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  • By Louis DeNicola,

    It may be old news, but the end of the payroll tax holiday is an ongoing reality that affects everyone's paycheck. For an individual earning $50,000 a year, the two percent increase amounts to an extra $1,000 in taxes annually, the equivalent of $83.33 a month or $2.74 a day. For many taxpayers, that's enough to affect daily life. If you've had a little trouble adjusting to the 2013 tax increase, perhaps we can help you out.

    These helpful tips can lower your tax woes.

    Related: Our cheap tablets buying guide

    The first and most commonly cited suggestion: Eliminate that expensive coffee habit. But anyone who enjoys a good cup o' Joe already knows the price and has decided it's well worth the cost. Indeed, there are certainly easier and more productive ways to offset the sting of the 2013 tax increase.

    Start by looking at your basic monthly expenses, including mortgage or rent payments, cell phone bills, Internet and/or cable service, and the insurance policies you hold. These expen

    ...Read More »

  • Source: 6 Good Spending Habits to Start For Lent

    This time of year might be known for giving up bad habits thanks to Lent, but we're advocating for picking up good habits instead. When it comes to spending, we could all use some tips to better our practices. Here are some that we hope will last well beyond 40 days.

    • Buy for quality, not cost: If you're someone who frequently shops lesser-quality items because of the cheaper price tag, then consider how much you're actually saving in the long run. An expensive pair of boots might last you a lifetime, whereas you might have to keep replacing the more affordable pair that is poorly made.
    • Keep detailed track of your expenses: For some people, checking bank statements from time to time is how they track finances. But keeping tabs on where money goes - how much do you really spend on eating out per week? - is key to understanding the bigger picture of how to save up. Download apps like Ace Budget 2 ($1) to help with the budgeting p
    ...Read More »

  • By Amy Shearn

    Photo: Thinkstock

    Old Lesson: Pay Off Your Mortgage ASAP
    Here's what I've been taught about money: It's not good to be in debt, and therefore it is good to pay off debts as quickly as possible, including a mortgage. Turns out, this conventional wisdom is a holdover from a different time. Carmen Wong Ulrich, the president and co-founder of ALTA Wealth Management, told me: "People think that it's a good idea to pre-pay a mortgage and/or pay a mortgage off ASAP." What's wrong with that? "This advice comes from a previous couple of generations who had horrible interest rates on their mortgages--in the 1980s, the average mortgage interest rate was in the teens. Imagine--my dad, who had great credit, was paying 17% on his mortgage. That's expensive. Today, mortgage rates are at incredible lows--you should be in no rush."

    RELATED: Strong Life Plans: Decision-Making

    Old Lesson: Bank with the Local Guy
    Supporting local businesses is great, but you don't need to follow your parents' footstep

    ...Read More »

  • By Raechel Conover,

    Planning and timing is everything, especially for frugal consumers who need to make a big purchase. Knowing the best time to buy something -- from cars and houses to televisions and appliances -- goes a long way toward saving big bucks.

    Related: What are the top inexpensive digital cameras?

    The best time to buy a big-ticket item is usually when a newer model is introduced. For example, new furniture styles are released twice a year, so the best time to buy furniture is the month before the new products hit the stores. Season's end is also an excellent buying time. Consider lawn mowers, which are best bought in August and September when winter is on its way and the grass won't need mowing until spring.

    Note, though, that following the best-time-to-buy rules to get the best bargains means you must be prepared to sacrifice. In other words, forget about having the latest and greatest new model. Older models -- typically equal in quality to the replacements

    ...Read More »

  • It was a small mistake but one that cost British hairdresser and mother of two "Sally Donaldson" thousands of dollars.

    More on Yahoo! Bank Security Group Warns of Website Attacks

    According to The Guardian, in October 2012, Donaldson (not her real name) experienced a sickening, gut-wrenching moment when she discovered that over the course of two years, each time she had transferred her monthly paycheck of $1,500 from her HSBC account to the joint one she shares with her husband at Nationwide building society, she had accidentally been placing the money in a total stranger's account. After two years, the amount she had transferred was roughly $40,000.

    More on Yahoo! Shine: 12 Money Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

    "It wasn't until October 2012 that I discovered the £1,000 was not showing on our joint account's monthly statement. Having moved over to paperless statements in 2010, I had been checking that my wages were leaving my business account held with HSBC at the end of every month.

    ...Read More »


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  • Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013
    Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013

    Don’t let these bad financial habits keep you from your long-term spending goals. Identify your weaknesses and start remedying them. …