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You can give your car the care it needs without draining your bank account if you follow this advice.

By MSN Money Partner 12 hours ago

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhile you're cruising down the highway, a tiny light comes on on your dashboard. You dismiss it because it's only the oil change icon, and you can afford to stretch it for a few hundred miles.

Car being towed © Digital Vision Ltd., SuperStockAnd then another one appears. This time, it's the check engine icon. Panic mode instantly sets in. The last time you visited the dealership, you ended up with a tab well into the hundreds, and you simply can't afford to do it again.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of car repairs and maintenance. Keep these tips in mind:

1. Check and change oil regularly

Your oil is essential to the life of your car's engine. Regularly changing your oil is the best defense against oil pump replacement and costly engine repairs. The cost of replacing an engine is easily $2,000 and often much more.

Instead of following the standard advice of an oil change every 3,000 miles, whip out your owner's manual to confirm what's best for your ride. You may find that the recommended oil change is every 6,000 miles. Some luxury cars will let you stretch further than that.


A new study found that Americans' overall satisfaction with credit card companies is at an all-time high.

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyAmerican Express has long been America's favorite credit card company. But after seven years at the top, AmEx is now sharing the No. 1 spot with Discover.

Shopping online © Creatas, SuperStockThe eighth annual J.D. Power survey found that overall credit card customer satisfaction is at an all-time high. When considering interaction, credit card terms, billing and payment, rewards, benefits and services, and problem resolution, consumers' overall satisfaction with the 10 credit card companies in the survey came in at 778 out of 1,000 points.

American Express and Discover tied, scoring 819 each. Chase was next with 789 points.

AmEx and Discover operate under two entirely different business models. While American Express offers 21 cards with different rewards and fees, Discover has just one card, offering cash-back rewards and no annual fee.

According to a press release:


Buried in medical debt? Here are steps you can take to lower the bill, sometimes quite substantially.

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you or a loved one has ever experienced a serious illness, you know how quickly the medical bills can pile up.

Medical doctor © Sean Justice/CorbisOne day, it's a bill for services rendered by the anesthesiologist. The next day, the radiologist wants his cut. Wasn't this all supposed to be included in the hospital bill?

Fortunately, limits on out-of-pocket expenses included in the Affordable Care Act for 2014 apply to many insurance policies, whether you get your insurance through your employer or purchase it on your own.

That means an individual can pay no more than $6,350 out of pocket for in-network care. The limit is $12,700 for families. That limit includes co-payments and deductibles, but doesn't include the cost of monthly premiums.

But there are still ways to rack up big medical bills: 

Cash is still king for the older crowd when it comes to purchases of less than $5.

By MSN Money Partner 14 hours ago

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf your cup of coffee is less than $5, chances are you're going to pull out cash to pay for it, unless you're a millennial. Then you're more likely to whip out plastic, regardless of how big or small your purchase is.


A reader just retired and is worried that her retirement income won't be enough. She should be.

By MSN Money Partner 15 hours ago

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyAs members of my generation, the baby boomers, start entering retirement in droves, more and more of us may ask a question similar to this week's reader question:

I just started collecting Social Security retirement. If I'm having so much trouble living on my allotted amount now, at age 65, what's going to happen later when I have real medical expenses and prices keep skyrocketing? -- Patricia

How hard has this 'wealth drain' hit the middle class?

By 16 hours ago

This post comes from Bob Sullivan at partner site on MSN MoneyThere are two ways to measure how people are doing financially: How much they earn, and how much they own. The second category gets less attention, but it can be just as important. And it’s very likely that you own a lot less than you did before the Great Recession. In fact, odds are roughly 50/50 that you own less than you did in the year 2000, according to the latest Census data. That’s stunning. And it’s another reason you might feel restless.

Dollars down drain © Stockbyte/SuperStockWith so much talk about "1 percenters" and the minimum wage recently, I feel like the big, often economically silent middle of America hasn’t gotten the attention it has deserved.  Let’s call them the “20 to 80 percenters.” I know that doesn’t have much of a ring to it, but it’s a pretty important group. And here’s the sad truth about what they own.

Last week, the Census Bureau released new figures on net worth, broken out in quintiles -- the top 20 percent, the 20-40 percent, the 40-60 percent, and so on.  Net worth is a pretty simple, but important, number. It’s basically the value of folks’ homes, savings, retirement accounts and other financial assets minus their debts -- mortgage debt, credit card debt and so on.


If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.

By QuinStreet Fri 2:31 PM

This post comes from Richard Barrington at partner site on MSN MoneyLike car alarms that go off at 3 a.m. or those echoing drips in the bathroom sink, financial worries are costing many Americans sleep, according to a recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

Woman asleep © Tom Grill/CorbisNearly four out of five poll respondents said that money worries kept them awake at night. Those results might be a little skewed, because the poll was taken via the NFCC website, and presumably many of its visitors are people with credit problems.

Still, the point is valid -- when someone has money problems, those problems tend to creep around in the middle of the night, making misery.

Keeping money worries at bay

Here is the key thing to remember: The middle of the night is not the time to confront your financial fears. You need to work on them in the light of day, when you can do something constructive about them.

Here are some positive steps you can take to put your financial worries to sleep:


If you're nervous about going to court over a debt, don't be. Show up, say this simple phrase, and you're on your way.

By Fri 2:14 PM
This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyStudies show the majority of consumers being sued over a debt fail to show up to court, often resulting in a default judgment. The judgment means you're required to repay the debt -- which, given the circumstances, will likely be a significant financial obstacle -- and your credit standing will suffer as a result.

Worried man © CorbisAvoiding your debt collection lawsuit practically guarantees you'll have a judgment placed against you, but you don't have to sit back and let that happen. Showing up is the first step toward winning the case or settling your debt, and the next step is even easier: You need only say two words.



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