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A recent study shows that American teenagers trail many of their global peers when it comes to financial literacy.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:08PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen it comes to money, American teens have a lot to learn.

That was a finding of a recent financial literacy test administered by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. It was the first test of its kind, assessing teens' knowledge of personal finances -- including banking, taxes and how interest rates work -- and their ability to apply those skills to financial problems.

Teens with MP3 player © RubberBall, SuperStockOf the 18 countries tested, the U.S. ranked ninth, sandwiched between Latvia and the Russian Federation. Chinese students in Shanghai (the only Chinese city tested) earned top scores. Belgium, Estonia, Australia and New Zealand also ranked near the top. Colombia, Italy and the Slovak Republic rounded out the bottom three performers.

In a press release, the OECD said the overall results of the 29,000 15-year-old students it tested were less than impressive.

"Around 1 in 7 students … are unable to make even simple decisions about everyday spending, and only 1 in 10 can solve complex financial tasks," OECD said.

One seemingly simple question from the test required that teens know how to read a pay slip and understand the difference between gross and net pay.


Boat owners are getting savvy about how expensive boat ownership really is. Here are five ways to cut costs and maximize the fun without buying the boat.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 14, 2014 12:04PM

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyBoating for fun was once a rich person's passion. "Yachting," they called it. The boats were big and lavish. The costs were astronomical.

Sailboats and powerboats eventually became a middle-class pastime in the U.S. But the Great Recession and the rising cost of fuel made clear just how expensive boat ownership can be.

That made it clear to many that the next boat they own should not be theirs alone. We'll explain how this works and how you can substantially cut the cost of your boating pastime.


Some people use the global marketplace to make thousands of dollars. Discover their moneymaking method and how to make it work for you.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 11, 2014 2:51PM

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWith a little shopping savvy, you can turn the global marketplace into your own personal moneymaking machine.

Whether you're looking for some extra pocket change or want to earn enough to replace a full-time job, the income potential is there for the taking. Some people are making thousands of dollars and more buying and selling online, and you can learn how to do the same.  

Your dream of doing what you love for a living may not be so far-fetched after all. Here's why.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 10, 2014 2:28PM

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

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyDo what you love and the money will come, it's often said. And it's often true. But if you're already committed to a boring full-time job, you likely can’t see how to make the transition.

In fact, the idea seems so far-fetched that each year many head straight into the work force from high school or college to begin a stable, though not necessarily satisfying, career.

Imagine how much happier people would be if they could spend their days doing what they love while also making a decent living?


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.



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