A Week's Worth: Quick takes on the world of work and money

Saving big with coupons, how PDAs complicate life for IT departments, fewer people look for love at work.

For the first time this year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday with a gain for the week (0.9 percent), thanks in part to the Fed's latest cut in interest rates. Economists credited the cut for pushing 30-year mortgage rates to their lowest level in nearly four years.

Approaching the checkout counter at your local supermarket with a fistful of coupons can annoy the shoppers in line behind you, but in the current economy it makes sense (or cents), says ShopSmart magazine. Women in its latest survey reported saving up to $678 a year with coupons and "store loyalty" cards – a bonus at a time when milk, citrus fruit, dog food, and many other items in between are rising in price.

You may be saving time and completing more work by using a BlackBerry or other PDA (personal digital assistant). But according to the Computing Technology Industry Association, you're probably also making life more difficult for your employer's IT department. Such gadgets, it says, are easily misplaced, difficult to link with network printers, and often require other digital devices to be updated for the sake of compatibility.

No longer do large percentages of Americans worry that dating a fellow employee might jeopardize their career, a new survey for staffing service Spherion Corp. has found. But that doesn't mean that the number of people who look for love at the office is growing. In fact, the past 12 months extended a steady decline among single respondents (to 36 percent) who said they do so. In January a year ago, it was 39 percent. In 2005 it was 42 percent.

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