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Social Security Benefits Will Increase, but Not Very Much — Dollars and Sense

Recipients of Social Security benefits will see a slightly less than 2 percent cost-of-living increase next year, according to an estimate by the American Institute for Economic Research.

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'The Hobbit' coins
Warner Bros.
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‘The Hobbit’ Coins Will Be Legit Forms of Payment in New Zealand

New Zealand is pretty proud that Peter Jackson and his Warner Bros. team chose the country's landscapes to house production of 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' films. We would be too, but probably not to the extent of the New Zealanders.

In a similar fashion to the US releasing those commemorative but completely usable state-themed quarters years back, New Zealand is about to make 'Hobbit' coins a legitimate form of currency in honor of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's' premiere.

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Category: Money, Movies, Weird News Tags:
Sarah Lawrence
Sanko2kml, Flickr
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What Are the Most Expensive Colleges in America? — Dollars and Sense

The cost of higher education is getting, um, higher.

Campus Grotto recently released its annual list of the most expensive colleges in America and according to their statistics, the cost of attending just one year at the most expensive college hit a record high tuition this year at over $60,000.

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Category: Education, Money Tags:
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John Moore, Getty Images
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How Hard Is It to Get a Job if You’ve Been Out of Work for 6 Months? — Dollars and Sense

They say the best time to look for a new job is when you already have one. Turns out there might actually be something to this phenomenon: New research suggests that the longer you're out of work, the harder it gets to find a new job.

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highest and lowest paid graduates
Wayne State College / Michael Nagle, Getty Images
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What Colleges Have the Lowest- and Highest-Paid Graduates? — Dollars and Sense

The dream of many college graduates—to earn a good-enough starting salary to pay off student loans without being rendered homeless or forced into starvation—comes easier or harder depending on where they graduate.

With that in mind, which American colleges offer the worst possible opportunity for a earning a decent entry-level salary, and which offer the best?

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Category: Education, Money
Toys R' Us
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Toys R Us Announces New Price-Matching Offer — Dollars and Sense

In an attempt to be a forethought on the shopping lists of parents this holiday season, Toys R Us has announced plans to match the prices of their competition. The company’s new “price-match guarantee” will be extended to all products from Toys R Us and Babies R Us retail outlets.

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Category: Money Tags:
credit card bill
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Credit Card Delinquencies Reach 11-Year Low — Dollars and Sense

These days more credit card customers are paying their bills on time than they have over the course of the last decade.

A report released earlier today by the American Bankers Association indicates that delinquencies on credit cards are currently at an 11-year low, with only 2.93 percent of credit accounts reported past due by 30 days or more. These figures come in substantially under the 3.91 percent 15-year average.

So, what’s with all of the newfound responsibility?

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Category: Money, News Tags:
millionaire
Comstock
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Thousands of Millionaires Collect Unemployment Benefits — Dollars and Sense

According to a study by the Congressional Research Service, roughly 2,360 millionaires collected unemployment insurance benefits in 2009. The study, titled “Receipt of Unemployment Insurance by Higher-Income Unemployed Workers,” determined that 2 percent of unemployment insurance claims received in 2009 were to millionaires, adding up to nearly $21 million in benefits.

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sears olive garden
Olive Garden / Mario Tama, Getty Images
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Two Major Companies Switch to Health Insurance Allowance — Dollars and Sense

Last week, Sears and Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster) announced that they were seriously entertaining the idea of doing away with their traditional health insurance programs and opting instead to provide their employees with a heath-coverage allowance.

The two major American companies plan to allow employees to select coverage through an online marketplace, where workers will have the opportunity to browse and purchase various employer-backed health plans.

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Category: Health, Money Tags:
overdraft on bank statement
Semicolon-stop, Flickr
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‘Insufficient Funds’ for You, Big Business for Your Bank — Dollars and Sense

Consumer error appears to be greatly benefiting the financial industry, as a new banking report finds that charges to checking accounts caused by insufficient funds generated $31.5 billion last year. That is up from $30.8 million the year before, marking roughly an overall 2 percent increase.

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Category: Money Tags:

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