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Does your car suck your wallet dry, or do you have an economics-friendly vehicle? Consumer Reports provides answers.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 4:56PM

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen you're looking for a screaming deal on a car, it may be tempting to solely consider the purchase price of a vehicle when making a decision on whether to buy. But the sticker price alone doesn't give you the true picture of the costs associated with owning the car.


According to Consumer Reports, it's important to look past the purchase price and consider Filling fuel tank © Corbisother car-related expenses -- like depreciation, fuel, loan interest, insurance premiums, sales tax, and maintenance and repair -- before you buy a car. These expenses can mean the difference between an economical vehicle and a car that costs more a month than your rent.


Consumer Reports determined that the following vehicles are the most and least expensive to own (according to five-year owner cost estimates):

 

Female elementary-school teachers and social workers, for example, make less than their male counterparts, according to a new report.

By Money Staff Apr 7, 2014 4:32PM

This post comes from Ruth Mantell at partner site MarketWatch.


MarketWatch on MSN MoneyIt's not news that women earn less than men. But a soon-to-be-released report illustrates a particularly disappointing trend: women earn less than men even in popular woman-dominated jobs.


 Businesswoman and businessman © Eric Audras, PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections, Getty ImagesThe Institute for Women's Policy Research crunched government data and found that in each of the 20 most common occupations for women in 2013, women's median weekly earnings for full-time work were less than weekly earnings for men. Within those top 20 jobs, that relationship holds true for occupations with the largest shares of women.


Take elementary- and middle-school teachers, for example.

 

According to a new financial analysis, the top tenth of the US's 1 percenters make the rest of the 1 percent look like the 99 percent.

By Money Staff Apr 7, 2014 2:11PM

This post comes from Peter Coy at partner site Bloomberg Businessweek.


Bloomberg BusinessWeek on MSN MoneyThe rallying cry of the Occupy Movement was that the richest 1 percent of Americans is getting richer while the rest of us struggle to get by. That’s not quite right, though. The bottom nine-tenths of the 1 Percent club have about the same slice of the national wealth pie that they had a generation ago.


Wealthy woman © moodboard/CorbisThe gains have accrued almost exclusively to the top tenth of 1 Percenters. The richest 0.1 percent of the American population has rebuilt its share of wealth back to where it was in the Roaring Twenties. And the richest 0.01 percent’s share has grown even more rapidly, quadrupling since the eve of the Reagan Revolution.


These figures come out of a clever analysis by economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics, who is a visiting professor at Berkeley. The Internal Revenue Service asks about income, not wealth, which is the market value of real estate, stocks, bonds, and other assets. Saez and Zucman were able to deduce wealth by exploiting IRS data going back to when the federal income tax was instituted in 1913.

 

Money lessons aplenty are tucked in and among all the pow! zap! action of the newest film in the Marvel franchise.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 1:02PM

This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyI went to the midnight movie premiere of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" last Friday and am still reeling from all the explosions and hand-to-hand combat. In a good way.


Captain America: The Winter Soldier © W.Disney/Everett/Rex Features
Despite the comic-book colors and pow! zap! action, "The Winter Soldier" is a smart political thriller with enough modern paranoia to allow both conservatives and liberals to believe the film is talking specifically to them.


Old-fashioned patriot Captain America (Chris Evans) has learned from the Greatest Generation's wartime mistakes. When he views a high-tech weapon that's more doomsday than deterrent, Cap vows never to support a system that emphasizes fear over freedom.


Which brings me to personal finance. The whole point of Money Talks News is that being smart about finances lets you be secure, rather than afraid.


Due to the way I make a living, I can find money wisdom in just about any form of entertainment, whether it's Wagner, science fiction or even a Coen brothers movie.

"The Winter Soldier" is no exception. Personal finance themes aplenty are tucked in among the incendiary devices.

 

Opportunities abound to mix volunteer work with a vacation. The big payoff: helping others.

By Cheapism.com Apr 7, 2014 12:41PM
This post comes from Louis DeNicola at partner site Cheapism.com.

Cheapism.com on MSN MoneyImages of sandy beaches, warm weather, and a cool drink may come to mind when thinking about that next vacation. How about helping to rescue animals, picking olives, or building a house instead?

A woman works with children as part of the Global Volunteers program © Global VolunteersSure, these volunteer projects seem an awful lot like work, but you'll be contributing to a worthy cause while getting away from your day job.

Indeed, sometimes a "working vacation" can be more rewarding than a week at an all-inclusive resort.
 

Sometimes bad stuff happens to good workers. A few belt-tightening tactics will help you hang on until better times return.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 7, 2014 12:28PM

This post comes from Donna Freedman at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneySuppose the first thing your boss says tomorrow is, "Sorry, but I'm cutting you back to 28 hours a week." How long before you couldn't pay your bills?


Sometimes bad stuff happens to good workers. No one wants to think about a major income drop, but getting ready now means that you won't be quite as blindsided later on.

 

Ease the stress of living on minimum wage by drawing on government and other assistance programs. Also, invest in yourself.

By Cheapism.com Apr 7, 2014 12:02PM
This post comes from Louis DeNicola at partner site Cheapism.com.

Cheapism.com on MSN MoneyMysti Reutlinger has been through tough times. Although now in the process of starting her own business in the Cheyenne, Wyo. area -- the third in six years and the result of two prior successes -- she raised two children while working a minimum wage job. She and the children lived with the bare minimum, no cellphone or cable TV, and occasionally relied on an understanding landlord come rent time.

Woman with paperwork © Big Cheese Photo, JupiterimagesThere are millions of people like Ms. Reutlinger who struggle to make ends meet on meager pay. Today, a full-time worker earning the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour grosses approximately $14,500 a year. As Ms. Reutlinger can attest, that doesn't go very far. Getting by demands a good hunk of creativity and resourcefulness. Here is her advice from the minimum wage front lines:
 

Still trying to decide how to protect your credit and your identity? Take a look at these options.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 4, 2014 4:07PM

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

 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyHave you been searching for ways to protect your precious credit that you've worked so hard to build, as well as protect your identity from hackers? If so, you've probably read about both credit monitoring and security freezes.


Credit card © Mike Kemp, Getty Images,That's particularly true if your credit card information was stolen in one of the major security breaches we've read so much about recently. Perhaps Target or some other retailer has offered you a year of free credit monitoring.


Wondering which route you should take? Let's take a closer look at each of the services and what they entail.


What is credit monitoring?

Credit monitoring is a daily tracking mechanism that immediately alerts you if any activity takes place in your credit files, such as untimely payments, credit limit changes, credit inquiries and the opening of new accounts. At the end of each month or quarter, depending on the service provider, you will receive an activity summary electronically or via snail mail.


The service is reactive in nature because it does not shield you from identity theft.

 

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