The Week in Review: Funny Money Stories

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1. Squirrels nearly bring Senate to a halt

A U.S. senator threatened to block votes on highway spending and other vital projects this week until pork is cut from the budget. Specifically, according to CNN: “In Tennessee, $269,000 was spent on a sanctuary for white squirrels. A Chevrolet Corvette simulator destined for a Kentucky museum cost $200,000. A Roman bath house in West Virginia was renovated for $160,000.”

2. Extreme couponing sparks backlash

How bad is the extreme coupon craze getting? “Sunday newspapers are being stolen, manufacturers and retailers are getting frustrated and shoppers are clashing with store managers over their loads of coupons and carts of items,” MSNBC reports. “Coupon redemption surged 27 percent in 2009 to 3.3 billion coupons.”

3. 2012 Volkswagen Beetle gets ‘manly’ redo

Volkswagen is making its best-selling Beetle more macho – and hoping for more money. “The cute look is leaving too much male money on the table,” USA Today reports. The 2012 Beetle is a redesign that’s bigger, still rounded but sleeker, more powerful and sits on a wider stance.”

4. 25 best places to retire

Boise, Idaho? Marquette, Michigan? Danville, Kentucky? Pittsburgh?! CNN insists these are the places with the best home prices, cost of living index, and a big number of retirees for you to hang out with.

5. Vending world tries new tech to court Gen Y

If you have trouble figuring out how to use a smartphone, laptop, or tablet PC, be prepared to ask for help the next time you use a vending machine. “A new age of paying by credit card, key fob and smartphone is slowly evolving as the struggling vending world tries to court a new generation that would rather touch screens than coins,” USA Today reports. “We now have machines that look and act like giant iPads.”

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