Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Preparing your home for the winter. Also in the news: Understanding the “kiddie tax”, why your chances of retiring early could be determined by your personality, and how to defeat the urge to binge shop.Education savings

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter
Don’t let your money go up in chimney smoke.

Understanding the ‘Kiddie Tax’
Those generous gifts could be generating taxable income.

Retiring Early May Come Down to Your “Financial Personality”
Are you a “protector” or a “pleaser”?

How to Defeat the Urge to Binge Shop
You might want to star by leaving your wallet at home.

Is Saving the Key to Happiness?
Money can’t buy you love, but saving it might just make you happy.

How to make saving money easier

Dear Liz: What’s the easiest way to save money? I have the hardest time. I want to save, but I feel that I don’t make enough to start saving.

Answer: The easiest way to save is to do it without thinking about it.

That usually means setting up automatic transfers either from your paycheck or from your checking account. If you have to think about putting aside money, you’ll probably think of other things to do with that cash. If it’s done automatically, you may be surprised at how fast the money piles up.

The second part of this equation is to leave your savings alone. If you’re constantly dipping into savings to cover regular expenses, you won’t get ahead.

People manage to save even on small incomes because they make it a priority. They “pay themselves first,” putting aside money for savings before any other bills are paid. Start with small, regular transfers and increase them as you can.