Personal Finance

This channel is where we explore the holistic health of your financial house. Helpful, accurate articles include topics on credit, debt management, financial planning, real estate and taxes.

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Who Decides When Your Social Security Check Increases?

Presidents like to take credit for increases in Social Security, but is it the president, Congress or the Social Security Administration that decides when your check goes up?

7 Creative Strategies for Paying Off Student Loans

Think you'll never finish paying off your student loans? Here are some innovative ways to do just that.

These Folks Retired in their 30s and 40s: Can You Do It Too?

There's a movement called FIRE, a group of people working hard to retire young and really enjoy life. But is it realistic to think you won't run out of money?

5 Ways to Save Money (Besides Giving Up Lattes)

Check out these five clever strategies financial experts suggest for saving a ton of money each year.

When Is It OK to Leave Kids Unequal Inheritance?

Hurt feelings are likely to result but experts say there are times when you should leave more money to one child in your will. Just don't keep everyone in the dark about it.

A ​Will Is Part of Every Soldier's Battle Plan

In 2000, a document called a military testamentary instrument was recognized by Congress to provide some clear-cut basic requirements for a military will, exempt from individual states' varying laws.

What You Can Do Now to Get the Most from the New Tax Law

The most sweeping tax overhaul in decades became law in December 2017. What should U.S. taxpayers do in 2018 to benefit from the tax code changes?

How Tax Deductions Work

You've probably heard the phrase "tax deductions" a hundred times. But what does it mean? What are tax deductions and how do they work? And why are tax deductions so important?

How Repealing the Johnson Amendment Would Change Churches and Charities

A repeal of the Johnson Amendment would go way beyond separation of church and state.

The Kids' College Funds Can Wait. Save for Retirement First

Many parents feel torn between funding their own retirement and paying for their kids' college education. But financial experts are united on which one should take priority.

After the Equifax Breach, Does Credit Fraud Monitoring Really Help?

Credit monitoring bureau Equifax was hacked and is offering fraud monitoring services for free. But experts say they're pretty useless.

U.S. Adults Are Overwhelmingly Unprepared for Serious Illness or Injury

A new meta-analysis of 150 studies finds that only one in three U.S. adults has a written living will or healthcare power of attorney documents.

In Mexico, Artists Can Pay Their Federal Taxes With Artwork

Pago en Especie allows artists to meet tax obligations with a piece of art, and the government builds an impressive collection. Win-win!

What's the Least-affordable City for Housing in the World?

This place has been in the top spot for years.

The IRS Wealth Squad: The Super-rich's Worst Nightmare

If you're all about taking money from rich people who don't want to cough up their dough, the Wealth Squad is where it's at.

I'll Give You $12.90 for That Sweater — or How Precise Bids Can Pay Off

We all want to get the best price for that sweater, that car, that house. Making a very precise offer of, say, $12.90 as opposed to $10, can help you do that. Sometimes.

How Living Without a Bank Account Works

Millions of people have figured out how to get by without a bank account, whether by choice or force of circumstance.

How Sin Taxes Work

So-called sin taxes, excise taxes on things the government deems dangerous, can discourage bad behavior, but can they be too effective?

The Secret Life of the Gift Card Industry

Starbucks holds as much cash for its customers as a midsize bank does, says the Wall Street Journal. Gift cards have helped the company to build a prepaid empire.

HowStuffWorks: Avoid the Holiday Spending Hangover With These 10 Tips

Ah the winter holidays! The lights, the eggnog, the goodwill and cheer. Oh, and the debt. We here at HowStuffWorks partnered with the United Way and the Sun Trust Foundation to provide a few tips to help you avoid a holiday spending hangover.

Howstuffworks: So you say you're going to college...

Yep, we’re talking about college, which ain’t cheap. HowStuffWorks joins up with the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Sun Trust Foundation to share a few financial tips with the college bound.

Do you have to pay income tax for stuff sold on eBay?

The IRS says you're legally obligated to pay income tax on eBay profits, especially if you're a regular seller. But eBay doesn't issue 1099 forms or define "regular seller." So it can be difficult to figure out what to do — but we're here to help.

Do you need a tax ID number for an online business?

You have a shop on Etsy, while your partner owns an online travel agency. Should you both have tax ID numbers?


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