Liz Weston's latest articles on MSN Money 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT Weston, MSN MoneyStudent loan debt crushing couplePayment plans and refinancing could offer help in tough situations.Wed, 12 Jun 2013 16:45:00 GMT 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 GMT Weston, MSN MoneyThe Tea Party and your taxesIRS battle puts social welfare designation back in the spotlight. Wed, 22 May 2013 15:30:00 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT Weston, MSN MoneyHow 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 GMT 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 GMT 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 GMT Weston, MSN Money<add headline><add deck>Mon, 20 Aug 2012 14:03:33 GMT Weston