The Supreme Court decision offers married, same-sex couples the same financial rights as hetero couples.
The Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act means that same-sex, married couples will have access to the federal benefits now enjoyed by other marrieds.
These benefits include tax breaks, Social Security benefits and estate planning advantages that until now were denied gay couples, even if their marriages were recognized under state law.
Among other things, gay marrieds will now be able to:
A credit card not going through is the No. 1 'awkward money moment,' according to a new survey. It's also the most preventable.
The evening was perfection. Your dinner guest was entranced by the restaurant's ambiance and by the superb food and wine. You couldn't be happier.
Then the server leans over to murmur discreetly, "Do you have another credit card? This one didn't go through."
Having a card declined was the "most awkward money moment" for 41% of the more than 2,100 people recently surveyed by CouponCabin.com.
The embarrassment factor is exponentially worse if this is an important occasion, such as landing an important client or successfully proposing to your sweetheart. In either case that person might be thinking, "Just what kind of deadbeat am I doing business with/spending the rest of my life with?"
It's the little things you're overlooking that eat away at your savings.
A friend of mine has been freaking out the last couple of weeks because her oldest child is graduating from high school this year. While she’s thrilled about this, she’s worried about the money.
“I’ve got to get him a gift and throw him a party. I don’t have the money right now, so I’ve got to raid our savings account,” she said. She failed to plan for this expense that she’s known about for years.
I’ve got another acquaintance who worries every time the oil has to be changed in her car.
“I just don’t have the money to cover it right now,” she wails and then breaks out the credit card. It’s not that she doesn’t have a budget, it’s that this recurring expense never seems to make it into the budget.
This is a common financial mistake, even amongst people who have budgets. People fail to plan for regular and expected expenses that they know are coming up, leading them to raid their emergency funds or take on debt to cover it.
Consumers nationwide are still getting mystery charges on their mobile phone bills.
As consumers continue to complain about getting unauthorized charges on their mobile phone bills, 40 attorneys general joined together to enjoin the federal government to try to halt the practice.
The third-party charges get tacked onto consumers' bills for services never ordered and will often appear month after month unnoticed.
"Today’s cell phone bills include pages and pages of numbers, and it can be difficult to detect illegitimate charges," Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said. "While I urge consumers to check their phone bills carefully, we need better protections for consumers to prevent cramming from occurring, and to give them mechanisms for obtaining full refunds if they were unfairly charged."
So your 17-year-old wants to start driving? Time to find a safe, economical car to help keep your kid (and your car insurance hit) as protected as possible.
With your teen agitating to start driving, you want to make sure you have the safest car possible. Because your car insurance will be going up anyway.
The “Best Cars for Teens” rankings starts with the “Top Safety Picks” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which identifies not only the 2009-model cars that withstood crash tests with flying colors but also those that have available electronic stability control to keep young drivers out of trouble in the first place.
In fact, the wider availability of stability control added many of the cheaper models such as the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla to our list this year. (The government now requires it on all new cars.)
The 14 vehicles below meet our requirements:
• They are an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick.
• They cost less than $15,000 for a 2009 model, according to Edmunds.com
• They get 20 mpg or better in combined driving, according to the EPA.
• They score average or better in annual repair visits, according to TrueDelta.com.
Cheaper building materials and synthetic furniture mean many large houses burn much more quickly than older, more modest homes.
This post is by Jennifer Nelson from partner site Insure.com.
Experts call it a fire crisis. New, lightweight residential construction methods, green building materials, open floor plans and larger square footage are making it harder and more dangerous for firefighters to safely extinguish house blazes and for occupants to safely escape them.
"It's estimated that most homes built within the past 20 years contain these dangerous lightweight materials, which are designed to carry a greater load with less material by using prefabricated components," says Russell Fleming, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.
The lightweight construction materials are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, but they allow fires to spread much more rapidly, reducing the time homeowners have to escape a fire -- and the time firefighters have to safely extinguish it.
Traditionally, floor joists that held up the floor would be a 2x6 piece of lumber every 12 inches, explains Peter Struble, practitioner in residence in the Fire Science Program at Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven and the fire chief in Wallingford, Conn.
"Now they're using what's called an engineered wood i-joist, which is much lighter weight and is not as substantial, and a lot of times it's thin pieces of wood glued together. It's extremely strong as long as it's not being attacked by fire," says Struble.
"When it's attacked by fire, it fails abruptly," he says.
Summer's here, and so is the increased risk of skin cancer. Here's information you need to know about the best and cheapest sunscreen.
This post comes from Michael Koretzky at partner site Money Talks News.
When it comes to skin cancer, I'm a skinflint.
I was first diagnosed with melanoma when I was a teenager. I lost part of my left ear to the disease. Since then, with what's left of both ears, I've listened intently to my doctors and the experts about how to avoid this too common -- and too often deadly -- form of skin cancer.
But on my own, I've learned how to save money while saving my skin. And now it turns out my instincts were correct: The cheapest sunscreens are also among the best, according to Consumer Reports. Here's what I've learned about the best ways to use sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer and what the CR survey found about their effectiveness.
People ask about how to improve their credit scores all the time. Here's the step-by-step guide to boosting those all-important numbers.
This post comes from partner site Credit.com.
The short answer to the question of "how can I help my credit score" is the following: through responsible credit management. That’s what credit-scoring models want to see. This means that you should always pay your bills on time, be sure to keep your revolving (credit card) debt respectable, and don’t shop excessively for credit.
Here's the longer answer: Some of us have bad credit and need to rebuild it. Some of us have no credit and need to establish it. And some of us have great credit and need to maintain it. Follow the the 10 steps outlined below, and you'll be well on your way to better credit reports and higher credit scores.
Step 1: Find out what the credit report companies are saying about you.
The worst thing you can do with your credit is to ignore it or avoid it. It’s like trying to put a roof on a house that has no framing; it’s simply not going to work. So the purpose of following this first step is to find out everything there is to know about your credit reports and scores. Then you can build your action plan for the future.
You can get this information from free annual credit reports that come directly from the credit reporting agencies. The website AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to request a free credit report from each bureau every 12 months. These free annual credit reports do not include your credit scores for free. You can, however, use Credit.com's free Credit Report Card to get your credit scores, to see where you stand compared to national average, and for a clear breakdown of the information in your credit report.
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Even those who don't like to shop are probably hitting the stores this month. Here's what to be on the lookout for and here's what to avoid.