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thGot a recently graduated kid parked in his old room because jobs aren’t available? Maybe he needs to expand his horizons.

Specifically, your kid might consider living and working in North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota or Wyoming. Those are the top five of the “Best states for young people,” according to a new study from MoneyRates.com.

The Dakotas? Iowa? Maybe they’re not as sexy as New York or L.A., but they’re hiring.


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thThose of you who actually enter the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes [hand goes up] may remember the $5,000 bonus award you could get if the PCH team ever showed up at your front door.

You were supposed to look at the camera and say something like, “I just won a gazillion dollars in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes! Now I know it’s real!”

Why someone who’d just won a gazillion dollars would be compos mentis enough to remember to say that – and why he’d even care about an extra five grand – was never explained to my satisfaction. That won’t stop me from pirating the slogan, however:

“Last month I won a $100 Amazon card from the Ally Bank Tweetchat! Now I know it’s real!”

 

Ally Bank Tweetchat screenshot (winner!)

(Yeah, that’s some teeny print. But if you click on the screenshot you’ll see my Twitter handle, @DLFreedman, as one of the winners.)

I already knew it was real, because a Surviving and Thriving reader wrote to tell me she’d won a card. That made me happy.

You may already be a winner!

It would also make me happy if one (or two!) of you guys won the Amazon scrip at tomorrow’s Ally Bank Tweetchat. Certainly it’s a topic to which we can all relate: “Developing enviable saving habits.”


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ecA time-honored frugal hack is to negotiate — salary, real estate, holiday arrangements (your parents’ house? his parents’ house?), the price of that beater you want to buy from Craigslist.

Trouble is, many people don’t really know how to negotiate — they’ve never seen it done, they lack self-confidence or face a cultural barrier with regard to haggling.

This week’s giveaway can help.

The Practical Negotiator: How to Argue Your Point, Plead Your Case and Prevail in Any Situation” was written by Steven P. Cohen, president of The Negotiation Skills Company Inc.

Although some people associate the word with backroom politics or high-stakes business, the author says that negotiation “takes place in the daily life of regular people who are trying to reach collaborative agreement in the family unit, on the job or as a consumer.”


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thEarlier this month DF and I had an evening out. It was a classy affair, with wine, freshly grilled meats, beautiful things to see, and interesting conversations with friends and total strangers.

It was completely free, and we can do it every month if we like. Specifically, on the first Friday of every month. That’s when a handful of artsy places in Anchorage (including two universities) have public receptions for new exhibits.

This is an increasingly common practice in U.S. towns and cities. Whether it’s called “First Friday” or “Artwalk” or whatever, it’s a chance to enjoy works new and old – and, often, to get free food.

This has long been a frugal hack for starving students and also for those dating on a budget: something to eat plus a chance to look all cultured-like. But it works just as well when you’re out of school, and also when you’re happily partnered or just want an outing with friends. Who doesn’t want free food and wine?


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thI never expected to eat a delicious meal on an airplane. Frankly, I never expect to have a reasonably edible meal on a plane – that’s why I bring my own food.

But flying back from the Financial Blogger Conference I was given a chance to eat celeriac puree for the first time, along with beef short rib bordelaise and green beans.

These things were prefaced by an appetizer salad: a few strips of hot-smoked salmon, a small pile of chopped cucumber and tomato, a few fancy salad greens and a dab of dill crème frache. Oh, and a pecan tart for dessert.

Celeriac puree is pretty tasty, and the appetizer salad was so good that I wanted it to be the entrée. In fact, the foods almost made up for getting the first-class stinkeye. Almost.


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