Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The best online budgeting tools. Also in the news: How to choose between a 15 or 30 year mortgage, what to do when your home is underwater, and simple ways to raise your credit score. The 5 Best Online Budgeting Tools to Help You Save Money Tools that could help keep more […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Re-Evaluating your airline miles credit cards. Also in the news: Saving money on school expenses, avoiding awkward money conversations at the holiday dinner table, and finding the best life insurance plan to fit your needs. Do You Need to Re-Evaluate Your Airline Miles Credit Cards? Changes to several programs has made some […]

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Food stamps are the symptom, not the problem

The conservative Wall Street Journal opinion page is not where you’d expect to see a piece headlined “In defense of food stamps.” Yet there it is, written by William A. Galston of the Brookings Institution. Galston recounts the facts: that nearly half (47%) of the people on food stamps are children, that the typical income […]

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The problem with bargain hunting

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Deal sites. Garage sales. Thrift stores. All can be a part of a frugal lifestyle. Or they can just be substitutes for a more expensive shopping habit. The question to ask: Are these thrifty alternatives really thrifty for you? Or are they just feeding that lust for acquisition that leads to too much stuff and […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: 8 tax breaks expiring at the end of 2013. Also in the news: How to monitor your credit after a data breach, when it makes sense to have credit card debt, and could cheaper insurance convince you to buy a self-driving car? 8 Tax Breaks Expiring at the End of 2013 Teachers […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: 7 expenses that vanish when you retire. Also in the news: earning extra cash for the holidays, money mistakes to avoid in your 40’s and 7 questions to ask before you retire. 7 Expenses That Vanish During Retirement Time to kiss commuting expenses goodbye! 7 Things Your Credit Score Doesn’t Reveal The […]

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At death, wills matter–promises don’t

Dear Liz: If your in-laws promised you and their son their house, and have for over 20 years, and the whole family is aware that was the plan — your mother-in-law even had a will and a deed made up — do you think the executor of the estate has the right to do away […]

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Will risky refi hurt credit scores?

Dear Liz: I need to refinance my home. My credit score has slipped a bit over the last year (still pretty good) and my wife has lost her job. I’m concerned that if we get denied, that will impact my credit score. Some have told me that inquiries from potential lenders can hurt the score […]

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Automatic payments for charity: pros and cons

Dear Liz: You recently suggested people consider putting their charitable donations on automatic. While I have automatic deductions for savings because I do not want to constantly remind myself to do it, I want to remind myself of all other expenses. For me, prudent money management requires attention to all expenses. Your thoughts? Answer: Many […]

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Settling student loan debt: not exactly the easy way out

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Credit card debts can be settled for pennies on the dollar. Not so student loan debt. Borrowers usually can’t threaten bankruptcy to get a settlement, and the federal government has extraordinary powers to force borrowers to pay. (The feds collect between $1.11 and $1.22 for every $1 owed.) But in the right circumstances, student loan […]

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