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From the save-the-date to the tabletop, we'll help you reduce the cost of your nuptials with these do-it-yourself suggestions.

By MSN Money Partner May 2, 2013 1:36PM

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyA typical 150-guest wedding costs $25,000 on average, according to The Knot's Wedding Budget 101 guide. That's enough to pay for a new car, cover the down payment on a new house, or fund (at least partially) a college education.


Now the Georgia couple must pay a big tax bill to take possession of their prize property.

By Marilyn Lewis May 2, 2013 10:50AM

Image: Home exterior in Gilbert, Az. © Paul Hill, AlamyHope and Don Lance once struggled just to stay off the streets. Now the Macon, Ga., couple are the owners of a brand new five-bedroom, four-bath home. But it remains unclear whether they will ever be able to move in.


The Lances, who have lived in motels and, for a time, in a tent, won the home in a St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, one of a number of similar fund-raising raffles operated by non-profits across the country. St. Jude alone runs dream home raffles in 15 states, selling $100 tickets to benefit its children’s hospital in Memphis, Tenn.


But winners need to pay state and federal income taxes on the prize before they can take possession of the home, a fact spelled out in at the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway FAQ. In the case of the Lances, the bill could come to more than $100,000.


If you own a timeshare and haven't had any luck selling it, you're a prime target for scammers.

By Mitch Lipka May 1, 2013 4:42PM
Fort Myers Beach, Fla.© Ilene MacDonald, AlamyTimeshare owners across America, who have long enjoyed their vacations but for various reasons no longer want to use their weeks away, are in the cross-hairs of scammers taking advantage of the difficulty many have had unloading the properties.

While timeshare reselling scams are nothing new, they're surging again, prompting warnings from attorneys general and the Better Business Bureau.

"There are almost endless variations of timeshare resale fraud," Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington said in a warning about the scams. "Timeshare owners need to be wary when thinking about retaining the services of people and companies promising to market and sell properties on their behalf." 

There's more than one way to pay off your mortgage early. We show you eight.

By Smart Spending Editor May 1, 2013 4:29PM

This post comes from Jeffrey Trull of partner site Doughroller.

www.doughroller.netThe decision to pay off your mortgage early is a controversial one. But for some who have tackled many of their big financial goals and erased other debt, putting their home mortgage in their cross-hairs can make sense.

Toy house sitting on money © Vstock, Tetra Images, CorbisIf you’ve decided to pay off your mortgage early, here are eight strategies for saving money and paying the balance quickly.

1. Refinance to a 15-year mortgage
An easy way to guarantee that you’ll pay off your mortgage twice as fast is to refinance your mortgage from a standard 30-year term to a 15-year mortgage.

If you refinance to a 15-year mortgage, you’ll typically pay a lower interest rate while making larger payments each month.

By refinancing a $250,000 30-year mortgage at 5 percent to a 15-year mortgage at 2.63 percent, you’ll save about $178,000 on interest.

The downside: higher monthly payments and probably less flexibility.


Looking for a job this summer or know a teen or young adult who is? These part-time gigs can provide acceptable compensation for someone new to the working world.

By MSN Money Partner May 1, 2013 3:49PM

This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News logoThis summer might be hard on teenagers who are looking for work.

Image: Money (© Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis)When I was in high school, everyone I knew (myself included) worked for one of the fast-food chains, but the recession changed the game. "Only 16% of fast-food industry jobs now go to teens, down from 25% a decade ago,” says NBC News.

If you're in high school -- or have a kid who's looking for a summer job -- that isn't great news, but we have a list of alternatives.

1. Caddie

If you know which club to suggest, don't mind lugging heavy golf bags, and can keep up a pleasant conversation, caddying can be a summer gig with decent pay. Caddies make both a small hourly wage from the golf course and tips from golfers they work with, which can be lucrative. This job topped Forbes' list of best-paying summer jobs. According to Forbes, caddies average $16.67 an hour.


A large number of Americans don't realize that the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land and will require everyone to have health insurance next year.

By MSN Money Partner May 1, 2013 2:24PM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyForty-two percent of Americans don't know that the Affordable Care Act is still in effect, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows.


Surgeons operating on patient © Pete Saloutos, UpperCut Images, Getty ImagesAmong those people:

  • 12% think Congress got rid of it. (It's true the Republican-controlled U.S. House has tried literally dozens of times.)
  • 7% think the Supreme Court did. (It's true that both Fox News and CNN wrongly reported that in the minutes after the ruling last summer.)
  • 23% said they didn't know enough to say whether the law existed or not. That's a record high since KFF began tracking public awareness three years ago.

Whether it's for money or for love of work, more and more people are choosing to delay retirement. Maybe you should too.

By MSN Money Partner May 1, 2013 1:38PM

This post comes from Trisha Sherven at partner site Money Talks News

Money Talks News logoAsk a baby boomer who they are and they'll most likely tell you what they do. This is a generation of hard-working people, proud of their life's accomplishments. So when they hit that 66th birthday and are eligible for Social Security, many boomers aren't ready to retire.


You paid off that debt or disputed those errors on your credit report, but they're still there. Now what?

By Smart Spending Editor May 1, 2013 11:50AM

This post comes from Janna Herron at partner site on MSN Money
Imagine paying off five credit cards and instead of finding relief, you are haunted by those same accounts wrongly recorded as uncollectible on your credit report. Welcome to Beverly Ortiz's life.

Image: Woman surprised (© Purestock/SuperStock)In 2009, Ortiz of Fort Myers, Fla., used a $9,700 consolidation loan on her car to pay off her credit cards. But the payoffs were never counted by her lenders, and the accounts appeared as charge-offs on her credit reports. Debt collectors hounded Ortiz. She couldn't qualify for a home remodeling loan, and potential employers asked about her debts. They never hired her.

For six months, Ortiz sent and re-sent letters with copies of the consolidation loan and payoff notice to the card issuers, debt collectors and the credit reporting bureaus, but to no avail. She eventually gave up.

"You get frustrated," Ortiz, 47, says. "I didn't have the money to fight this situation by hiring an attorney."



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