The number of people enrolled in the health care exchanges surpassed the revised CBO estimate.
This post comes from Louise Radnofsky and Colleen McCain Nelson at partner site The Wall Street Journal.
The White House said the Affordable Care Act crossed a key threshold as it announced Thursday that more than six million people have signed up for private health coverage through state and federal insurance exchanges.
The number, released days before the Monday deadline for most people to enroll for this year, surpasses the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's revised estimate that six million people would enroll in private health plans for 2014 -- down from its initial forecast of seven million.
Low-income, high-achieving high school students may be able to visit some college campuses at no cost when deciding where to apply.
Still trying to decide whether you should consolidate your student loans? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.
Are your student loans putting a dent in your wallet? Fortunately, there are forms of relief available to assist.
Whether you're having a tough time keeping up with the payments due to carelessness on your part or a lack of funds, consolidation is an option worth considering.
How it works
A direct consolidation loan, which is offered by the federal government, lumps all outstanding federal student loan balances into one new loan and grants you a repayment term of anywhere between 10 and 30 years.
About 60 days after the new loan is disbursed, repayment commences.
While it may be convenient to consolidate all of your loans into one product, here are some factors you should consider before moving forward:
A new report finds that lost transfer credits can sometimes doom graduation plans for college students.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
A new study suggests that 1 in 7 transfer students lose nearly all of their course credits when they switch from a community college to a four-year university.
The research paper -- "The Community College Route to the Bachelor's Degree" -- was co-authored by two academics from the City University of New York and funded by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation.
The unfortunate result of requiring those students to essentially start over by accepting only a scant 10 percent of college credits they earned is that they're much less likely to earn a bachelor's degree. According to Inside Higher Ed:
The research also dumps cold water on several other explanations for why many community college students fail to eventually complete bachelor’s degrees, such as assumptions about lowered expectations, a vocational focus or inadequate academic rigor during their time at two-year colleges.
In fact, students who were able to transfer nearly all of their credits were 2.5 times more likely to go on to earn a bachelor's degree than students who transferred less than half of their credits, the study said.
Inside Higher Ed also said it pointed out that "community college transfer students are just as likely to earn a bachelor's degree as equivalent students who started at a four-year college."
Several forces are conspiring to raise your bar tab.
This post comes from Catey Hill at partner site MarketWatch.
You're not seeing double: Your bar tab really is that big.
Margaritas, screwdrivers and Bloody Mary's are among the cocktails that could become more expensive in coming months. And drinkers can't blame the actual alcohol for that -- thanks to a convergence of factors ranging from weather to bacteria, the price of many of the ingredients in cocktail mixers has jumped.
In general, the prices for fresh fruits — including many used as cocktail mixers — climbed 2.5 percent from January to February this year, compared with just 0.4 percent for food overall. And Vernon Crowder, the senior vice president and senior analyst at Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory, says that fruit prices could continue to climb through the summer.
The second-ranking Republican in the US House says the minimum wage doesn't need to be raised -- it's the Affordable Care Act that's hurting workers' wages.
This post comes from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at partner site Credit.com.
On Jan. 31, a fry cook asked President Obama why his hours were being cut to part time because of Obamacare, and the President responded by saying he was pushing to raise the minimum wage.
This moment between the fry cook and the president reveals the entire reasoning of the Democratic Party’s push to raise the minimum wage. Rather than restore wages and hours lost by working middle-class Americans due to Obamacare, Democrats are hiding these losses behind a false debate about the minimum wage.
Just look at the math. In 2013, President Obama supported a $9 minimum wage. This year, he proposed a $10.10 minimum wage, which at the federal level turns out to be an increase roughly equal to the amount of wages a minimum wage employee would lose if they had their hours cut by 25 percent, as is happening under one provision of Obamacare. Coincidence?
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren writes that the minimum wage in the US is too low to raise a child in a secure environment. The Massachusetts Democrat says almost 5 million single mothers would get a needed raise.
This post comes from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at partner site Credit.com.
I have 17 million reasons for wanting to increase the minimum wage. Yes, 17 million -- the number of children whose lives would be a little more secure if their moms and dads earned at least $10.10 an hour.
When I was in junior high, my daddy had a heart attack. He was home for a while, the medical bills piled up, and we lost our family station wagon.
So my mother did what she had to do: She went to work answering the phones at Sears. The job paid only minimum wage, but it was enough to make sure we could keep our home.
No one should work full time and live in poverty. In 1968, the minimum wage was high enough to keep a family of three out of poverty. In 1980, the minimum wage was at least high enough to keep a family of two out of poverty.
Looking for nearly new gizmos at a lower the price? Buying reconditioned laptops, phones and more is a good way to go.
This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.
Right now, you could spend $299 on a brand-new 32GB iPod Touch or you could spend $219 for the refurbished version. Both come from the Apple store in a sparkling white box with new accessories, a new battery and a one-year warranty.
Which do you choose?
You may be hesitant to go the refurbished route, but have no fear. Refurbished electronics are an awesome deal and can save you up to 50 percent off the sticker price.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Nearly half of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year, plus caregiving affects their jobs and retirement plans.
- America's most counterfeited products
- Driver survey: Men irked by phone talkers, women by lane cutters
- 5 reasons to take the company buyout (and 5 not to)
- Tired of Fed-watching, saver? Check out these banks instead
- New software targets credit card thieves at gas pumps
- Thinking of holiday shopping? Do a reality check first
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'