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Tax Tips from a Pro

Getting a fat refund check from the IRS can feel like winning the lottery—but luck has nothing to do with preparing your tax return. To help you make the most of your deductions this year, here are some Dos and Don’ts from personal finance maven...

Get a Return on Responsibility

Your money reflects who you are. You buy organic, recycle, and generally try to live a good life. You want your portfolio to reflect those ethics. But investors who want to add “doing good” to their returns have to be savvy, even when considering...

How Dollar Stores Drain You Dry

Sometimes I go to the dollar store. After all, sometimes you need a mop bucket. But suddenly things start jumping into my cart. Books, an apple corer, a bag of gingersnaps. Yes, there are some deals. I’ve even bought underwear: Hanes “slightly...

Credit Score Number Crunching

How big a difference does a higher credit score make, really? Let’s crunch some numbers--with help from Frank Donnelly, CFP, President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington. Susie and Jane each take out a $200,000...

The Power of Social Saving

Studies show that social support helps you live longer and lose weight. Now imagine what some pal power can do for your financial goals! Tip #2 for the It’s An Emergency! Savings Challenge: buddy up. The Why Not only will securing a money buddy...

Credit Card Calculator
Free credit card payoff calculator by Bankrate.com

Do You Take a Hit When You Marry Bad Credit?

What happens to that stellar score if the man of your dreams has nightmare credit? Nothing—at first. Getting married alone doesn’t impact either of your credit histories; your reports and scores remain separate (even if you change your name)....

Meal Deductions, Explained

One of your employees announces that she’s engaged, and you take her and the office out to lunch to celebrate. In the evening, you take out your business partner to celebrate the company’s one-year anniversary. Both of those count as business...

Reap the Rewards of Good Credit

You know that good credit will help you get the best rates on loans (natch)—but what if you’re already stuck with high rates due to a bum credit history? Good news! Improving your credit score can help you refinance or renegotiate for better...

Turn Down the Volatility on Your Investments

Looking for an antidote to the queasy feeling you have about the markets? Low-volatility exchange-traded funds (ETFs) could be the tonic you’re looking for. In general, ETFs offer investors a cheaper and (in some ways) easier means of getting...

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