Mar
21
2012
0

Where does the government get the money it spends?

blood-and-taxesMuch of the money that the government spends comes from taxation. Taxation includes income tax, social security or national insurance levies, sales taxes or goods and services taxes, import tariffs, excise taxes, property rates or council taxes, stamp duty, death duties, and many more. In the past, there were taxes on such symbols of wealth [&hel[more...]

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Dec
12
2011
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What's the difference between government debt and a government's deficit?

debt-spiralThe terms deficit and debt are sometimes used loosely by politicians. It may even be politically expedient to use the terms sloppily. If a government spends less than its income, the government is said to operating at (or “running”) a surplus. If a government spends more than it receives, it is running a deficit. If [&hel[more...]

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Apr
24
2011
3

What is the world's most expensive pizza?

bitcoin-pizzaAt one time, the world’s most expensive pizza was a truffle pizza served by the Maze Restaurant in London for £100 ($150). That wasn’t expensive enough, so Nino’s Bellissima Pizza in New York created a caviar pizza for $1000, or roughly $30 per bite. Even more expensive was a single £2150 ($3225) pizza created by [&hel[more...]

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Feb
17
2011
5

How is Yap stone money similar to Bitcoin?

yap-stone-moneyThe traditional currency of the islanders of Yap consists of large disks called Rai stones. They are carved from limestone, and in traditional times were shinier than anything else on the island, which made the stone money desirable. But there was a catch—there was no limestone anywhere on Yap. To obtain the stones, the Yapese [&hel[more...]

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Dec
10
2010
0

Can you eat gold?

edible-gold.chocolateThe other day I heard someone saying that Gold is not worth investing in. After all, he said, if the financial system collapses you can’t eat gold, can you? Well, actually you can, unless you have a gold allergy. Many upmarket gourmet shops will sell you edible gold. It comes in several forms: dust, flakes [&hel[more...]

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Nov
02
2010
0

What are some good sites to earn money online where I won’t get scammed?

lululemon internet scam make money onlineThe odd thing about an awful lot of sites promising that they can make you money online is that they want your money first! You have to pay to play if you want to learn the secrets of earning an internet income — or so they want you to believe. I’m not saying that there [&hel[more...]

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Nov
01
2010
0

Where Can I Find Unclaimed International Money and Property?

unclaimed property assets money coin medal collection nkcrBelieve it our not, people abandon their valuables all the time, to the tune of billions of dollars of unclaimed assets sitting in accounts around the world. Perhaps someone moves away from home and forgets about their local bank account or safe deposit box. Or a property passes on to an heir who cannot be [&hel[more...]

Oct
30
2010
0

Can a Business Get Government Grants?

uncle sam government grantsYour rich Uncle Sam gives away billions of dollars every year in the form of government grants. Most of it is distributed to non-profit organizations, universities and state and local governments. A small chunk of grant money, though, is available to commercial businesses for everything from cutting edge research projects to supporting urban farms.  You can [&hel[more...]

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Sep
17
2010
0

Why might Flattr succeed?

flattr-peter-sundeFlattr is attemtping to do what many others have tried before—to build a micropayment system so that people can easily reward those who create useful or enjoyable content. Many who tried this have failed, and others (such as Kachingle) look as if they might be languishing. So what does Flattr have going for it that’s [&hel[more...]

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Aug
25
2010
0

What is a Payday Loan?

monopoly board collecting salaryPayday Loan is the name given to a short-term loan or cash advance which as its name suggests is only required until the borrower’s next payday when it can be paid back. A tide-you-over loan is often seen as a quick answer to a temporary shortage of money, but it is not designed as a [&hel[more...]

Jul
18
2010
1

Is it worth picking up pennies?

look-down-for-moneyInflation has eroded the value of the penny to the point where many people will no longer pick up a penny when they see one in the street. But how does this stand up to cold-blooded economic analysis? Suppose it takes three seconds to pick up a penny. There are 3600 seconds in an hour, [&hel[more...]

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May
24
2010
2

Is there a problem with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

bank of englandAs we have all seen recently, the banking system is unstable. In the event that a bank goes bust and the bank’s liquidators are unable to repay your money, then the government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme is available as place of last resort. However, there is a potential problem with the scheme which one must [&hel[more...]

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May
03
2010
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Why is the exchange rate worse for banknotes than for traveler’s checks or credit cards?

exchange-ratesYou would think that in most countries banks, exchange offices, stores should be delighted to be paid with your good, “hard” currency. The problem is that in most countries your dollar bills, Euros or pound notes are just paper until the holder can sell them and get his local currency, either in cash or as [&hel[more...]

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Apr
28
2010
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Is it better to buy foreign currency at home or after you arrive at your destination?

foreign-currencyThe best place to buy foreign currency depends on how that currency is traded. If there are serious exchange controls in the country you intend to visit, you will probably get a bad deal at the official rate of exchange in the country, whereas in your country banks or other sellers will be eager to [&hel[more...]

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Apr
09
2010
2

What's the best way to buy foreign currency?

foreign-currencySeveral decades ago, a bank would usually be the best place to change money from one currency to another. There was always a feeling that a money-changing business would be more likely to “rip you off”. Now the tables have turned, and specialist currency exchange businesses are often the best value when buying travel money. [&hel[more...]

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Apr
08
2010
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Can I give away all my money and then claim social security benefits?

british coins on table piled upThe state welfare system in the UK provides a number of benefits which are intended for the relief of, and protection against poverty. Some of these are known as Means Tested Benefits and they include Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. As the name Means [&hel[more...]

Jan
21
2010
4

Which UK towns have their own currency?

Lewes, East Sussex (photo by TravelEden CC-BY)If you visit the bustling county town of Lewes in East Sussex and go into of the shops or pubs, you will be offered the opportunity of exchanging your UK Sterling pounds for the local Lewes pounds. The exchange rate is one-to-one and there are no commission fees to worry about. In exchange you will [&hel[more...]

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Oct
16
2009
1

What are the alternatives to an expensive coffin?

Home-built coffin (photo by Ambient Damage - CC-BY)Answerfinder's article about Burial Clubs reminded me that many people worry about burial costs. Funeral insurance is big business, with a funeral home generally being the beneficiary of funeral expenses policies. This insurance pays for the casket (coffin), the flowers, the funeral service etc. This enables the policyholder to pay “up front” for their own [&hel[more...]

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Jul
02
2009
1

Can I make money by investing in wine?

Tuscany Vineyard (photo by rayced - CC-BY)There is a thriving wine investment market, and some people manage to turn a reasonable profit by investing in quality wines at the right price, and buying and selling at the right time. But there’s one way you almost certainly won’t make a profit—and that’s by buying into a wine investment “opportunity” that is offered [&hel[more...]

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May
18
2009
2

Which countries use the U.S. dollar as their official currency?

Here's what $5,700 U.S. looks like. AMagill photo. CC-BY.Seven countries other than the United States use the U.S. dollar as their official currency. Most of them are Latin American countries or island nations with small populations. The country that has used the U.S. dollar the longest is Panama, which adopted the balboa, pegged directly on a 1:1 to the dollar, as its currency [&hel[more...]

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