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Saving just a single month of expenses may take longer than you think. See how your savings rate affects how quickly you can build a solid emergency fund.

By Dough Roller 36 minutes ago
This post comes from Rob Berger at partner site the Dough Roller.

The Dough Roller on MSN MoneyWe often talk about the importance of saving an emergency fund.  Many financial experts suggest building an emergency fund that is equal to three to six months' worth of expenses.  Have you ever thought about just how long it takes to save even one month of expenses?

Office worker marking calendar with red pen © Image Source, Image Source, Getty ImagesThe formula to figure out just how long it will take is very simple.  It's also eye-opening.

First, let's start with your after-tax income. Take this amount and divide it into two buckets - how much you spend and how much you save.

Don't forget to include savings and spending that come directly out of your paycheck -- e.g., 401k contributions (saving) and health insurance premiums (spending).

Once you know how much you spend and how much you save, it's easy to figure how long it'll take to save your month's worth of expenses.

They're more alike than you realize, and not in good ways. And that's coming from someone who likes Peeps.

By 3 hours ago
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site on MSN MoneyYou see them at every grocery or drugstore checkout line -- brightly colored Peeps calling to you from the display. Does anybody ever go to the store with Peeps on the list? Certainly nowhere near as many people as those who come home having purchased them.

 Easter Peeps © PRNewsFoto/PEEPS/AP
They're not unlike payday loans -- stay with me a minute, even if you love Peeps (and we certainly do).

Payday loans are never on anybody's list of ideal ways to make ends meet. And yet, payday lending is a big business. Somehow, similar to the bright-colored marshmallow chicks we didn't plan to buy, we may find ourselves in payday loan debt we didn't plan to go into.

Here's how Peeps and payday loans are similar.


There are plenty of people who are willing to buy your silver and other valuables, but most won't give you top dollar for what you have.

By MSN Money Partner 4 hours ago

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyGrandma's silver was such a great gift. Until you realized you need to polish it. Gorgeous old silver flatware, trays, bowls, pitchers and tea sets may be more of a responsibility than many people today are able to take on. If you decide to sell it, you'll want to get top dollar.

Antique silverware and old silver jewelry © Ekspansio/Getty Images
A wide array of businesses buy household silver, and many offer considerably less than your silver is worth.

"It seems these days on every corner next to the nail parlor, you see a place with a sign: 'We buy gold, we buy precious metals,'" says Steve Yvaska, The Antiques Advisor. An expert in American silver, he appraises antiques and writes a column on antiques and collectibles for the San Jose Mercury News.

Don't just walk into an unknown business with your bag of silver and expect to get the best price. By the same token, you can't expect to get more for your silver than is realistic. Educate yourself to learn the value of what you have and maximize your profit, Yvaska urges.

Learn what you've got

Household silver is sold in one of two ways:


There are steps you can take now to minimize the fallout if your smartphone gets nicked. But many say technology that would render phones completely useless if they're taken is still needed.

By Money Staff 5 hours ago

This post comes from Herb Weisbaum at partner site CNBC.

CNBC on MSN MoneySmartphone thefts rarely make national news anymore -- unless the victim was seriously hurt or killed during the robbery.

Businessman in car with smartphone © Image Source, Image Source, Getty ImagesBut the crime spree has not gone away. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse.

About 3.1 million Americans had their phones stolen last year, according to a just-released national survey by Consumer Reports. That's nearly double the magazine's estimate of 1.6 million mobile phones stolen during 2012.

"You have to take into account the fact that there are more smartphone owners now, but 3.1 million is still a pretty big number," said Donna Tapellini, a senior editor at the magazine.

Why do so many thieves snatch smartphones? Because it's lucrative -- they can quickly turn that phone into cash.

If your phone is stolen, your carrier can disable it and add it to a national database, so that it won't be activated again. But this blacklist does not always work in other countries, where stolen phones can be sold and brought back to life.

That's why New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon formed the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) initiative to push for "kill switch" technology in all new smartphones.

Throw that kill switch and the phone would never work again -- anywhere in the world. That, they say, would remove the economic incentive for this crime.


These eight documents can make life much easier for those you leave behind.

By MSN Money Partner 6 hours ago

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyDo you want to be remembered fondly by your loved ones? Then tackle the estate-planning tasks you've been meaning to get to. Your heirs will bless you for not leaving a mess for them to clean up.

Many of us want to get going but don't know where to start. So, here are eight documents that can help you get your affairs in order. If that sounds like a lot of paperwork, don't worry: You probably won't need every one of them.


Your Easter celebration, from ham and eggs to spring clothes, will take a bigger toll on your wallet this year.

By Money Staff Thu 2:24 PM

This post comes from Karina Magalong at partner site TheStreet.

TheStreet on MSN MoneyAs you prepare for your Easter feast Sunday, get ready for some sticker shock on some of the more common items you'll need.

Chocolate Easter Bunny in a Basket © bhofack2/Getty Images


The price of eggs is at a historical high. When dying those eggs crazy colors for your egg hunt, you may want to handle them with a little more care than usual.

The American Farm Bureau Federation's latest Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey finds the average price of eggs is $1.98 a dozen, up 8 percent from a year ago. One reason -- global demand for eggs has been on the rise, especially to Mexico. The Bureau says exports have been strong since the supply of eggs was reduced by an avian influenza outbreak.


You may be a smart person, but you probably make some dumb purchases. Here are five stupid things smart people buy over and over again.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 2:02 PM

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWe all buy dumb things.

Burning money © Lumina Imaging, Digital Vision, Getty ImagesI'm reminded of that every time I see the closet full of purses I just had to have. They're all lovely, but then I look in the mirror and remember I only have two arms and one wallet.

While we all have our individual weaknesses, some stupid purchases seem to cross boundaries. You may have a good reason to buy one of these items, but the following are five things we collectively seem to lose our ability to think rationally about and get sucked into spending our money on something dumb.


The high-ranking GOP House member accuses Democrats of politicizing the issue of gender paycheck inequality for political purposes.

By Thu 1:04 PM
This post was written by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for partner site on MSN MoneyIf there’s one thing Washington is exceptionally good at, it’s politicizing the personal. In the past few weeks, the ongoing debate over "equal pay for equal work" has typified this type of unfair politicization -- this time with women -- and instead of working together on solutions to empower American women, it has only perpetuated false accusations.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Wash. © Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The president and his Democratic colleagues continue to perpetuate the myth that Republicans do not support equal pay for equal work. This could not be further from the truth.

As a woman myself -- one who worked at the McDonald’s drive-thru to pay for school and was the first in my family to graduate from college -- and as the mom of two young daughters, I have never once wavered in my support of equal pay for equal work.

Many years from now, when my daughters, Grace and Brynn, decide to pursue their careers -- whether they choose to be teachers or doctors or artists or computer engineers -- they should do so without worrying they’ll make less than their male counterparts and without fear of gender discrimination.



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