put her up in a hotel this season, while they examine their policies. Now that’s a pretty sweet gift.

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments.

(Photo: Mykl Roventine)

Daily Interest: How To Make Money By Destroying Money

Posted on December 9, 2013 by:

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Dollar bill with George Washington with hands on his head

What George looks like when he sees Mark’s knife coming for him, I imagine.

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while wondering how much more expensive this magic wand remote would be if it had a phoenix feather inside it.

(Methinks it’s the wallet, not the wizard, that choose that wand.)

  • Mark Wagner probably isn’t a starving artist, but he’s figured out an easy way for someone to become one: cut up your money and use it as art. Yes, Wagner’s medium of choice is destroyed dollar bills. Check out this video of him working, if only to see if your money scripts make you twitch when he takes an X-Acto to George Washington. If you’re like me, you’ll think his medium is crazy: “Use a pen Photoshop, Sideshow Bob!” (Note: Odds are, you’re nothing like me. Good for you.)
  • The holidays are not only prime time for shopping, but also for shoplifting. New York magazine run downs different, interesting shoplifting stats. And while we certainly file stealing as a “don’t” under gift-buying strategies, we at least recognize its gumption. After all, two of the top items people target for a five-fingered discount are high-end vacuums and mixers. How do you sneak a vacuum or mixer out of a store? Somehow, I don’t think they’re fitting in a jacket pocket … (Yup, back-to-back Simpsons references. It’s a Monday for me too, folks.)
  • Sick of the 1% getting everything? Well, that’s not entirely true. Oh, not that the 1% have it made (they do! All that, plus magic Harry Potter TV removes, I bet), but the idea that only 1% of people influence the decisions made in this country may not be the case. In fact, according to this article (via survey data given to The Associated Press), one in five U.S. adults “become rich for parts of their lives,” and they’re the ones who who truly influence America’s economy and politics. So, now, you are the 80%! (Doesn’t sound as good, does it?)
  • The Billfold has a couple interesting posts today, and I can’t help but feel they’re related in some way. First, they share some anonymous anecdotes about what gifts people buy for their bosses over the holidays. The most popular answer wasn’t this (we know Michael bought that himself anyway); it was “nothing.” In the second story, they highlight survey data from Accenture, which says that one-third of employees leave their job because their boss was horrible. So, that boss who “walk[ed] around with a small baseball bat and a huge switchblade.” Probably not getting him a gift, or more likely, probably getting a really good good gift.
  • One place it’s hard to shoplift from? Online retailers. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a steal from them. (Oh, man. Monday malaise over. It’s like stealing when you’re this good.) If you’re already shopping online, what harm is it to open a new window and do some quick searching for a promo code? Even better: The DoughRoller outlines six places for you to start looking, as well as how to make the most of your codes. BONUS LINK: Potentially save (or spend) even more with this Cheapism article outlining websites that charge your state’s sales tax.

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments.

(Photo: Dave Winer)

Daily Interest: Loans Up, Unemployment Down (If Only They Balanced Each Other Out)

Posted on December 6, 2013 by:

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Brass_scales_with_cupped_trays

You’d think this would be balanced when there’s nothing on either side …

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while congratulating Spencer Pratt on (almost) graduating from college!

(And it’s totally fine that it took him a decade to do so. I mean, it’s not like finishing school is as easy as growing a creepy beard or anything.)

  • We missed yesterday’s Daily Interest, but we certainly did not miss yesterday’s big student loan news. In fact, maybe we took the day off to recover from it. A new report found that borrower indebtedness has increased a whopping 25% (!) over the past 4 years (from $23,450 for the class of 2008 to $29,400 for the class of 2012). On the bright side, the report did finally outline something to see in Delaware: people with lots of debt. Their state sports the highest average borrower debt, at $33,649.
  • OK, so those percentages look bad when it comes to student loans. However, a different statistic perhaps signifies that borrowers should be hopeful about paying off what they owe in the future. That number? The unemployment rate. Yes, the November jobs report came out today, and for the second month in a row, the news was pretty good. Employers added 203,000 jobs in November (more than the 180,000 expected), and the unemployment rate fell to 7%—which is the lowest its been in 5 years.
  • Ever wonder where loose change goes if you leave it behind at an airport security checkpoint? Apparently, into the TSA’s pocket. Yup, the agency keeps that money, and it’s decidedly not chump change. This past year, they made a record $531,395 from your unwanted pennies and quarters. Just imagine if they also turned in all the water and soda bottles that people leave behind at these checkpoints. (Perhaps in 10-cent Michigan? They could fly them there for free, right?) That agency could be totally self-sufficient!
  • This holiday season, a lot of people are going to have some sort of gaming system atop their wishlists, be it the XBox One, PS4, or whatever Nintendo’s latest thing is. (The Wii U? Is that still something? Did anyone buy that?) However, if you don’t get that gift, or you’re just not in the mood to drop $400 on a new console, check out this list from Wise Bread of eight cheap ways to play video games. While I can’t vouch for any of these services, I can say that some of their names at least sound fun. What would you rather use: “Goozex” or “XBox One.” Yeah, probably still the XBox …
  • Now that we’re in December, you’re going to see a lot of “best of”-type lists pop up. This is no different in the financial blogosphere, where Wealthy Turtle has listed the top 100 blogs for personal finance. And, no, sadly our little blog here didn’t make the cut. (I scanned the list, like a hopeful child on Christmas morning … only to end up looking like this instead.) But sour grapes won’t stop me from sharing that link, so you can investigate all the great content creators there are out there. (Oh, and I’ll totally leave a link to this column in that post’s comments. I mean, come on, I at least still believe in link karma).

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments.

(Photo: Wikimedia)

Daily Interest: Inflation’s Like A Hurricane (And Not Just In Duckburg)

Posted on December 4, 2013 by:

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Scrooge McDuck's money bin for DuckTales Remastered at iam8bit gallery

Sadly, not real currency. I’d still jump in it, though. (I’ll never learn.)

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while thinking that this is the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift—and it will only cost $8.99!

([Looks directly into camera] “This is the part where my significant other starts to hate me.”)

  • In December, it seems like there are lots of thing you have to buy. (Don’t think offering me a hug makes things cool between us, Elmo.) But are those smart purchases to make this month? Surprisingly, yes. Wise Bread outlines its latest list of what to buy and avoid buying this month, and toys actually made the “buy” list. Joining it on that side of the ledger are other great holiday gift fodder, including Blu-Rays, TVs, and kitchen appliances (we told you first!).
  • If you are in a gift-giving mood, check out this rundown of the worst holiday gifts, courtesy of U.S. News. They don’t highlight specific items (still looking at you, Elmo). Instead, they focus on categories to avoid, like gifting something extremely cheap, e.g., something you found in a dumpster. However, they do mention one gift that caught my eye: a XXL T-shirt that says “The U.S. Nude Roller Blading Team.” This sounds hilarious, but it left its recipient mad about the size and slogan. (A complaint that only Woody Allen could love.)
  • Hey, how about a little self-promotion? Check out this article from the Vermont Cynic (BTW: the “cynic” is not this guy, although I really wish it was). It talks about SALT™ teaming up with the University of Vermont to help its students get money savvy. In fact, we’ll be on their campus December 9. So, if you’re a Catamount, we hope to see you there! After all, if we can get a cynic behind us, surely you can get on board too! (Oh, and be nice enough to also overlook that angry squirrel joke.)
  • One of the least fun things to buy this winter season? (No, not you, Elmo. You know I can’t stay made at you …) That would be cold medications. And yet, as we all know, ’tis the season for stuffy noses and scratchy throats. Well, to help you out, Store Brand Meds is giving away stockings full of … wait for it … store brand medications! The retail value of the prize is $18, which equals a whole lot of generic drugs, and 500 people will win. Head on over to Hip2Save for the details.

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments.

(Photo: Ricky Brigante)

Daily Interest: Even Miley “Can’t Stop” Her Credit Card From Being Declined

Posted on December 3, 2013 by:

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Miley Cyrus

I’m sure Miley’s credit is fine, but I’ve heard some less positive things about Hannah Montana’s …

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while thinking I’d be happy to be any kind of millionaire … even if it’s a Skittles Millionaire.

(How is that only available for Canadians!? I am so giving them all Skittles Pox as revenge.)

  • Miley Cyrus is a 20-something, so she struggles with #20SomethingProblems just like you. (OK, maybe not just like you.) However, that embarrassing credit card denial you suffered? Yeah, Miley’s faced that climb. According to Radar Online, the 21-year-old singer’s card was declined while trying to make a $170 purchase at a record store. How could this happen? Did she take one of these to her bank account? My theory: this is the result a new financial literacy program that teaches people to spend wisely. After all, no one needs $170 worth of records.
  • We all know that giving someone the 12 days of Christmas as a present is pretty impractical—even if the 12 drummers drumming is a sufficient payoff at the end (although not from that link. Damn you, lack of YouTube video!). Well, according to The Atlantic, this gift also doesn’t make sense for another reason: it would “cost” you $114,651. ($27,393.17 in actual money. They adjust for inflation.) Although, buying someone five golden rings does strike me as a bit excessive in general—unless you’re getting them for Mr. T. And, my goodness, I hope you are.
  • Things are pretty swanky at America’s elite colleges. You jet off to Budapest while studying abroad in Madrid. You hop on the Amtrak for last-minute job interviews in Manhattan. You shell out $300 for a chemistry textbook. (OK, that last one applies to most colleges.) However, these things aren’t so nice for low-income students at these schools. According to Forbes, items like the ones listed above are not only unaffordable, but they’re also “part of a topic that can be more taboo than sexual orientation: the size of their wallets.”
  • Back in college, one of my friends thought it would the most clever thing in the world to make an acrostic sign for ESPN-televised sporting events that spelled out “Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.” (Keep living that dream, Dan.) He eventually did. And while he thought it was super successful, it pales in comparison to this student’s sign—which made him $24,000 during a broadcast of ESPN’s College Game Day. And he did it with a QR code, not by wagering against Lee Corso or anything. Now, that’s clever.

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments!

(Photo: vipnyc)

Daily Interest: The Cheapest Thanksgiving Dinner Possible

Posted on November 21, 2013 by:

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Frozen turkey on counter.

You should probably have that out to thaw, roughly, now.

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while wondering if you can rent these Top Chef contestants on a sliding scale.

(Ilan has to cost more than Marcel, right? He did beat him, and I just won’t pay that much for foam.)

  • While everyone else panicked about that shortage of Butterball turkeys, Bargaineering went through a different type of Thanksgiving meal planning. Specifically, one of their authors tried to figure out if he could spend less than $20 on a turkey-day dinner. (The experiment also could have been: How can I stop my relatives from coming back for the next holiday?) The result? Success, at least online, as he pulled together a five-person meal featuring turkey, three sides, and desert for just $19.32.
  • Earlier today, we shared 15 tips for snagging a job interview. Well, now we’ve got 13 more that can help you get in the door, courtesy of BuzzFeed. And while we won’t say who advised us best, BuzzFeed’s suggestions are definitely unique. For instance, they say to keep a napkin in your back pocket (so you can wipe your hand to avoid a clammy handshake) and be sure to ask for water without ice. The reason for the latter isn’t this; it’s so your jittery hands don’t drop a wet glass. It could also be so you don’t reenact this, but hopefully on a much smaller scale.
  • Apparently, not very many people want to be Toys “R” Us kids anymore. According to Mashable, this Christmas could be make-or-break for the famous toy store. That’s because the company’s bonds are trading at prices four notches lower than the rating that Moody’s assigned the store. I guess that’s a pretty hefty discount, but not as much as the chain has discounted these Alex Rodriguez figurines. Oh, that’s right, A-Rod; giraffes bite. If Geoffrey’s going down, he’s at least not taking that inventory with him!
  • A lot of people were unhappy when Condé Nast scrapped its internship program. Not among those people? Condé Nast interns. At least, that’s what the New York Post found. In an interview with a few different former interns, one said his fellow interns had to “take shots to deal” with aspects of the job, while another “cried [herself] to sleep.” Gee, with that kind of sensationalism, these workers should have landed job offers at the Post itself. (Probably not, though. You’re not supposed to badmouth old employers in interviews, you know.)
  • We talked about different ways to get home for the holidays, largely ignoring hopping on a plane. So even though I’m fresh out of Jean-Claude Van Damme references, I’ll still highlight this Wise Bread article covering 10 ways to get free or almost-free airline tickets, like asking for miles as a gift. (Man, this would be perfect if JCVD had been Passenger 57. It kind of works if you say, “Always bet on black … belt.” No? OK, how about him in Air Force One? Yeah, kind of hard to get him to pass as the president … Fine, you’re right: Executive Decision it is. Man, they’ve done “Die Hard on a plane” a lot.)

Daily Interest and the SALT™ Blog will be taking a little break from regular publishing until after the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll see you in December!

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments. 

(Photo: capl@washjeff.edu)

Daily Interest: Finally, A Jobs Report Full Of Intrigue!

Posted on November 20, 2013 by:

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Kerry Washington

Hold on. I know exactly how to call about fixing this. (Yes, Kerry, it’s you!)

Here’s the news that caught my eye today while thinking that there’s no way this watch is worth $100,000.

(It doesn’t even run apps!)

  • The numbers in a jobs report leading up to last year’s election were manipulated. At least, that’s what the New York Post claims. From August to September last year, the unemployment rate fell from 8.1% to 7.8%; however, an anonymous source claims the Census Bureau fudged that data—something they’ve allegedly done before too. Not only that, but the source also claims they found rat poison in President Obama’s hair. (Whoops. Sorry. Mixing up my conspiracy theories. Who am I, Anthony Crispino?)
  • David Byrne is worried about your privacy. Very worried. In response to the cellphone-hacking scandal, the former Talking Head wrote a lengthy post about his concerns for the future of our society. Pitchfork pulls some of the more interesting sections, including Byrne’s fear that “one of the next revelations will be that all of our credit cards and passwords will have been hacked by the NSA.” The only solution for such governmental issues? I think we all see where this is going.
  • Speaking of looking at your credit card information, Experian (which is allowed to do that, I think) analyzed more than 10 million credit files to identify the spending habits of millennials. Their findings? Millennials keep the lowest average balance on their credit cards. However (there’s always a “however” after good stats about millennials, right?), they also have a relatively high incidence of late payments. Frankly, I don’t get it—have we not learned anything from the memes we adore so much?
  • With the holiday season around the corner, you’re likely headed home. And while we all do this to see our families, of course, you also might get a chance to see some old friends. Likely, that will be over dinner … or drinks … or some other type of food. (Why doesn’t anyone want to hang out in the basement anymore?) If money is a little tight for that, and the basement really is a non-starter, check out these four tips from Everything Finance about how to save a few bucks when you go out to eat.
  • Groupon continues to expand. Only this time, they’re kind of expanding inward. (That makes sense, right?)  The company, which apparently recently branched out into offering restaurant reservations (?), now provides something much more aligned with its traditional services: actual coupons. Located under a new “Freebies” section of their website are good-old-fashioned discounts from retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. There’s no word if other online giants will also de-evolve like this, but I, for one, can’t wait for Skype to come out with a rotary phone.

What money-related news caught your eye today? Let us know in the comments.