US stockpiles are at their lowest point for this time of year since 2011.
This post comes from Nicole Friedman at partner site The Wall Street Journal.
Drivers in the U.S. are facing rising gasoline prices ahead of summer-vacation season, just as refiners here are shipping more gas to other countries.
A new pipeline, built to release a glut of crude oil that was stuck in the middle of the country, is now feeding oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast that churn out gasoline and diesel. While these fuels still make their way to the Southeast and the East Coast, growing amounts are being sold to Mexico, the Netherlands, Brazil and other countries.
The push into these markets has been spurred by the U.S. oil boom. Rising oil output had been flooding the nation's oil market in recent years, keeping U.S. crude prices low relative to world prices. Facing tepid fuel demand in the U.S., refiners have been ramping up exports, creating more global competition for U.S.-produced fuel.
Take these simple steps to live a more environment-friendly lifestyle.
It's Earth Day, so we’re all looking for easy ways to be a bit gentler on the environment. Whether it’s buying local produce or planting a tree, going green is trendy. And it makes sense.
We want to preserve our world for generations to come. And to do that, we need to make responsible environmental choices in every area of life, even with our finances.
If you want to take your green-ness to the next level, check out these five ways to go green with your money.
It doesn't always pay to go for the lowest possible price on purchases and other expenditures. Here's why.
This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.
It pays to spend less whenever you can, right? Well, not necessarily. There are some cases where the "less is more" principle doesn't work.
Being cheap cuts costs for the moment, but may cause you to incur additional expenses in the long run. That ends up being the antithesis of frugality.
Here are a few instances where thriftiness can backfire:
As an ex-couponer, I know all about this firsthand. I remember sitting at the dining room table every Sunday afternoon cutting away at the weekly circulars and matching the coupons from my ridiculously large collection to the sale items.
I saved a ton of money, but I also ended up with a massive stockpile of items I had no real use for.
The moment of truth came when I headed to my stockpile, only to realize I had accumulated six jars of mayonnaise and 18 sticks of deodorant, which I likely wouldn't use before the best-by date. That's not to mention the hours of my life spent clipping away that I could have used to generate additional income.
The choice is yours, but I suggest you conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the hours spent on couponing are worth it. Here's a perfect example from LearnVest that really helps put things into perspective.
Just in time for Financial Literacy Month, surveys show that many Americans are poorly equipped to handle their current and future finances.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
If you lost your job and sole source of income tomorrow, could you live for more than a month on what you have saved? If you answered "no," you're not alone.
A survey conducted by RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Co. -- just in time for Financial Literacy Month -- found that just 52 percent of respondents could live for more than a month on what they have socked away in their savings accounts.
If that's not concerning enough, nearly half of those surveyed said they lack knowledge or understanding, and thus confidence, about their personal finances. Many people are in dire need of financial literacy.
But truly, there are simple steps people can take. Trae Bodge, senior editor for The Real Deal blog by RetailMeNot, said:
Saving money is just one part of the financial literacy equation. It is also important that consumers spend wisely to be able to afford the items they need. Making small adjustments to shopping behaviors, like utilizing discounts for everyday purchases, in addition to putting away even a small amount each month, are important steps toward achieving overall financial health.
Other key findings of the survey include:
When it comes to food budget savings, what comes first -- the chicken or the egg?
One financial expert says parents should start easing children off the family gravy train before they're old enough to drive.
They're becoming adults, they're graduating or they've pointed out they are now 18 and can make their own decisions. And you silently wonder when they'll start making their own money, too.
How long do you support your children financially? For many baby boomers, the answer is unclear. Many report that they are still supporting grown children. Retirement planners sometimes worry about it. But when, exactly, do you start encouraging your kids to be more financially independent?
Author and financial coach Gail Perry-Mason has an answer: age 14.
Some homemade cleaners perform better than commercial ones, cost less and are better for the environment.
This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News.
You've probably heard that you can make your own cleaning products from ingredients found around the house. But how do they stack up against commercial cleaners?
You can clean your home effectively -- killing germs and bacteria while protecting your health and caring for the environment (Tuesday, April 22, is Earth Day!) -- and for about half of what you're probably paying now.
Different financial situations call for different credit cards. Here's how to know if a card is right -- or wrong -- for you.
This post comes from Jason Steele at partner site Credit.com.
Between television commercials, and advertisements on the Internet and in your mailbox, there is no shortage of information about credit cards.
But when it comes to determining which one you should get, a pretty good place to start, when sorting through the hundreds of cards on the market, is to eliminate those you should avoid.
With so many different credit cards available, there are right and wrong cards for each different kind of credit card user.
So first figure out what type of credit card customer you are, and then be sure to avoid these cards.
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