Liz Weston's latest articles on MSN Moneyhttp://money.msn.com/Read Liz Weston's latest articles on personal finance tips and hot financial topics.2011 Microsoften-us60Personal finance writer Liz WestonPicking the wrong major: Big mistakeAiming for a degree that doesn't match a student's interests and skills could turn into a big waste of time and money.Fri, 03 Jan 2014 20:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/debt-management/picking-the-wrong-major-big-mistakedebt-management/http://money.msn.com/debt-management/picking-the-wrong-major-big-mistakeLiz Weston, ReutersHow to improve your credit scoreThese simple steps will help you stay on top of your credit rating and qualify for the best possible rates.Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-rating/how-to-improve-your-credit-score-1credit-rating/http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/how-to-improve-your-credit-score-1Liz WestonWhen to bargain with your doctorMost of us wouldn't think to haggle with our doctor over the cost of an operation. But bargaining over medical prices does happen, and you can save big if you do it right.Fri, 20 Sep 2013 16:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/personal-finance/when-to-bargain-with-your-doctorpersonal-finance/http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/when-to-bargain-with-your-doctorLiz Weston, MSN MoneyHow to avoid nasty estate battlesEven small estates can bring out the 'vultures,' eager to grab property belonging to the deceased. A solid plan can prevent chaos.Fri, 13 Sep 2013 14:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/how-to-avoid-nasty-estate-battleshow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/how-to-avoid-nasty-estate-battlesLiz Weston, MSN MoneyObamacare could free workers from 'job lock'For would-be entrepreneurs, it may be time to take a fresh look at launching a business or going freelance.Fri, 06 Sep 2013 14:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/personal-finance/obamacare-could-free-workers-from-job-lockpersonal-finance/http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/obamacare-could-free-workers-from-job-lockLiz Weston, MSN MoneyIt's not too late to salvage your retirementFor late starters, it's important to take aggressive steps now, including cutting your expenses.Fri, 23 Aug 2013 19:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement/its-not-too-late-to-salvage-your-retirementretirement/http://money.msn.com/retirement/its-not-too-late-to-salvage-your-retirementLiz Weston, MSN MoneyFace your fears! Time for Gen Y to leave the nestThese 5 steps can help young adults prepare to fly, and not like a boomerang.Fri, 16 Aug 2013 19:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/face-your-fears-time-for-gen-y-to-leave-the-nesthow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/face-your-fears-time-for-gen-y-to-leave-the-nestLiz Weston, MSN MoneyWhy parents shouldn't pay for collegeStudents with skin in the game are likely to party less and achieve more, research finds.Wed, 14 Aug 2013 21:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/family-money/why-parents-shouldnt-pay-for-collegefamily-money/http://money.msn.com/family-money/why-parents-shouldnt-pay-for-collegeLiz Weston, MSN MoneyMany money habits are set by age 7Surprising new research finds that when it comes to teaching about spending and saving, you really can’t start too soon.Fri, 09 Aug 2013 14:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/family-money/many-money-habits-are-set-by-age-7-1family-money/http://money.msn.com/family-money/many-money-habits-are-set-by-age-7-1Liz Weston, MSN MoneyWhen leasing a car is the right optionUsually, your best option is to “buy and hold,” but not in these three scenarios.Fri, 02 Aug 2013 14:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/car-buying/when-leasing-a-car-is-the-right-optioncar-buying/http://money.msn.com/car-buying/when-leasing-a-car-is-the-right-optionLiz WestonHow to tell if Mom is losing it Certain symptoms can signal impending dementia, and that means it’s time for family members to take some steps to prepare.Fri, 19 Jul 2013 17:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement/how-to-tell-if-mom-is-losing-it-1retirement/http://money.msn.com/retirement/how-to-tell-if-mom-is-losing-it-1Liz Weston, MSN MoneyFacing the 'cliff' of retirementMiddle-aged workers with little savings have few options, but acting now may help close the gap.Fri, 12 Jul 2013 16:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/facing-the-cliff-of-retirementhow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/facing-the-cliff-of-retirementLiz Weston, MSN MoneyCredit score myths that need to dieWant to get a loan? These persistent misconceptions can hurt your chances. Here are the facts.Fri, 05 Jul 2013 17:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/debt-management/credit-score-myths-that-need-to-diedebt-management/http://money.msn.com/debt-management/credit-score-myths-that-need-to-dieLiz Weston, MSN MoneyOne way money is a lot like sexYour family’s wealth may seem like a taboo subject, but it’s best to speak early and often to your children about financial values.Fri, 28 Jun 2013 14:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/personal-finance/one-way-money-is-a-lot-like-sexpersonal-finance/http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/one-way-money-is-a-lot-like-sexLiz Weston, MSN MoneyWhy young people hate credit cardsThe Great Recession made many younger consumers afraid to borrow money, but alternatives like debit cards have their own drawbacks.Mon, 24 Jun 2013 19:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-cards/why-young-people-hate-credit-cardscredit-cards/http://money.msn.com/credit-cards/why-young-people-hate-credit-cardsLiz Weston, MSN MoneyWhen to pay down your mortgageIt could be a smart move to get out from under your home payments, but first make sure you have your financial ducks in a row.Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/home-loans/when-to-pay-down-your-mortgagehome-loans/http://money.msn.com/home-loans/when-to-pay-down-your-mortgageLiz Weston, MSN MoneyInvesting sites give planners a run for their money Web services aim to automate personal finance decisions, saving you from yourself.Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement/investing-sites-give-planners-a-run-for-their-moneyretirement/http://money.msn.com/retirement/investing-sites-give-planners-a-run-for-their-moneyLiz Weston, MSN Money'Heir finders' may be targeting youBe wary of services that can become a big rip-off, but careful research by would-be heirs can pay off.Fri, 14 Jun 2013 19:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement/heir-finders-may-be-targeting-youretirement/http://money.msn.com/retirement/heir-finders-may-be-targeting-youLiz Weston, MSN MoneyStudent loan debt crushing couplePayment plans and refinancing could offer help in tough situations.Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/student-loan-debt-crushing-couplehow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/student-loan-debt-crushing-coupleLiz Weston, MSN MoneyThe best reward card options nowIssuers up the ante, offer 2% back and other perks for borrowers with excellent credit.Fri, 31 May 2013 15:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-cards/the-best-reward-card-options-nowcredit-cards/http://money.msn.com/credit-cards/the-best-reward-card-options-nowLiz Weston, MSN MoneyThe Tea Party and your taxesIRS battle puts social welfare designation back in the spotlight. Wed, 22 May 2013 15:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/personal-finance/the-tea-party-and-your-taxespersonal-finance/http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/the-tea-party-and-your-taxesLiz Weston, MSN MoneyBuilding a better student loanLow-interest private loan options may help, but government backing has its advantages.Fri, 17 May 2013 21:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/gen-x/building-a-better-student-loangen-x/http://money.msn.com/gen-x/building-a-better-student-loanLiz Weston, MSN MoneyGrowing scam takes aim at your carStaged accidents are on the rise and can be deadly. Here's how to avoid being a victim.Wed, 15 May 2013 19:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/growing-scam-takes-aim-at-your-carauto-insurance/http://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/growing-scam-takes-aim-at-your-carLiz WestonDad's death a complex IRA issueAn inherited retirement account requires special treatment but can be a lasting legacy for a college student.Fri, 10 May 2013 19:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/dads-death-a-complex-ira-issuehow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/dads-death-a-complex-ira-issueLiz Weston, MSN MoneyPenny pincher guide to theme parksIt's not easy, but with a carefully planned attack you can shave a few bucks off that expensive destination vacation.Wed, 08 May 2013 21:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/leadership/penny-pincher-guide-to-theme-parksleadership/http://money.msn.com/leadership/penny-pincher-guide-to-theme-parksLiz Weston, MSN MoneyConsidering a franchise? Be waryOff-the-shelf concepts make it easy to start your own business, but you can easily lose your shirt. And many chafe under the rules and restrictions.Wed, 01 May 2013 20:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/leadership/considering-a-franchise-be-waryleadership/http://money.msn.com/leadership/considering-a-franchise-be-waryLiz Weston, MSN MoneyDon't fall for these 7 credit mythsOffers to repair your credit problems can be a rip-off. Here are some tips on what is and isn't possible when it comes to your score.Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-rating/dont-fall-for-these-7-credit-mythscredit-rating/http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/dont-fall-for-these-7-credit-mythsLiz Weston, MSN MoneyWhen a broker might be worth hiringWhether shopping for stocks, mortgages or homes, there are times when you can use help, and times when you should do it yourself.Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/when-a-broker-might-be-worth-hiringhow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/when-a-broker-might-be-worth-hiringLiz Weston, MSN MoneyHow big banks offer payday loansFargo is among lenders offering a product with a fee that equates to a 274% interest rate. Some customers say the convenience is worth it.Fri, 19 Apr 2013 16:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/debt-management/how-big-banks-offer-payday-loansdebt-management/http://money.msn.com/debt-management/how-big-banks-offer-payday-loansLiz Weston, MSN MoneyRising debt weighs down seniorsPrevious generations were likely to go into retirement debt-free. The easy-money years and subsequent financial bust have changed that for many.Wed, 17 Apr 2013 19:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement/rising-debt-weighs-down-seniorsretirement/http://money.msn.com/retirement/rising-debt-weighs-down-seniorsLiz Weston, MSN MoneyDon't give up: Fixing a money messPersonal finance expert Liz Weston helps a 27-year-old reader who feels overwhelmed by her financial problems.Fri, 12 Apr 2013 17:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/dont-give-up-fixing-a-money-messhow-to-budget/http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/dont-give-up-fixing-a-money-messLiz WestonHealth care needs delay retirementMany workers who might otherwise be ready to stop working need a strategy to plug the insurance gap.Mon, 08 Apr 2013 19:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement/health-care-needs-delay-retirementretirement/http://money.msn.com/retirement/health-care-needs-delay-retirementLiz Weston, MSN MoneyWhy you need to update your will Your first $5 million -- or more -- is exempt from federal tax. But there are still many reasons to review your estate plan.Fri, 29 Mar 2013 17:00:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/baby-boomers/why-you-need-to-update-your-willbaby-boomers/http://money.msn.com/baby-boomers/why-you-need-to-update-your-willLiz Weston, MSN MoneyNew credit score could change livesVantageScore 3.0 has some advantages for consumers. But it has yet to make big headway with lenders, who generally rely on more-established systems.Wed, 27 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-rating/new-credit-score-could-change-livescredit-rating/http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/new-credit-score-could-change-livesLiz Weston, MSN MoneyShould you invest health care funds?You can pile up a lot of cash in a health savings account, if you are young and free of medical problems. And you can take risks with it, if you have the stomach.Fri, 22 Mar 2013 16:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/insurance/should-you-invest-health-care-fundsinsurance/http://money.msn.com/insurance/should-you-invest-health-care-fundsLiz Weston, MSN MoneyDon't let your ex trash your creditDivorce can play havoc with your finances. Here are some tips on disentangling and moving forward.Wed, 20 Mar 2013 16:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-rating/dont-let-your-ex-trash-your-creditcredit-rating/http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/dont-let-your-ex-trash-your-creditLiz Weston, MSN MoneySecrets to yank off Facebook -- nowYou have left a trail of bread crumbs on social media, and the bad guys are patient and persistent. Here is how to keep them at bay.Mon, 18 Mar 2013 18:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/personal-finance/secrets-to-yank-off-facebook-nowpersonal-finance/http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/secrets-to-yank-off-facebook-nowLiz Weston, MSN Money7 tax breaks you don't want to missIt's crunch time for taxes. Go through this list to make sure you don't leave money on the table.Wed, 13 Mar 2013 18:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/taxes/7-tax-breaks-you-dont-want-to-misstaxes/http://money.msn.com/taxes/7-tax-breaks-you-dont-want-to-missLiz Weston, MSN MoneyYour adviser could be a psychopathResearch shows the financial industry attracts more than its share of charming, manipulative egotists. Here is what to watch for.Fri, 08 Mar 2013 18:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement-plan/your-adviser-could-be-a-psychopathretirement-plan/http://money.msn.com/retirement-plan/your-adviser-could-be-a-psychopathLiz Weston, MSN MoneyHow to prepare for an IRS auditOnly about 1% of taxpayers get audited, but here is a record-keeping strategy to ensure you are ready for that possibility.Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/taxes/how-to-prepare-for-an-irs-audittaxes/http://money.msn.com/taxes/how-to-prepare-for-an-irs-auditLiz Weston, MSN MoneySeniors face unique gambling risksThe explosion of betting opportunities in recent years means more temptation, especially for retirees, who often live on a fixed income.Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:30:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/baby-boomers/seniors-face-unique-gambling-risksbaby-boomers/http://money.msn.com/baby-boomers/seniors-face-unique-gambling-risksLiz WestonHow to be a rewards-card ninjaIf you play your credit cards right, you could get about 4% back on every purchase you make, experts say. They share their tips on how to do it.Fri, 25 Jan 2013 16:15:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/personal-finance/how-to-be-a-rewards-card-ninjapersonal-finance/http://money.msn.com/personal-finance/how-to-be-a-rewards-card-ninjaLiz Weston, MSN MoneyWhy short sales trash your creditEven when you try to do the right thing by avoiding foreclosure, the credit agencies are unlikely to notice.Wed, 19 Dec 2012 17:45:00 GMThttp://money.msn.com/credit-rating/why-short-sales-trash-your-creditcredit-rating/http://money.msn.com/credit-rating/why-short-sales-trash-your-creditLiz Weston, MSN MoneyShould you pay to be erased?Like it or not, companies track your personal data and post it online. It may be futile, but you can try to scrub out some of that information. Fri, 28 Sep 2012 15:06:07 GMThttp://money.msn.com/identity-theft/should-you-pay-to-be-erasedidentity-theft/http://money.msn.com/identity-theft/should-you-pay-to-be-erasedLiz Weston, MSN Money<add headline><add deck>Mon, 20 Aug 2012 14:03:33 GMThttp://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/add-headline-173auto-insurance/http://money.msn.com/auto-insurance/add-headline-173Liz WestonIs your 401k ripping you off?Fees can take a big bite out of your nest egg. Learn how to pick the right investment vehicle and avoid excessive charges.Fri, 17 Aug 2012 14:25:09 GMThttp://money.msn.com/retirement-investment/is-your-401k-ripping-you-off-weston.aspxretirement-investment/http://money.msn.com/retirement-investment/is-your-401k-ripping-you-off-weston.aspxLiz Weston, MSN Money