Wednesday, July 23, 2014

20 most popular stories that can save your finances (20 items)

By , Deseret News

Dec. 16, 2013

Among the values vying to survive modern life, financial responsibility is of key concern to many American families.

Whether or not one understands money can make or break a family's livelihood, affect the happiness of a marriage, or even spell the difference between the economic success or failure of nations. That is why such knowledge is vital to navigating an increasingly complex world.

To help our readers combat the often overbearing feeling of uncertainty when it comes to financial planning, Deseret News writers have worked to provide practical insights into the world of money.

Hoping to make the inevitable financial resolutions that will come with the approaching new year a little easier to carry out, we’ve compiled a list of this year’s 20 most popular personal finance stories that ran on

The first few paragraphs of each article are included on the respective slide. If a story strikes your interest, follow the link to the full article.

Did we miss any of your favorites? Feel free to let us know in the comments section.

1 of 20. The Ten Commandments of personal finance

Maybe you heard about that infamous Kelton study from 2007 that found Americans could identify more ingredients in a Big Mac than the individual Ten Commandments.

It’s true, folks. Eighty percent of Americans knew there were two all-beef patties in a Big Mac — but just six in ten could identify “Thou shalt not kill” as one of the Ten Commandments. I know.

I’m sorry to say my anecdotal research verifies the Kelton study.

I know a Big Mac has two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions — all on a sesame seed bun, no less — but I can only name eight of the Ten Commandments. (Don’t tell my third grade catechism teacher, Sister Nora.)

I wonder if Sister Nora would feel better if I told her I can name my Ten Personal Finance Commandments.

Read the rest of the story here.

2 of 20. Some experts are pushing to end restaurant tipping

Michael Lynn is, quite possibly, the world's expert on tipping. The Cornell professor has written 51 academic papers on the subject. On a Freakonomics podcast, host Stephen Dubner asked Lynn what he would change about tipping.

"You know," Lynn said. "I think I would outlaw it."


Lynn says it is discriminatory.

His 2008 study titled "Consumer Racial Discrimination in Tipping" found that, looking at black and white customers and waiters, "consumers of both races discriminate against black service providers by tipping them less than white service providers."

Read the rest of the story here.

3 of 20. Extreme downsizing: Lessons from selling everything you own

IOWA CITY, Iowa — In the summer of 2000, John D. Freyer sold everything he owned.

Freyer was single, in his 20s and was flush with the easy money of the dot com boom. He had been studying for a year at the University of Iowa, but a summer in New York City convinced him he wanted to move to the Big Apple instead.

So he jumped in his white Honda Civic and drove 1,000 miles back to Iowa with the intention of picking up some of his possessions and selling the rest.

Read the rest of the story here.

4 of 20. Things to avoid: Don't buy these dumb things for your college student

The eternal battle between real needs and wants pales next to the battle to equip college students with what they need and what they really, really, really want.

Luckily, the Web is full of advice about how to avoid dumb things to buy — meaning, don't buy these things for your college student.

The first thing to remember, according to Kelci Lynn Lucier at, is that "You'll buy stuff when you get there." Students also will get there and find they really didn't need some things.

Read the rest of the story here.

5 of 20. 'Karate Kid,' high heels and hidden influences on your buying

Try imitating an iconic scene from the 1984 movie "The Karate Kid" where Daniel stands in a perfect "Crane Stance" — one leg off the ground, two hands held high above his head, perfectly balanced and ready to deliver a kick from which there is no defense.

Now go shopping.

If a new study by BYU professors Jeff Larson and Darron Billeter is correct, just trying to do the difficult balancing act of the one-leg Crane Stance is enough to influence what you will buy.

Read the rest of the story here.