Money in a Minute: Headlines for Feb. 14, 2011

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2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

In today's roundup: Love in the office, mortgages on the rise, gas prices on a record pace, Obama under heat, and Lego in a battle.

DATING: Looking for love? Try the next cubicle

Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day, so we couldn’t resist this story: “Nearly 4,000 workers, about 40 percent, say they’ve dated a co-worker at some point in their careers,” the Today show reports. “Get this: 30 percent say they went on to marry a person they dated in the workplace.”

HOUSING: Average rate on 30-year mortgage hits 5.05 pct.

Back in November, home buyers truly had much to be thankful for: Mortgage rates hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent. But on this Valentine’s Day, today’s buyers are getting no love. “The average rate on the 30-year mortgage topped 5 percent for the first time since April,” Bloomberg reports. “Higher rates could further hamper the struggling housing market ahead of the spring’s prime home-buying season.”

GAS PRICES: Gas pump prices highest ever for this time of year

More bad news over the weekend: “The national average hit $3.127 per gallon on Friday, about 50 cents above a year ago,” the Associated Press reports. The highest ever in this country? $4.11 last July. If the trend continues, we’ll beat that handily.

GOVERNMENT: Obama’s budget would cut heat subsidies for poor

You know times are tough when President Obama says he’s cutting money that keeps poor people warm in the winter. “Obama’s 2012 budget will propose cutting $2.5 billion from a program that helps low-income people cope with high energy costs in the cold of winter and heat of summer,” CNN reports. “The reduction is steep, and might impact millions of families.”

TOYS: Hasbro pushes into Lego’s land with new blocks

If competition makes cars and smartphones better, why not building blocks? Hasbro is rolling out a new product to compete with Lego. Even better, kids can use them with Lego blocks. Why try to topple this monopoly? “While total U.S. toy revenue rose 2 percent to $21.87 billion in 2010,” USA Today reports,” building set sales jumped 13 percent.”

Stacy Johnson

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