Your bathroom can be functional without being boring, without spending thousands of dollars or hosting an HGTV makeover show to spruce it up. (Most of us are terrified at the thought of our friends spending significant time in our bathrooms, much less letting all of America critique it.) Flea markets, dollar stores, and other discount
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When it comes to financing your mortgage, trying to navigate the labyrinth of lenders can get confusing. Like any significant financial transaction, there are advantages and disadvantages that come with each type of lender. Get started by asking your realtor for referrals. With a large commission at stake, realtors have the right sort of incentive
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Does visualizing success help you achieve success? It certainly does in some cases. Successful athletes such as Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali are known to have visualized their successes years in advance. People in other fields have also used visualization as an important part of the path to their success, from cartoonist Scott Adams to
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Is your credit card interest rate causing you financial pain? As of April 2020, the average annual percentage rate (APR) across all credit cards is 16.12%. Low-interest rate cards average 12.95% – a huge improvement when you’re struggling with debt. If your card’s APR doesn’t measure up, how do you get a low-interest rate credit
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Can you spot a credit score myth when you see one? Survey after survey, including a 2017 MoneyTips survey, finds that people continually believe the same credit score myths. Have you fallen for these examples? 1. Checking Your Own Credit Report Drops Your Score – This myth confuses the two types of pulls on your
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Selling a home can be a stress-inducing experience, especially if you are counting on the sale of your existing home to fund the purchase of a new home. It can seem like you are coordinating a million things at once. A simple checklist can help you to keep track during the chaos and prevent necessary
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The old phrase “you get what you pay for” really does ring true in some cases. There are some cases where quality is far more important than price. Would you consider discount brain surgery? Probably not… and if you would, we suspect it might be repeat business. Medicine warrants a whole category of areas where
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You’ve set up a lame date for the upcoming weekend but you’re hoping a better offer comes along. If one does, you’re ready to accept it and cancel your earlier date. You’re hedging your bets, so you won’t be sitting home alone on Saturday night. That logic applies to real estate transactions as well. Perhaps
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Certificates of Deposit (CDs) can be a useful part of your investment portfolio – but did you know that opening a CD at some banks and credit unions can drop your credit score? It’s possible, depending on how your bank or credit union assesses risk. When you apply for credit, lenders check your credit report
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A vacation home sounds delightful, doesn’t it? If you can’t afford one, you may be able to at least afford a part of one – by purchasing a timeshare. You’ll have plenty of company if you do. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) reports that timeshare sales have risen for eight consecutive years, reaching $9.6
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You decide to participate in a government survey regarding your debt and credit card usage. Will you answer the survey questions honestly, or will you shade some of your answers when you’re not proud of the truthful response? Researchers at the Federal Reserve decided to compare credit card data from different sources to answer that
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Tax preparation software has improved significantly over the past several years, and more and more people are using it to file their own taxes. If you are debating whether doing your own taxes is right for you, consider the following factors: Simplicity of your Tax Situation – If you have relatively few deductions, few sources
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The Internal Revenue Service has plenty of ways to penalize you for mistakes on your tax return. Some of these potential penalties are so convoluted and complex that there may well be disagreement within the IRS on when they apply. However, most people accrue tax penalties for very simple mistakes. Below are some of the
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The Premium Tax Credit (PTC) may sound like it is a credit only available to top-tier incomes, but it is actually quite the opposite. “Premium” in this case refers to health care premiums, and the PTC is a way to help those with relatively low incomes to afford health insurance premiums and avoid the potential
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Nature comes alive in springtime and we all want to take advantage of the warmer weather. However, some of our finances may still be recovering from our holiday spending, making a spring break seem like a pipe dream. Here are five ways to take a vacation without breaking the bank. 1. Take a road trip.
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The IRS recommends that you keep tax records for at least three years from the date you filed your original return, and longer for special situations. You may need copies of your tax returns for tasks like filing future years’ taxes, applying for a mortgage loan or student aid, or settling IRS inquiries. How to
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You have decided that it is time to sell your home. Regardless of the reason why, you want as smooth and as quick of a sale as possible. To keep your sale trouble-free, consider these potential stumbling blocks before you begin your home-selling journey. Overpricing – Set the price using appraisal values and market rates,
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Tax season is upon us, accompanied by many new federal tax changes. If you are one of the many Americans struggling to understand how to fill out your tax forms, the IRS — yes, that IRS — may be able to offer you free assistance. The IRS offers the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program
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The home appraisal process can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of a home sale. A single independent party is assessing the fair market value of your home, and the appraiser’s conclusion can sink the deal. Banks will not approve the loan if the appraisal does not give them sufficient collateral. The primary factors
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To pay someone to figure out how much you have to pay the government seems like adding insult to injury. For many taxpayers, there’s an easier way. Formed in 2003, IRS Free File is the product of a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a group of twelve online tax software suppliers that form
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Congratulations! You have just been handed your first little bundle of joy in the hospital and have embarked on the long journey of parenthood. It is a trip full of joyful experiences that make the corresponding aggravations worthwhile, and it comes with many benefits — some of which are tax-related. You can look forward to
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