Smarter Spending


Think you're pretty savvy when it comes to spending money; you might want to double check a few purchases.

Even if you're trying to cut back chances are you're still spending money on things that you might be able to get for free. Or you might be able to cut back on things you have to pay for just by making better decisions. To help pad your bottom line MSN Money has a list of the twelve things we pay for that you probably don't need to.

For example, new books. Books are expensive and are usually only read once before they sit on your shelf. Instead of buying new consider joining your local library. Or go to a used bookstore where you can buy and sell for a significantly lower price.  read more »

The Story of Money


They say love makes the world go round, but the real culprit might be a bit more expensive.

I recently spoke with Ben Alsop, Citi Money Gallery curator for the history of money exhibit at the British Museum. He says money, even in its most basic form, will always be a key factor in how the world economy operates.

“It's played such a central role in society so it's interesting that with money people feel that visceral element they want to have it, they want to control it, they want to be able to spend it, they want to be able to accumulate it.”

Alsop says besides being fundamental requirement money also holds religious meaning, and for some people it can also be lucky.  read more »

Understanding Money

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Money, not everyone understands it and for that reason not everyone has it.

“There's a lot of kind of social status regarding money and people feel that if you have a certain amount of money then you are deemed successful and if you have a lack of money then there are other connotations associated with it.”

I recently spoke with Mieka Harris, education manager for the Citi money gallery education program in London. She says despite money being the basic building block of life most people don't have a proper understanding of how to use it. She says a lot of times this starts with how people are taught about money by parents and children.  read more »

The History of Money

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There are many things the people on this planet have in common; and one of them is in your wallet.

“There's not a person on this earth that doesn't have a relationship with money be it positive or negative so therefore the minute you walk into the Citi Money Gallery you at least have an appreciation of what you're looking at and you can therefore relate to someone who lived 2,000 years ago or 10 years ago.”

Ben Alsop is the curator for the Citi Money Gallery's History of Money exhibit at the British museum. He says the exhibit is a way to look at the history of the world through something we have all shared.  read more »

In Money We Trust

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Money; you spend it, you want it, you earn it and thousands of years ago you trusted it.

Right now the Citi Money Gallery inside the British Museum has an exhibit called “The History of Money.” I recently made a trip to London to talk to the exhibit's curator about the four and a half thousand years of currency that has gotten us to where we are today.

“It’s true what you and I think about money and how it concerns us and how it concerns our daily life is exactly the same as someone a millennial ago and that's what's so interesting about it and of course the same emotions are surely there.”  read more »

Asking For a Raise


Looking for a few extra bucks in the bank? Better know the best way to ask.

If you think you deserve a higher salary at your nine to five then you aren't alone. A recent Career Builder survey found that 57% of workers are not happy with how much they're earning. Unfortunately the majority of those same people are also afraid to have the money conversation with their boss. But if you don't ask you definitely won't receive; so MSN Money has a few ways around the awkwardness.  read more »

Year End Tax Strategies


The clock is ticking down to the new year. Last chance to book some tax breaks.

According to Jeff Reeves, editor of, there are year end tax strategies you can use to keep some of your money from the tax man. In an article written for USA Today, Reeves suggests 11 strategies.

By example, defer a year end bonus until January, pushing back the tax bill by another year. If self employed defer some your year end income into January. If you have to pay taxes, at least you can defer the event, keeping that money in your pocket a bit longer. Also look at last minute write-offs such as donating to charity. And you can give a gift of money up to $14,000 to a relative as a yearly tax free gift.  read more »

Expense Reports


Looking for a little extra cash? Maybe your expense report isn’t the best place to find it.

Employers say people are getting very creative with their expense reports. And in some cases the items people are trying to get reimbursed aren’t 9 to 5 related; such as lottery tickets or pet food.

To see how extravagant some requests can get MSN Business Insider asked staffing firm Robert International to share what it has received over the years. So it handed over the latest expense report survey which randomly polled 1,600 companies with at least 20 employees. A Robert Half executive says the examples are entertaining but highlight a serious problem. If you aren't sure if something will fly don't submit it; expensing everything can affect the company’s bottom line.  read more »

Wasting Money


Saving money can be as important to your financial peace of mind as making more of it.

Kelly Anderson writes for, an internet site that helps you manage your money. And she points out six areas where Americans waste far too much money.

We spend billions of dollars every year on frivilous purchases we do not need. Here's her list. Junk food. We consume too much of it. It can be far cheaper to cook at home, and it can be a lot healthier for you.

Waste. We spend far too much for energy when we could just turn off the lights when not in use and we throw away too much food.

Gambling, sure. Someone wins the lottery every week but you have a better chance of being hit by lightning.  read more »

Tough Love


Crime doesn’t pay and in one case it’s downright embarrassing.

During his spring break from his Denver school 12-year-old Joseph Gonzalez was forced to stand on a street corner holding a sign. It read “I am a thief, I took money from a family member, don’t give me money.” Gonzalez was forced to hold the sign for ten hours after his dad discovered that he had taken $100 from a cousin’s wallet.

And along with the public display of embarrassment his father also made him go to his school and tell administrators and campus police what he had done. When asked if he thought the punishment was to extreme his dad said no. He says everyone makes mistakes when they are around his son’s age and it’s all about being corrected so you won’t do it again.  read more »