Common cents

Free food at Facebook?

Shanxi Upsdell

Personal testimonies for this organization abound with gratitude and fervor:Isaac Brosilow: _"Finally, a Facebook group that actually makes a difference. I thank you; the world thanks you."_Caroline Miller: _"This is my life. Now I know where I belong, and it's in this group."_Pedram Adili: _"This has changed my life forever."_So ...

Clean hard drives if recycling computers

Mike Belt

It doesn't take too many years for old computers, televisions and other electronic devices to dominate storage space in garages and attics it they aren't thrown away.In Kansas the law allows electronic equipment to be disposed of in a landfill. In Lawrence, there's no city ordinance preventing you from putting ...

Communications on the cheap

Shanxi Upsdell

I came across this [Reader's Digest article][1] recently, and I liked the format.It lists 10 money-related hurdles facing U.S. consumers and sets forth some creative ways to tackle them. One way in particular stood out for me: 4. Your son left for college, and you want to keep in touch ...

Some senior citizens try to hide their money troubles

Mike Belt

Joan Baker sold her car because gasoline got too expensive and she couldn't afford the insurance.That was two years ago, long before gas prices got close to $4 per gallon.Baker, 77, of Lawrence, now struggles with other high costs. She lives on a fixed income, just as do many senior ...

KU treats for tightwads

Shanxi Upsdell

I expect many of you will know some or all of these already, but these best-kept secrets made my four-year journey at Kansas University far more enjoyable.Some of these tips will be tailored to my interests - journalism and English but a lot of it applies to disciplines across campus.1) ...

How to enjoy Lawrence on a budget

Shanxi Upsdell

Where are some of the best places in Lawrence to hang out on the cheap? I've rounded up some ideas to help us get started:1) [Recreation Centers][1]. Lawrence's several recreation facilities offer free exercise and entertainment opportunities . . . so you don't need to pay for a gym membership! ...

Mystery charge shows up on Lawrence woman's credit card

Mike Belt

Judi Mahaley almost didn't notice the $9.87 billing to one of her little-used credit cards.The Lawrence woman checks her statements online to avoid receiving paper statements. She was checking this particular card's statement to review her finance charges when she saw the a mysterious charge from"I have hardly used ...

Welcome to Common Cents

Mike Belt

Welcome to the new Common Cents blog, written by Mike Belt and Shanxi Upsdell.Belt will write about a variety of consumer economic subjects and how they are affecting people's pocketbooks and bank accounts. He also will write longer, more in-depth stories in print and online.Upsdell will write mostly about how ...


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