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January 2010

January 24, 2022

Starbucks to serve beer and wine at some U.S. stores

Let’s brainstorm together: if there is one place on earth where people linger too long, where is it?


Indeed, there are few social meeting spots as cliché as the coffee chain, yet still it persists, Starbucks being the  place you want to be if your desire is to be seen in public typing on your laptop, studying for an exam or wearing a cashmere scarf with glasses absent prescription frames.

Business-wise, having people spend incredible stretches of time in your outlets is a big money maker for Starbucks, though in the U.S. the franchise has found a way to lure customers in for even longer.

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January 30, 2022

Calorie posting works for kids, not for you

Calorie posting on fast food menus has long been tough to quantify.

Last November, when New York became the first U.S. state to institute the plan, it was apparent the initiative wasn’t doing much. The right philosophy was in place, but the calorie posting had a “modest” impact on the way people ordered their food, the New York Times reported.

Still, the program charged on and, still, we continued to study its effects. Now, we may finally have a grip on the future of this movement.

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January 29, 2022

Do sad people spend more money?

Hang on to your wallet if you're feeling sad and lonely, suggest researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

It's not just about feeling blue though. It’s the mix of sadness and self-focus that tends to loosen the purse strings, according to the study.

Individuals who struggle with self esteem are likely to think less of themselves and might be more motivated to boost their self-image with a pricey purchase, the researchers suggest.

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January 28, 2022

Plan your meals for a year, save half your grocery bill

I never understood how moms handle the whole dinner thing.

I come from a family of seven and, even if you were to assess the food situation that morning, planning a meal for five kids each night seems like a staggering task.

Of course, there was my mother – the week’s dinners mapped out in her head every Monday – charging along, doing her best to buy in bulk and think ahead. For the money, that is. With a family of that magnitude, you either plan or you break the bank.

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January 26, 2022

Time to get a handle on those expenses

Looking to simplify your life and put aside a bit more every month?

If your spending is out of control, January is a good time to scrutinize your finances. Odds are, you’ll be able to trim more than you thought.

You can reduce the amount of money you spend in all kinds of ways, and many of these items don’t necessarily require that you reduce your standard of living.

The trick is to make more careful decisions about what’s really important to you – differentiating between what you need rather than what you want. 

Nobody said it was going to be easy though.

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How big of a hit will Apple's tablet be?

Secrecy works in different ways for different people.

For Tiger Woods, par exemple, secrecy wasn’t so good. Nor was it for Bill Clinton, circa 1998. Or Conrad Black. Or Bernie Madoff. Or Barry Bonds. Or Martha Stewart. Or … you get the point.

But where Steve Jobs, that guy over at Apple, is concerned, a shroud of mystery appears to be doing him just fine.

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January 25, 2022

Got an extra $20 mil? The 'Miracle on the Hudson' plane is for sale

You get the sense that, going back in time, it’d be pretty neat to own a piece of history.

Say you happened to be sitting on a ton of cash in 1937 and had the chance to buy some of the Hindenburg wreckage ... do you do it? What about in 1912, if a piece of the Titanic washes ashore and goes on sale? A section of the Berlin Wall, maybe, is a keepsake I’m sure many would like to have.

So what happens if a modern (albeit much larger) chunk of history is on an auction block? If you can come up with the money, do you buy it?

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Where to find the world's dirtiest hotels

Before you flop into that bed after a long trip, you might want to take a closer look at just what you might be jumping into. 

Based on traveler reviews, TripAdvisor has just released its annual list of the world's dirtiest hotels, highlighting the horrors – from bed bugs to mould in the bathroom – found in 10 hotels each for seven countries around the globe, including Canada.

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January 22, 2022

Ways to make an extra $1K each month

There’s a reason Cash for Life tickets are so popular.

Most of us are content with what we do, and at least somewhat satisfied with what we earn. But at the realization that taking home a mega, hundred-million dollar lotto isn’t likely to happen, each one of us thinks something like Cash for Life – a modest-yet-awesome $1,000 per week prize – is a fortune we could legitimately win.

And who wouldn’t love boosting our income a little? We’re not talking about a total lifestyle overhaul, just the freedom to augment what we already have – a nicer house, a nicer car, more vacations. That kind of stuff.

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Revamped car dealer law protects buyers

Ontario’s recent move towards “all-in” pricing for both new and used cars should help weary buyers from getting hosed, say consumer advocates.

Car dealers often shift profit potential from one transaction to another. If a customer is set on getting a good deal on their trade in, the dealer may then choose to concentrate on inflating monthly payments, reworking the down payment, or simply reinventing the advertised deal. 

But this might be changing.

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January 21, 2022

New iPhone app claims to translate your baby's cries

Technology and parenting isn’t a new marriage.

We all remember that Simpsons  episode, where Homer’s half-brother brother, Herb, develops the Baby Translator with Maggie to decipher a baby’s cries.

It was a cartoon and, as expected, fantasy. But was it so far off?

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...