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Wait to Celebrate Fiscal Feats

You know the drill: You get excited about a goal (a real vacation! new fall clothes!) and you plaster your brain with promises to save. Then you lose that kick-butt momentum and your plan falters. Are you a savings slacker? Nope, but you may be...

When A Curveball Account Isn’t Enough

In the last couple of weeks, my husband and I had two big, unexpected car repairs, an error on our 1040 (translation: we owe the IRS) and—say it ain’t so! but it is!—my husband’s laptop needs a repair. Our curveball fund is wiped out and I had to...

Buying a House on a Teacher's Pay

My name is Christine, and I’m going to buy a house this year. I’ve been saving for six months, but unplanned expenses have sucked away a lot of my extra cash. I want to close on my house when my lease is up in December, so I need to get serious...

Your Holiday Savings Plan Starts Now

Remember last year, when you vowed to start that holiday savings account sooner—to relieve stress and prevent a giant Visa hangover? Now’s your chance! Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season, is 128 days away, on November...

Quick Fix for a Budget Breakdown

Each season brings its own set of expenses, and recently I had to give my budget a serious summer tune-up. Soon I’ll be fretting about holiday gifts and heating bills. Right now—with guests and picnics and parties and potlucks—my issue is food....

Rx for Pesky Medical Claims

If the Affordable Care Act ever comes together, it could give some 44 million uninsured Americans access to health coverage. But it probably won’t stop insurance companies from mishandling one in five claims—or make it any easier to get...

Love, Money and My 1040 Form

You hate to give the IRS credit for anything, but tax-time revelations can provide some eye-openers. My favorite this year happened when my husband and I were in pre-tax prep, combing through our budget. I asked my dear spouse—who pays our...

Your Brain, on a Budget

Do you start ambitious budgets only to abandon them after a few weeks—or days? Good news for the noncommittal: researchers say you can train your brain to become better. New habits are formed in 66 days on average, according to a 2009 study from...

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