Penny prezzies

Penny prezzies

Getting your spending under control doesn’t have to mean no presents under the tree, writes personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary. One tried-and-true cheap gift is the gift coupon for your services, such as free housework for a week.

Just keep in mind that there’s always a danger that Aunt Stella will actually want to collect on her Free Foot Massage coupon.

Shark trap: A judge in central Pennsylvania has approved a settlement of fraud charges against payday lender and pawn shop giant MoneyGram International Inc.

MoneyGram has to pay $100 million into a victims’ compensation fund. For collateral, it offered a dented 1997 Saturn SL, a made-in-China copy of a Fender Stratocaster, and the air compressor the CEO borrowed from his brother-in-law last year and never returned.

Yeah, right: Marijuana legalization is problematic in the very place where one would think it would be greeted most warmly: Washington’s college campuses. That’s because in exchange for the millions of dollars from the federal government, colleges must promise to be drug-free.

Fun fact: The only vow that is more frequently violated is the one exchanged at weddings.

— Mark Carlson, Herald staff