Prepaid Debit Cards: Buyer Beware, Be Really Aware

Prepaid debit cards are attractive to certain consumers—immigrants and low-income people in particular—because they can be purchased quickly and easily in drugstores or Wal-Mart, and there’s no I.D. or paperwork necessary. What people who use these reloadable cards often fail to understand is that they’re loaded—overloaded, …

The Plain English Campaign: Waging War Against Gobbledygook

Why are government documents and the fine print in bank agreements and credit card offers littered with undecipherable phrases like “collateral debt obligations” and “sector-specific benchmarking” and “amorphous challenges”? Perhaps because the organizations creating these ugly phrases are purposefully trying to confuse consumers and taxpayers.

It’s a Deal: $800 Worth of Gift Cards and Services for $30

The best part: All of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. The Big Bundle, as this special offer is being called, includes gift cards and certificates to vendors like Papa Johns and ShoeBuy.com, subscriptions to services such as Zagat.com, and discount coupons to retailers like The Gap and Nordstrom. The value totals just …

Barter Bonanza

Swapping your stuff for someone else’s has never been easier. There are now fairly simple ways to barter for home appliances, video games, clothes, even car leases and the services of accountants and hair dressers.

Runner Trend: Going Barefoot

A small but growing number of runners are going au naturel from the shin down. Running barefoot, they say, feels better and is better for you, your feet, your joints, everything. It’s also a fairly obvious way to cut back on the cost of footwear.

Burgers and private equity

For two days running, the NYT has given us epic explanations of how the sausage of modern American capitalism is made. First, on Sunday, came Michael Moss’s harrowing tale of where the burger that paralyzed Stephanie Smith came from:

The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled …

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