One of the two couples I interviewed in my latest MSN Money column has an adjusted gross income of $30,000 — and is raising kids and paying for a home on that sum.

The other couple is doing the same thing on an AGI of $36,000.

Could you?


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A documentary about Dr. Muhammad Yunus’ experiment in “micro-lending” in the United States will screen on Thursday, March 31 at a number of theaters around the country.

Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist and Nobel laureate, created the Grameen Bank to make financing available to people who do not have access to the traditional banking system. It now operates in 38 countries — including ours.

What could micro-lending do for you? Well, it might just give you the boost you need to work your way to financial independence.


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Melinda is the winner of “Shooting Bears: The Adventures of a Wildlife Photographer.” And here’s a hint about this Friday’s giveaway: It’s also a book, one with a personal-finance/frugality theme — and the author is willing to personalize it.

I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do because, well, I’m bushed. It’s taking a surprising amount of time to shake off the fatigue that followed my three-week trip, during which I pushed myself pretty hard.

One more mention of the U.K. and then I’ll get back to my usual mix of PF/lifeitsownself. Here are 7 things I learned across the pond:


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After weeks and weeks of PF-themed giveaways I figured it was time for a change. That’s why this week’s prize is a gorgeous coffee-table book full of slavering bruins.

Shooting Bears: The Adventures of a Wildlife Photographer” chronicles in words and photos — lots of photos — the life and work of the late John Pezzenti Jr.


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Hard on the heels of Wellness Week 2011 we have SpaWeek 2011, which offers $50 treatments by more than 800 spas in 36 states and the city of Toronto.

It doesn’t happen until April 11-17, but these discounted deals probably won’t last that long. The time to book is now.


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