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Holiday tipping: Who gets paid and how much

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Tipping a service person is illogical if you stop to think about it. Why would rational people voluntarily pay more for a service than they must?

Tipping is not as rampant in other countries as it is in the United States. And besides, who carries cash anymore?

Logical or not, there are a myriad reasons for tipping in American society. Rewarding good-quality service, helping service workers and gaining social approval are a few of the reasons explored by academics, such as Michael Lynn, a Cornell University professor who has written more than 50 research publications on the topic.


4 things to consider when choosing a new cellphone

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NEW YORK (AP) — Now is a good time to get a smartphone. The latest devices hit shelves in time for the holiday shopping season, and there’s likely to be a lull in new releases until next spring. So why wait?

Here are some things to consider before hitting stores. If you’re upgrading from an older model, you can skip the first part aimed at first-time smartphone buyers.

5 Spot: Should you buy snow tires?

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When it’s wintertime, and the driving isn’t easy, are you better off with snow tires?

Winter tires are not suited for non-winter conditions, as they wear more quickly than all-season tires and don’t perform as well on dry or wet pavement as all-season or summer tires. Therefore, if you have cold winters but generally drive on dry or plowed streets, you may be better off with all-season tires.

Holiday wish list: Local service agencies seek donations

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The holidays are a time for giving. As we have done in previous years, the Kenosha News has requested “wish lists” from local agencies that support our community so our readers will have an opportunity to extend their gift-giving to include these fine organizations. So if you have the means, open your heart and your wallet to make their holidays a little brighter. If you intend to drop off your donations, call first for hours.

9 things for shoppers to watch this holiday season

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Halloween? That’s done. Now the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear. So, what’s hot this year? And what changes should shoppers expect during the busiest time of the year? Here are nine things to watch:

Will shopping on Thanksgiving creep into late afternoon this year? Most retailers held off until 6 p.m. or later last year, but with Macy’s opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year, some others may edge up to 5 p.m. or even 4 p.m.

$uper $hopper

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Whether or not you’re into coupons, you’re in luck! ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, has rounded up ways to save that will also save you time, because you don’t have to use coupons to get great grocery deals.

If you don’t sign up for loyalty cards and use them every time you shop, you’re missing out on members-only coupons and special offers. Here’s how to maximize your savings: Scan store circulars at Spoofee.com or SundaySaver.com for featured sale items to put on your list. Those are “loss leaders” designed to get you into the store, and you’re unlikely to find them cheaper anywhere else. Typical loss leaders include staples such as cereal, bacon and detergent. Also, see whether your store rewards you for spending more. Safeway’s and Stop & Shop’s programs, for example, give you discounts on gas at partnering stations.

Condominium living

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Jamie Warosh understands the advantages of condominium living.

“We had the time to do other things in life versus spending our whole weekend at home doing yard work,” recalled Warosh, who owned a two-bedroom condo in Kenosha County with her husband, John, before moving to a single-family home.

The best ways to sell your stuff

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Your basement and attic may be bursting with possessions you no longer want, and you might be surprised by the amount you can pocket if you know the best ways to sell your stuff.

You’ll make the most money by matching your goods with the best places to sell them, whether it’s an auction house, a consignment store, a website or a yard sale. Just keep in mind that the IRS may want a cut of your profits. It taxes the proceeds from the sale of collectibles as capital gains, generally at a rate of 28 percent.

5 Spot: Dress your porch for fall

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By the end of summer, flowers start to look kind of nasty. To get your patio ready for fall, pull out all the raggedy flowers and put them in the compost. Then, replace them with simple but stunning fall displays. Pumpkins and gourds always look festive.

For a fun treatment, top a planter with a riser of some sort, plop on a pumpkin, then ensconce the treatment with a wire orb. Thread in some bittersweet or other fall vine, and, boom, you have a killer display in minutes.

Protect yourself after a data breach

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Payment systems being hacked at Home Depot.

Target data breach.




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