Zoe Bauer

Zoe Bauer

Zoe is a freelance writer with a cat, a coffee habit, and a snarky sense of humor. After spending a decade in corporate and small business management, she traded in her suits and heels in favor of a pen and politically-incorrect opinions.

She enjoys reading, thinking, and writing about a wide variety of subjects, particularly business, finance, celebrities, entertainment, news, and current events.
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Displaying Results 1 - 100 (of 104) for Yahoo US Finance
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  • First Person: It's Not What You Make, It's How Much You Spend
    After taking a long look back at some of my leaner financial times, I picked out a few cash-strapped behaviors that I’m making a habit of following, regardless of my income. Here’s how I’m making it less about what I make, and more about what I spend.
  • First Person: How I'm Eliminating My Food Waste
    A new report from the National Resources Defense Council indicates that Americans waste a staggering 40% of the food they buy each month. Here are a few ways I'm staying well below that average by shopping smart and eliminating excess.
  • First Person: Maybe Money Can Buy Happiness After All
    In a recent speech, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talked about the role money plays in both short-term happiness and long-term "life satisfaction," saying that temporary happiness can be created with the occasional splurge.
  • First Person: Trimming My Grocery Budget, 1940s Style
    A recent article from MSNBC offered insight into cutting food costs and saving on groceries...1940s style. When it comes to cost-cutting techniques, here's a look at what hasn't changed in the last half century.
  • First Person: Recession Turns Buyers Into Renters
    A new study indicates that 30-somethings are far more likely to rent rather than buy. Due to the struggling economy and economic recession, younger consumers are opting to avoid financial commitments and monetary obligations.
  • First Person: Repair That Appliance or Fix It?
    While I'm all for being cost-conscious and thrifty, there comes a point where it's financially advantageous to simply replace appliances instead of repairing them. Here are a few things I'd consider before calling a repair man.
  • First Person: Being the Breadwinner Ruined My Marriage
    A recent study from Prudential Financial indicates that 53% of women are now the primary breadwinner in their households. While the arrangement may work well for some couples, it ultimately hurt my marriage and was a contributing factor in my divorce.
  • First Person: I Wish I'd Gotten an Allowance
    While I was unquestionably well cared for as a child, I do wish I’d been given the chance to practice my money management skills at an earlier age. Looking back, here are a few of the main reasons why I regret not having an allowance.
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  • First Person: My Family's Financial Emergency Plan
    Not long ago, Dad sat the family down for a candid discussion about what would happen to us if something ever happened to him. Because he travels frequently, Dad wanted us to have a solid plan in place in the unlikely event that he never comes home.
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  • First Person: Financial Lessons From My Mother
    When it comes to managing finances and running a household, my mom taught me to be both practical and thrifty, and I've done my best to follow her example of spending – and saving – wisely.
  • My Back-to-School Financial Checklist
    About four years ago, I headed back to school as a working adult in pursuit of a master’s degree. If you’re a working adult who’s thinking of going back to school, here are some things you might consider before you enroll.
  • Financing an Online Education
    Getting a degree online can be far less expensive than taking traditional classes, but it’s still not cheap, by any means. If you’re thinking of heading back to school, here are a few things I learned while paying for my online education.
  • First Person: How Much Am I Really Saving?
    While discounts, deals, and big box clubs sound great, they don’t always result in a true savings and can end up costing money in the long run. Here are a few times I think twice before spending so I know I’ll come out ahead.
  • First Person: Financial Lessons From My Father
    No one can hold a candle to my father in terms of impact on my life and learning. In retrospect, some of his most lasting lessons have combined financial management with building character, and I've been proud to follow in his monetary footsteps.
  • First Person: I'm Short on Cash, But I Have Options
    Regardless of wealth and net worth, I can’t think of a single person who would ever turn down an offer of extra cash. Though I still haven’t found a way to make money grow on trees, here are a few ways I’ve beaten the bushes and found some extra green.
  • First Person: I'm Saving $250 a Year by Going Paperless
    When it comes to my budget, I believe that a penny saved is a penny earned, so I try to make every dollar go as far as it can. In addition to making my life a little simpler, and reducing clutter, I’m saving about $250 a year just by going digital.
  • First Person: Why I Switched to a Community Credit Union
    While different services and benefits are important to different people, I carefully considered the practicality and financial advantages of moving my money, and I ultimately decided to make a big change in where I stash my cash.
  • First Person: I Financed My Graduate Degree the Smart Way
    While my main impetus for returning to school was a desire for more money, it took a leap of faith and a very large chunk of change up front in order to finance my degree. Here's how I was able to pay for a graduate degree without breaking the bank.
  • First Person: I'm Saving Money by Becoming Less Disposable
    When it comes to cutting back on my budget, one of the first ways I like to save is by reducing what I pay for one-use items that give me little bang for my buck.
  • First Person: Why I’m Using Credit for My Holiday Spending
    While having a perfect Christmas might be the stuff of myth, there's one step I always take to make the holiday season a little easier. With only a few shopping days left until Christmas, here are the perks that make me pay with plastic instead of paper.
  • First Person: Black Friday Can Cost You in the Long Run
    Of course I try to save money, but I will never let a hyped-up shopping “holiday” prompt me to make purchases that will cost me in the long run. Here are some things I consider when evaluating whether a spectacular deal still represents a net savings.
  • First Person: Holiday Party Planning on a Budget
    Christmas and Thanksgiving are truly my favorite times of the year, but they can be a bit hard on the pocketbook. Here are a few ways I’ll be celebrating without breaking the bank.
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  • First Person: My 'Not-So-Black Friday' Plan
    Call me stupid or antisocial, but huddling on a cold sidewalk with a bunch of people in hopes of saving a few bucks just isn’t my Black Friday cup of tea. Here’s how I’ll be taking advantage of post-Thanksgiving sales and making my Friday not-so-black.
  • First Person: 5 Places to Think Twice Before Spending Money
    When it comes to shopping, I'm almost as particular about where I spend as how much I spend. While I'm always on the lookout for the best deal possible, there are a few places I generally avoid spending money, for one reason or another.
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  • How I'm Trimming My Christmas Expenses This Year
    I’m all about scaling back as opposed to giving up, so I’m trimming my holiday budget in a few small ways that make a big difference. As I begin planning for the holiday season, here’s how I’m stretching my dollar to get the most bang for my buck.
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  • First Person: Slashing My Grocery Costs With Simple Substitutions
    While there are a few foods I'll buy regardless of price, there are plenty of things I'll happily substitute when I need to cut back on my grocery spending, and I'm able to save a good chunk of change by changing up what I buy.
  • First Person: How I Evaluate Credit Card Rewards Programs
    As major credit card companies compete for customers with solid credit ratings, now is the time to ask what your card can do for you and how you can best benefit from paying with plastic. Here are the things I consider when picking a rewards credit card.
  • First Person: I’m Saving Money By Rediscovering My Library
    Today, most libraries offer far more than books, and many provide unique and valuable services at little or no cost to you. In a world of coupons and loyalty programs, here are a few ways I’ve saved, not with a discount card, but with a library card.
  • First Person: How I Saved Money By Using a Time Bank
    I've exchanged many home-cooked meals for odd jobs around the house, but when it comes to bigger projects I'd need a lot more than food to offset those costs. As luck would have it, I found today's version of a community barn raising: a local time bank.
  • First Person: How I Evaluate Extended Warranties
    While the extra cost might be worth it in some cases, I almost always opt out of paying more on the off-chance my item might be damaged in the future. Here are the questions I consider when deciding whether or not to spring for the extended warranty.
  • First Person: Why Shopping at the Right Time Matters
    This fall, I have a number of purchases to make, and I plan on saving quite a bit by choosing the ideal time to spend. Here's a look at some of the things on my seasonal shopping list, and how I'll save by waiting for the right time to buy.
  • First Person: How We Got Right-Side-Up After Being Upside-Down on a Car Loan
    After a car he cosigned for was repossessed, my ex found himself upside down $7,000 and paying $400 a month for a car that barely ran. We needed a reliable car, so we searched for a way to roll what he owed on the old car into one new car loan.
  • First Person: Am I Overinsured?
    While insurance is unquestionably important, unless you have money to burn it's a good idea to make sure you're not over-insuring yourself and wasting money in the process.
  • First Person: The Auto Upgrades I Paid For, and Those I Wish I Had
    Though I did go for a few options when buying my car, keeping my eye on fuel-efficiency and cost, I neglected to consider a few minor upgrades that I really wish I'd sprung for. Here's the scoop on what I got -- and what I wish I had sprung for.
  • First Person: Why I'm Leaving Wells Fargo
    Today, Wells Fargo announced their plans to test a new fee, charging checking account customers $3 per month to use their debit cards. Though I've had an account with Wachovia for over a decade, the $3 fee is the last straw, and I'm finding another bank.
  • First Person: How the Beef Recall Could Impact My Food Budget
    Like many consumers, news of the USDA's massive beef recall sent me heading for the fridge to see if I was affected. As I threw over $50 of possibly-tainted meat into the trash can, I considered the impact the news would have on my food budget.
  • First Person: The Money Habits of My Perpetually Broke Friends
    I see a lot of commonalities in the money habits of my cash-challenged friends, and I recognize their mistakes because I've made most of them myself. Here are a few of the patterns I see and the lessons I've learned the hard way.
  • First Person: President Obama Speaks on Standard & Poor's Credit Rating Downgrade
    As the stock market continues to tumble, President Obama spoke to the nation regarding the growing economic crisis and Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the country's formerly-perfect credit rating.
  • First Person: Saving Money While Beating the Heat
    This summer, I'm doing my best to beat the heat and save money at the same time. While counting down the days till the weather gets cooler, I'm looking for simple ways to save money while making the best of a sticky -- and hot -- situation.
  • First Person: States Nix Back to School Tax Holidays
    Given the current economy, states' decisions to offer a weekend of tax-free shopping has become a hot-button issue, and lawmakers must gauge whether revenue generated during a weekend of heavy spending offsets the tax dollars they're giving up.
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  • First Person: Why I'll Never Lead a 'Cash Only' Lifestyle
    While I realize that some consumers purposely avoid credit in order to stay within their budget, that's a crutch that shouldn't be relied upon forever. Used appropriately and responsibly, credit is a financial tool that I wield to my advantage.
  • First Person: Why We Banked Separately After Tying the Knot
    I have never regretted that my former spouse and I kept separate finances throughout our marriage or subsequent divorce. Looking back at our relationship, here are some pros and cons to keeping separate bank accounts even after you've tied the knot.
  • First Person: How I've Changed My Attitude Toward Money
    Looking back at the past ten years, some of the most significant changes I've made involve my attitude toward my money and how I spend it. Here are a few things that changed in the course of my becoming a financially responsible and solvent adult.
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  • First Person: How I Avoid Post-Raise Lifestyle Inflation
    Have you ever noticed how a few months after getting a raise, you're right back in the same financial situation you were in before? Attempting to avoid my usual post-raise waste of money, I took some steps to make sure I put the increase to good use.
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  • First Person: How I Avoid Impulse Buying
    After discovering that a friend of mine literally freezes her credit cards, I started thinking about ways, past and present, that I've limited my spending and reduced my impulse buys. Here are some ways to make saying "no" a little easier.
  • First Person: Scaling Back Our Fourth of July Celebration
    This year, my family and I are planning a Fourth of July celebration with all the requisite elements, while keeping a tight rein on our budget. Here are some things we're doing to cut back on the expense.
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  • First Person: How I Make Sure I Get My Rebate Savings
    By offering rebates instead of outright sales, companies have a chance that you'll forget about it and never claim that money. Since the responsibility is back on the consumer, here are the steps I take to make sure I get my rebate savings.
  • First Person: What My Little Indulgences Are Really Costing Me
    A friend's recent comments led me to take a long, hard look at my habits and consider what they're costing me over the course of a year. While I can pretend that my $5 latte is a "special occasion," I needed to face up to how much my habits really cost.
  • First Person: How I Evaluate Customer Loyalty Programs
    With more and more stores pitching their rewards program, it's become increasingly difficult to make a simple purchase without being asked to sign up for something. Here are some things I look wt when deciding whether a program is worth my time.
  • First Person: Don't Buy, Rent
    While I've rented a number of random things in the past, I'd never realized that a designer handbag was even within the realm of possibility. Here's a rundown of some strange items I've rented over the years and how much you can save by renting.
  • First Person: The Financial Reasons to Not Marry Young
    There are a number of financial reasons why it's probably best to avoid tying the knot young, or at least until you and your intended have a good grip on your financial and work-related futures. Here are a few of the things I wish I'd considered.
  • First Person: Recession-Proof Your College Plans
    Tough economic times have many high school graduates rethinking their college plans. While going to school is a good move in the long-run, careful financial planning is in order to ensure you graduate with a diploma and not a mountain of debt.
  • First Person: Celebrating Father's Day on a Budget
    Dads are notoriously hard to buy for, but with Father's Day just around the corner it's time to start brainstorming for the perfect gift.
  • First Person: How I Put My Graduation Gifts to Good Use
    Along with caps, gowns, pomp, and circumstance, monetary gifts are another common tradition associated with graduation. I've graduated three times, and each time I used my gifts a little differently, with a minimum of waste.
  • First Person: Preparing For $5 Gas
    Though the cost of gasoline has been steadily increasing, it hit the tipping point for me a few weeks ago, when the cost of a fill-up doubled since I bought my car. Here are some changes I made - to myself and my car - to offset the rising gas prices.
  • First Person: Budgeting for Student Loan Repayment After Graduation
    While going to school was unquestionably worth it, paying back the money I borrowed took some careful planning and preparation. Here's how I went about transitioning from my "going to school" budget to paying down my student loan balance.
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  • First Person: My Car Was Recalled. Now What?
    Since I'd already paid for my car, I knew I needed to make the best of the situation and get the most I could for my money, in spite of the recall. Here's how I navigated not one, but two, recalls, and what I'm doing to protect my automotive investment.
  • First Person: My Low Budget Summer Vacation Plan
    While this is probably a bad time for a cross-country road trip, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to get your summer vacation fix without breaking the bank.
  • First Person: How I'm Making My Money Work for Me
    No matter how much you make and what your circumstances are, there are a few simple strategies that can help you make the very most of every cent you earn. Here are a few common-sense ways I'm making my money work for me and generating "passive income"
  • First Person: 4 Ways I've Become More Financially Disciplined
    Over the years, the most important financial changes I've made didn't involve banks or stores, but me and my habits. Here are four simple ways I've become more financially disciplined and saved money just by changing my own behavior.
  • First Person: Why I Won't Be Trading in My Car Despite Rising Gas Prices
    Though gas prices continue to climb, I'd have to think long and hard before trading my vehicle in for a more fuel-efficient model. Here's how I broke down my decision to stick with my current car, even though I could get better mileage with a new one.
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  • First Person: Budgeting for Common Computer Problems
    While computers still don't last forever, encountering a problem doesn't mean you have to replace the whole system. Here are four of the most common computer issues and what they mean for your system and your wallet.
  • First Person: 5 Questions to Ask When Repairing Home Systems
    A broken appliance doesn't always mean it's time to go shopping, and sometimes a simple repair is all that's needed. Whenever something breaks, I ask myself these questions to determine if I'm calling a repair guy or the junkyard.
  • First Person: 4 Myths About Saving Money
    While a number of saving strategies can be effective, some are more myth than fact and can cost you money in the long run. Here's a look at some common savings myths that might be hurting you financially.
  • First Person: Budget Cuts That Are Likely to Backfire
    Sooner or later, most people reach a point where they needed to trim their expenses. Carefully consider all consequences before you eliminate something from your budget completely, since cutting some expenses will cost you more in the long run.
  • First Person: Savings Attempts Gone Wrong
    Sometimes, despite good intentions, our attempts to save go horribly wrong, and things end up costing way more than we bargained for. Here's a look at some costly cut-backs and some saving mistakes I won't be repeating ever again.
  • First Person: The Tradeoffs I Make to Save Money
    You're more likely to stick with your new budget if you don't completely eliminate the things you really enjoy. If you're looking to trim your spending, here are some real-life tradeoffs that will go a long way toward saving you money.
  • First Person: My Top 5 College Money Mistakes
    While I didn't completely crash and burn my freshman year, I did make a few rookie mistakes, and though I learned a few lessons the hard way, I'm glad I learned them early. Here are the five biggest money-related mistakes I made in college.
  • First Person: Resume Blunders That Can Cost You an Interview
    Since landing an interview is such an important step, make sure the information you include on your resume isn't hurting your chances. If you're new to the hiring game, here are some resume mistakes that could keep you from getting an interview.
  • First Person: Are Your Relationships Costing You Money?
    While being out on your own can be fun, keeping track of finances can be daunting. No matter how much you trust your friends, they'll never respect your money or possessions as much as you will, so make sure your friendships aren't costing you.
  • First Person: The 5 Times It's Worth Asking for a Discount
    Making it my goal to pay a "fair" amount '" for both myself and the merchant '" I've saved many times by asking for an appropriate reduction in price. Here are five ideal times to take a deep breath and ask for a discount.
  • First Person: Low-Cost Substitutes for High-Priced Energy Upgrades
    While it's not always possible to spring for a high-cost energy upgrade, you can still make high-impact changes that are both cheap and effective. Here are some ways I've gone green and saved on energy costs while skipping the major upgrades.
  • First Person: 5 Times It Pays to Be Late
    In reality, you can sometimes save money by skipping the mad rush and waiting before you buy. Of course, there are times when a purchase just can't be delayed, but here are a few ways that I've actually profited from being late.
  • First Person: How I Prepared for a New Mortgage After the Housing Crash
    The past few years have seen considerable change in the criteria for mortgage approval, and I've experienced the process firsthand before - and after - the housing market collapse. Before I went to the bank, I pre-approved myself in a few areas.
  • First Person: Trimming the College Tab With Online Classes
    Despite tough economic times, there are ways to pay for a college education without breaking the bank. If you're considering going to school -- or going back to school -- taking online classes can be a money saving option worth a closer look.
  • First Person: Rethinking Buying in Bulk
    Rising prices have sent consumers scurrying for ways to save money and trim their spending. While bulk buying can be a huge savings -- and is a necessity -- for some, for me it tends to increase my spending and result in unnecessary waste.
  • First Person: The Difference Between Term and Whole Life Insurance Policies
    While there are several different types of life insurance, most fall into two main categories. Understanding the differences between term and whole policies can help you make an informed decision and locate a policy that's right for you.
  • First Person: How Americans Are Using Their Tax Refunds
    With the April 15 tax deadline looming, many consumers are already enjoying their returns. Whether you're making plans for the money you'll get or are writing the dreaded check to Uncle Sam, here's a look at what some people are doing with their money.
  • First Person: How I Quit Wasting Money in the Kitchen
    One of the first steps toward saving money is eliminating waste, and your kitchen is one of the easiest places to start. I'm not a hardcore domestic goddess, but I've found some simple, effective ways to trim my spending and save money.
  • First Person: Weighing My Student Loan Options
    Student loans can be a great way to pay for school, and are a far better choice than other funding options like credit cards. When I took out my loan, I weighed the pros and cons of the two main types and picked the one that was right for me.
  • First Person: Saving Money Without Spending a Dime
    Saving money is about more than clipping coupons and shopping sales. Through a combination of practicality and creativity, it's possible to save money by using the resources you already have at your fingertips, with no out-of-pocket expense.
  • First Person: The Luxuries That Are Staying in My Budget
    As much as the current economy has people looking for ways to cut back on expenses and save money, there are a few items that will remain in my budget. I work hard to manage my money well, and there are a few cases where I allow myself to splurge.
  • First Person: A Bathroom Renovation Dollar-by-Dollar
    Not long ago, I was pleasantly surprised by a larger-than-expected tax return that I wanted to put to good use. After considering the best way to spend it, decided to invest $700 of my return in upgrades to my guest bathroom.
  • First Person: A New Approach to Consumer Savings
    From 401ks to piggy banks, most consumers are looking for ways to set aside some cash, even in these tough economic times. Whether they're preparing for the unforeseen or investing it, here are some of the things people are doing with their money.
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  • First Person: How I Got Into - and Out of - My Own Credit Nightmare
    One of the most valuable learning experiences of my college career isn't reflected on my transcripts. In my freshman year of college alone, I dug myself into a bad credit hole and it took me the remaining three years to climb back out.
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  • First Person: Getting Smart When Financing Grad School
    When I decided to go back for my master's degree, figuring out how to pay for it was my biggest decision. As I looked into my various options, I found a type of financing that worked well for my situation, and less than two years later, I had my degree.
  • First Person: Rethinking My Grocery Shopping, Saving 25%
    In addition to the coupon and sale discounts I take advantage of, I've revamped my buying habits and mentality, and I've found that I can still save money regardless of what sales are running or where I shop by acting deliberately and planning ahead.
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  • First Person: Finding College Savings Beyond Scholarships and Financial Aid
    The internet is replete with websites offering advice on ways to cut back and save, like working part time or staying in-state. What about finding ways to save, beyond free money and tuition assistance, that will work no matter what school you choose?
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  • First Person: Saving Money the Green Way
    Though going green can save you money, it can be difficult to pay the upfront costs associated with many environmentally friendly improvements.
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  • First Person: An Energy Audit Helped Me Save $50 a Month
    Over the years my electric bill had become more expensive, an increase I attributed to the rising cost of oil. I'd heard about energy audits and the virtues of "going green," so I called my power company and arranged for a free inspection of my home.
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  • First Person: Walking Away From My $25,000 Graduate Degree
    Before committing to a degree that will relegate you to a specific field of work, be absolutely positive that's the career you want. After paying $25k for a master's, I quickly grew to hate the field and became increasingly dissatisfied with my job.
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  • First Person: Shoppers in the Southeast React to Grocery Prices
    Along with gas prices, the cost of groceries is steadily increasing. As prices go up, consumers are looking for ways to save money and make make every cent count. Here's what some shoppers in the Southeast had to say about the cost of groceries.
  • First Person: I Saved 22% on a Washer and Dryer That Weren't on Sale
    Through a combination of rebates, financing, and negotiation, I was able to save a chunk of money on a new washer and dryer I purchased not long ago. I took a down-to-earth approach to my purchase, and I was able to save $380.25 off the MSRP..
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  • First Person: How I Trimmed 5% From My Fuel Spending
    I'd already taken common-sense steps, so I looked long and hard at my car and my driving habits to find other ways to save. The results were well worth my effort, and in one week I saved almost 5% compared to my gas costs from the previous week.
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  • First Person: Drivers in the Southeast on Rising Gas Prices
    As gas prices continue to rise, drivers all over the Southeast are feeling the pain at the pump. Here is what people had to say about the effects of increasing fuel costs and how they're trying to adapt.
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  • First Person: I Saved $7,000 on a New Car
    Though I've gotten some good deals on cars over the years, one particular purchase qualifies as nothing short of amazing. Through a combination of factors, I was able to save over $7,000 on a great new car.
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  • First Person: Auto Maintenance That Saves Gas and Money
    While you should always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for servicing your vehicle, there are a few types of automobile maintenance that can help your car or truck run more smoothly and reduce your fuel consumption, thereby saving you money.
  • First Person: On-Campus Money Wasters
    College campuses are a virtual minefield of ways to waste money; had I known what to look out for ahead of time, I could have saved myself some major headaches and some major cash.
  • First Person: Why I Always Pay With Plastic
    There are a number of reasons why I pay with plastic 99% of the time, and an inability to pay with cash isn't one of them. Though using credit takes discipline, the fact is you must have and use credit to build a history and improve your score.
  • First Person: Financial Questions to Ask Before Signing the Marriage License
    If you're considering marriage or a serious relationship that involves sharing money or expenses, there are some things to discuss before taking the plunge. Here are a few questions you must ask before committing your heart and wallet to someone else.
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