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Find out how your state ranks when it comes to providing workplace protections for new parents.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 10, 2014 1:39PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThis likely comes as no surprise to working moms and dads, but workplace protections for new parents in the U.S. are limited.

In fact, the U.S. ranked last out of 38 countries in a Pew Research Center report on government-supported time off. Top-ranked Estonia offers two years of paid leave for new mothers, but the median amount of paid time off for new moms was five or six months. The U.S. offers no paid leave.

Children lining up by a school bus © Hero Images/CorbisNow a study by the National Partnership for Women and Families (.pdf file) provides a state-by-state analysis of laws that help new parents. The "Expecting Better" report paints a bleak picture of the reality for new moms (and dads) in 17 states across the U.S. -- all of which earned an F for their laws (or lack thereof) that help new parents. Overall, 1 in 3 U.S. states received a failing grade when it comes to their support of new parents.

The U.S. has just three federal laws pertaining to workplace protections for parents: the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and a provision of the Affordable Care Act that offers security for moms who want to continue to breastfeed after they return to work, The Huffington Post said.


Beer lovers with a taste for high-end beer can save up to 60 percent by brewing their own.

By Jul 10, 2014 12:59PM
This post comes from Olivia Lin at partner site on MSN MoneyWhether enjoyed at a barbeque, happy hour, or the big game, beer is the world's most consumed alcoholic beverage (and third behind water and tea). Compared with other intoxicating drinks, a six-pack is relatively inexpensive. Is home brewing cheaper yet?

Well, perhaps. There are costs associated with ingredients and equipment, labor and time to consider. And then there's knowing your palate and your passion.

Basket full of hops and a cold beer © Shaiith/Getty Images"It's all about the art and the freedom of the craft," says Kevin McGhee, a certified beer judge who's been deliberating at home-brew competitions for five years. "I can customize each batch as I wish."

The cost of ingredients, of course, depends on the recipe and how much you plan to brew. Beer recipes typically call for some combination of malt, malt extract, grains, hops, yeast, sugar, and flavorings. The Simple Dollar figures that $35 buys enough inputs to produce 42 bottles of porter, which comes out to $5 per six-pack.

How much you spend on the hard goods depends on your budget.

It's convenient, and chances are you're getting a lot of travel miles to boot. But there are some downsides to saying 'Charge it!' when you travel.

By Jul 10, 2014 12:19PM
This post comes from Jason Steele at partner site on MSN MoneyAmericans work hard, but we get less paid time off than some of our counterparts in other industrialized countries. So when we do get some time off, we try to make the most of it by taking a well deserved, and often expensive vacation.

Some may choose to pay for their vacations using their credit cards, but is this really a good idea?

Couple on holiday © Image Source, CorbisThe benefits to charging your vacation

Credit cards are great methods of payment, especially when you travel. A good rewards credit card will offer travel benefits such as lost and delayed luggage protection, airline perks and a rental car collision damage waiver. Furthermore, credit cards are invaluable when renting a car or checking into a hotel, two places where you need to make a deposit against the possibility of damages.


Those groups had the hardest time affording health insurance before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

By Money Staff Jul 10, 2014 11:32AM

This post comes from Dan Mangan at partner site CNBC.

CNBC on MSN MoneyThree groups that long had the toughest time affording health insurance were the biggest beneficiaries of Obamacare's goal of reducing the number of people without coverage, a new survey shows.

Blood pressure © Photodisc, SuperStockThe Commonwealth Fund survey found that those groups—young adults, Latinos and the poor—saw larger drops in their uninsured rates after the launch of Obamacare than any other group.

The uninsured rate for people age 19 to 34 years old fell from 28 percent last summer to 18 percent as of June—meaning there were 5.7 million fewer uninsured young adults.

That age group's 10-percent drop contrasts with the 3-percent drop seen by each of the two older age groups broken out by the survey.

The uninsured rate among Latinos fell from 36 percent to 23 percent, a much bigger drop than the four-point decrease seen among whites and the 1-point drop among blacks, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

And the uninsured rate of people earning less than 2.5 times the federal poverty level fell by about 10 percent, significantly outpacing groups who earn more money, according to the private foundation, which specializes in health-care research.


The folks at DealNews took a close look at the best days to find new coupons using information from their coupon database and experience.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

By Jul 10, 2014 11:02AM

This post comes from Sarah Jones at partner site DealNews.

DealNews on MSN MoneyOnline coupons may appear to be released at random. But, if you look closely, patterns emerge. Knowing when stores are more likely to release new offers allows you to strategize for savings — and perhaps save some time looking for discounts in the process.

Coupons © NULL/CorbisWe've talked about stores with the most coupon codes before — those that you are most likely to find a discount for if you search before purchasing. But, besides sheer volume, there are also particular times that are generally better for finding coupons at any store.

In addition, there are specific stores that engage in rather habitual behavior when it comes to releasing coupons, which means there are certain times you can check to find their latest offers.

The best times to find coupons
To help you map out a more systematic approach for finding discounts online, we've taken a close look at the timing of when coupons are released using information from our coupon database and experience.


Before you get a prepaid card, make sure you understand the ramifications.

By Jul 9, 2014 4:27PM
This post comes from Jason Steele at partner site on MSN MoneyPrepaid debit cards are currently all the rage. These cards are sold at gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores and office supply stores, and several celebrities are creating branded cards with their names.

For some people, prepaid cards offer a solution to their struggles with credit card debt. Because prepaid cards are not credit cards, cardholders will not go into debt while using them (though it's still advisable to stick to a budget). Considering all of the success and popularity of these products, many people wonder: What's the catch?

Debit and credit cards © Fancy, Veer, Corbis, Corbis1. Fees

Between activation fees, monthly fees, reload fees and ATM withdrawal fees, prepaid card users have a lot of possible pitfalls they'll want to avoid. You can find prepaid cards with fewer fees than others, so be sure to check out the fee schedule in the cardholder agreement before signing up. In contrast, there are still plenty of credit cards offered with no annual fee, and those who avoid interest by paying their balance in full each month can use these products for years without having to pay any fees.


TSA security screening fees will more than double this month, and increases in other fees may follow.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 9, 2014 1:27PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you're looking to save some money on your next flight, you need to book your ticket quickly.

On July 21, the Transportation Security Administration passenger screening fee -- also known as the Sept. 11 security fee -- will more than double to $5.60 per flight leg, with no cap, The Wall Street Journal said.

Paper airplane made of money © Tetra Images/CorbisThe current fee is $2.50 per flight segment, with a $10 per-ticket cap.

"So a trip with multiple stops that last longer than four hours could see a whopping TSA fee multiplying with each additional leg of the itinerary," the WSJ said.

What's more, it appears that more fee hikes are on the horizon for airline passengers. In addition to the TSA fee increase, airports want to boost their facility fee from its current limit of $4.50 per boarding to $8 per boarding. Plus, Customs and Border Protection is pushing for a $2 boost in its immigration fee on international tickets (from $7 to $9). The WSJ said:

"It seems like a little bit of an onslaught right now," said Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president for legislative and regulatory policy at Airlines for America, the airline industry's Washington, D.C., lobbying group. "Policymakers see air passengers as an ATM."

If you're living paycheck to paycheck and barely getting by even though you have a healthy income, here are 11 expenses that may be the culprit.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 9, 2014 1:14PM

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyYou see an advertisement on television about that dream home or car you wish you had, or that getaway that would provide the relief you need. Then, suddenly, reality sets in before you're overwhelmed by your daydreams. Your desires and your bank account are not a match made in heaven.

Holding an empty wallet © Andrew Dernie/Getty Images
In fact, many people live meager paycheck to paycheck, barely getting by. Or maybe some have an abundant income but no idea how to manage it. If you are stuck on either side of the spectrum or smack dab in the middle, there are ways to make your money work for you.

Don't know where to start? Keep the receipt for every expenditure you make for a month. At the end of the month, take a closer look at where your money went. What you find will more than likely surprise you.

Here are some budget busters to keep an eye out for:



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