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Lifestyle & Trends - Money & Finance
Is it time for a financial checkup?
For most of us, checkups are a regular part of life. Dental visits, auto maintenance appointments and even glances in the bathroom mirror all help us catch potential problems and assure that all is - or will be - well. What's true of teeth, engines and grooming is also true of finances: regular checkups are recommended.
Auto shows dotting the country paired with rising temperatures leave many people longing for a new car or truck. But purchasing a new vehicle is a complex process - one that doesn't start with finding the right car, but with making sure your finances are in order. It's important to plan ahead so there are no surprises during the loan application process that leave you stranded without options.
It's all in the details - how to accessorize your home exterior
When considering exterior home improvements, many homeowners go for updates such as the replacement of siding or windows. These projects can make the home look great while boosting energy efficiency, but no matter how much homeowners invest in siding or windows, it will only look as good as the trim used to complete the job.
Many find that the new year is a time to wipe the slate clean. In fact, 45 percent of Americans made New Year's resolutions, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology from the University of Scranton. But while it is easy to make resolutions, the hard part is actually following through with them.
The last thing anyone wants is for his or her insurance rates to increase. Most policyholders would be surprised to know it's the last thing their insurance company wants to happen, too. That's why most major carriers have a department of investigators dedicated to stopping one of the primary causes of rate hikes: insurance fraud. In fact, fraudulent insurance claims are the second most costly white-collar crime in America - to the tune of $40 billion annually.
How to avoid a big tax bill or fine-tune your refund
Think back to your last income tax return. Did you owe Uncle Sam a lot of money, or did he give you a big refund? Whatever your situation, you can influence next year's outcome by adjusting your payroll withholding. Here's what you need to know.
If you typically dread income tax time, remember this: Three out of four taxpayers receive a federal refund, and the average direct-deposited refund last year was $2,923. You have almost as many tax savings opportunities as last year, thanks to the fiscal cliff-averting tax changes passed in early January. In addition to extending the lower Bush-era income tax rates for nearly all taxpayers, the American Tax Relief Act made permanent or extended dozens of tax breaks.
Warm weather is "special occasion" season. Whatever your event - a wedding, graduation party, family reunion or July 4th fete - summer celebrations have one important thing in common. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck. Here are timely tips to stretch your entertaining dollars this summer season.
Protect your information during the tax-season identity theft boom
Tax season can be stressful, and each year people scramble to send in their tax returns, right down to the deadline. But for those who do a little preparation and avoid procrastinating, it can be significantly less tense. However, whether you're a last-minute rusher or an ahead-of-the-game planner, you need to take steps to protect your identity during tax time, or you could be facing the greatest stress of all.
The 5 money habits that can help you find true wealth
When did money get so complicated? From spending and charity to saving and investing, it's hard to know exactly what to do with your finances. Cut through the confusion and consider five smart ways you can use your money to your advantage today.