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

By Money Staff 10 hours ago

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

Eggs

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 10 hours ago

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 Credit.com 11 hours ago
This post was written by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com 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.

 

The Massachusetts Democrat says it's a 'no-brainer' that pay discrepancies between men and women need to be addressed.

By Credit.com 12 hours ago

This post was written by Sen. Elizabeth Warren for partner site Credit.com.


Credit.com on MSN MoneyI honestly can’t believe that we’re still arguing over equal pay in 2014.


When I started teaching elementary school after college, the public school district didn't hide the fact that it had two pay scales: one for men and one for women. Women have made incredible strides since then. But 40 years later, we’re still debating equal pay for equal work.


Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Mass. © Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Women today still earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, and they’re taking a hit in nearly every occupation. Bloomberg analyzed Census data and found that median earnings for women were lower than those for men in 264 of 265 major occupation categories. In 99.6 percent of occupations, men get paid more than women. That’s not an accident; that’s discrimination.


The effects of this discrimination are real, and they are long lasting. Today, more young women go to college than men, but unequal pay makes it harder for them to pay back student loans. Pay inequality also means a tougher retirement for women. In Massachusetts, the average woman who collects Social Security will receive about $3,000 less every year compared to a man in a similar position, because benefits are tied to how much people earn when working.

 

There is a growing trend among 30-somethings to cover the costs of their weddings themselves.

By MSN Money Partner 12 hours ago

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThe days of the bride's parents footing the bill for a lavish wedding are on their way out.


Bridesmaids © FEV Create Inc, Getty Images

Nearly 25 percent of weddings are paid for by the bride and groom alone, Reuters said. If the couple is over age 30, that number increases to 30 percent, according to David Wood, president of the Association of Bridal Consultants.


Just 10 years ago, only about 15 percent of couples covered the costs of their wedding. And back in the '70s, people married much younger and it was widely expected that the bride's parents would pick up the cost.


Martha Stewart Weddings also makes note of the change:

Today, most people believe the couple should pay for their own wedding, especially if they have lived on their own for some time. Of course, parents often want to pitch in.

Reuters said there are a few factors to consider when deciding who will pay for the wedding:

 

Here are seven simple tips to help newbies in the credit world borrow money and build a credit history.

By MSN Money Partner 13 hours ago

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyCredit is one of those things you don't want to be without. But, as we all know, the credit game is definitely a Catch-22. You need a good credit history to snag the best deals on loans, yet it's very difficult to get credit without a borrowing history.


So what's a consumer to do? Here's what to do when you're new to the credit world or are starting over after some kind of financial catastrophe.

 

Gasoline prices have experienced an uptick recently and will continue to edge up slightly as summer approaches.

By Money Staff Wed 5:12 PM

This post comes from Ellen Chang at partner site MainStreet.


MainStreet on MSN MoneyGasoline prices have experienced an uptick recently but will continue to edge up slightly as summer approaches, industry experts said.


Prices at gas pumps across the country are averaging $3.60 a gallon as temperatures rose slightly in some regions.


Buying gas © moodboard/CorbisGasbuddy.com found that gas reached $3.60 a gallon in many states. Marked exceptions on the low-end were Montana, where gasoline prices were $3.27 a gallon, and Texas, where gas was $3.47 a gallon. By contrast, California had gas as high as $4.17 in California, and Hawaii hit $4.28 a gallon.


Regular gasoline retail prices will continue to stay within this range and is projected to reach an average of $3.57 per gallon overall during the period of April through September, the Energy Information Administration said. The annual average regular gasoline retail price was $3.58 per gallon in 2013.


The projected national average regular retail gasoline price falls from $3.66 per gallon in May to $3.46 per gallon in September. The EIA expects regular gasoline retail prices to average $3.45 per gallon in 2014 and $3.37 per gallon in 2015, compared with $3.51 per gallon in 2013.


"After rising into May, the retail price is expected to fall through the remainder of the summer because both crude oil prices and gasoline crack spreads (the difference between wholesale product price and the price of crude oil) decline," the EIA said in its report.

 

Remember Murphy's Law? Make your finances rock solid with these 10 financial products.

By MSN Money Partner Wed 3:19 PM

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


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyBeing money smart is about more than having a budget and eliminating dumb purchases. It means creating a financial foundation that will carry you and your family comfortably through whatever life throws your way.


Woman counting money © Jose Luis Pelaez Inc, Blend Images, Getty ImagesTo create that foundation and find lasting financial security, you need to own these 10 products. (Hint: You're about to hear a lot about insurance.)


1. Checking account

Let's start with the basics. You need to have a centralized place to manage and monitor your money. After all, it's hard to have a balanced budget if you have only a hazy idea of where your money is going.


Prepaid cards are an increasingly popular option, but they can come saddled with lots of fees. Plus, disclosures for these cards can be spotty, making it hard to know exactly how much your card is costing you.


Instead, look for a free checking account. Many institutions have scaled back their offerings, but there are still ways to get free checking from a bank or credit union.

 

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