How do you waste money? Let us count the ways.

How many of these 28 common money wasters are you guilty of?

Do you:

  • Overspend on gas?
  • Pass up tax breaks?
  • Buy insurance you don’t need?
  • Buy extended warranties?
  • Pay for magazine or cable subscriptions you don’t use?

And the list goes on… 

The holidays are upon us…

Or at least news of holiday hiring is — always a scrutinized measure of economic health. Here’s the latest on what some of the major retailers are planning: 

-Target plans to hire 70,000 seasonal holiday workers, down 20 percent from a year ago.
-Walmart said that it is bringing on 55,000 seasonal workers to handle the Christmas rush this year, up from 50,000 last year.
-And Kohl’s said it plans to hire about 53,000 seasonal workers for the holiday season — slightly more than last year.

Coming off a slower-than-expected back-to-school season, analysts and stores are bracing for a tough holiday shopping period, which accounts for as much as 40% of stores’ annual revenues. We’ll have to wait until December to see if the forecasts were right. 

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Why You Can’t Find a Job You Love

Do you ever wake up in the morning and ask yourself: “Am I in the right job?” “At the right company?” “On the right career path?” 

One reason why people have trouble finding jobs they love is the “passion” question. Most people will tell you that the secret to career happiness and success is finding what you are passionate about and doing it. However, the Founder of Ignite, Tom McDermott believes that this thinking is flawed. He says that passion is only part of the equation. For example, like many American Idol contestants you maybe passionate about music but not a gifted singer. 

You may be passionate about sprinting but not have the natural ability to be a gold medalist in the 100-meter dash. You may really be curious about how humans can move faster and be better placed as a sports science researcher, coach, or perhaps an aerodynamics engineer. 

Just half of Americans are aware health exchanges set to open


There are 15 days until new health care exchanges are scheduled to open in all 50 states and Washington, DC.

Would you be shocked to learn that only about half of the public (51%) is aware that such exchanges will be available in their state? That’s according to a new report by Pew Research. Suffice it to say, the biggest part of President Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act isn’t registering on much of the public’s radar — despite the torrent of news reports that have come out in the past few months about the law.

Pew also found that 53% of respondents disapprove the law, 42% approve, and just 25% say they have a “very good understanding of how the law will impact them.” 

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Kids these days don’t know much about ____

Kent State University professors John Dunlosky and Katherine Rawson compared the general knowledge of 671 college students in 2012 versus a cohort tested by Thomas Nelson and Louis Narens back in 1980. 

They found that less than 5% of current students knew that Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World; Marie Curie discovered radium; Euclid is the father of geometry; Mozart wrote Don Giovanni; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes tales; Monticello is the name of Thomas Jefferson’s primary plantation and where our third President is buried; and that Alfred Nobel (namesake of the Nobel Peace Prize) invented dynamite. 

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Tags: millennials

It’s Fall. That Means It’s Time for Pumpkin Spice… M&Ms

Autumn is upon us, and that can only mean one thing: pumpkin fever.
You’ve got your Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and your pumpkin beer and even your pumpkin pie shampoo. Now prepare your taste buds for pumpkin spice M&Ms, which are selling exclusively at Target for $2.99 a package.

Are the new specialty M&Ms delicious or nausea-inducing?

Food blogger tried them out and found the pumpkin spice candies were lacking in…. pumpkin. ”They didn’t taste “pumpkin-y” enough,” Eric Huang, author of the blog, wrote. 

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Tags: autumn food candy

People Make the Same Basic Investment Decisions as Monkeys

New research published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and reported at, suggests that monkeys can be rational economic actors, just like humans.

Says The Atlantic: Wealthy monkeys, researchers found, generally took greater risks than poor monkeys. As a macaque became more dehydrated, it became more likely to choose the safe option. A wealthy macaque was more likely to chance getting no water at all for the possibility of getting a lot of it.

This pretty much approximates the kind of rational human behavior economists assume when they construct economic models. Poor people tend to be risk-averse: they invest their money in assets where they know they won’t lose it, like Treasurys or simple stock-market indices. Richer folks are more comfortable taking risks where they can lose money so long as the reward is sufficiently large.

30 years of NY Times weddings announcements in 11 charts

What have our beloved New York Times weddings section told us about the state of marriage in the last 3 decades. Just-launched site Wedding Crunchers shows us. The site lets users measure the frequency of specific phrases in the Times’ wedding announcements since 1981.

One interesting tidbit: References to New England boarding schools have become less frequent over time, signaling an increase in diversity — or at least a decrease in WASP-iness. Here are 11 charts from the site

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Tags: wedding

"I’m not what you expect from a guy that collects dolls."


The Man Who Owns 6,000 Barbie Dolls

The white exterior and spartan grey staircase of Jian Yang’s tidy rowhouse give no hint of the shock that lies within - a pink living room floor and his collection of more than 6,000 Barbie dolls



[Photo credit: Edgar Su/Reuters]

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear: A Review

The Galaxy Gear smartwatch, with a 1.67-inch OLED display, serves as a watch, a pedometer, a voice recorder, and a 2-megapixel camera/camcorder. When paired with the Note 3 via Bluetooth 4.0, this wrist-strapped device can make and take phone calls, send and receive text messages, and access Samsung’s Siri-like S-Voice assistant to make appointments, dictate messages, and more.

The Note 3 offers significant improvements over its successor: a larger, higher-definition display; a faster processor; a higher-capacity battery; and all of the advanced wireless sharing and gesture controls available on the Galaxy S 4. 

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