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The best way to keep car insurance premiums low is to not commit moving violations.

By MSN Money Partner May 24, 2011 12:00PM

This post comes from partner site MainStreet.


Consumers may know that their bad driving record will raise their car insurance, but just how much will a single moving violation cost them?


Plenty, according to a new analysis from The website looked at 32,000 of its auto insurance policies sold in 2010 and found that those with zero moving violations on their driving record can expect to pay, on average, $1,119 a year in premiums. However, as soon as a consumer had a moving violation on record, the quotes skyrocketed. Their analysis found that:


Looking for help after the government intentionally floods your land? If you don't have flood insurance, you may be out of luck.

By MSN Money Partner May 24, 2011 10:43AM

This post comes from Barb Marquand at partner site on MSN MoneyThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recent opening of the Morganza Spillway diverted water from the Mississippi River and spared New Orleans and Baton Rouge from flooding disaster. But homeowners in the rural Atchafalaya Basin who are in the pathway of the water may be up a creek if they don't have flood insurance.


That's because damage from flooding is not covered under standard home insurance policies, regardless of whether the flooding is caused by nature or intentional government action. And the government is not legally responsible for making you whole even if it intentionally flooded your land.


There is only one official way to get free credit reports. Here's what to do.

By MSN Money Partner May 24, 2011 10:41AM

This post comes fromMiranda Marquit at partner blog Bargaineering.


Your credit reports are your financial reputation. The way you handle your money is recorded in your credit files, and there are a number of people who check your credit reports and use them to make judgments about your likelihood of paying back a loan and other areas of responsibility.


It's not just lenders who will look at your credit reports. Insurers, employers, cellphone service providers and landlords may all want a peek at your reports.


According to the law, if you ask for copies of your credit reports, they have to be provided to you (you might have to pay for them, though). The credit bureaus must let you see everything they have in your credit files.


The growth of online charitable giving is a boon to nonprofits. But there's an unintended beneficiary of this cyber generosity.

By Stacy Johnson May 24, 2011 9:29AM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


How would you feel if you learned that when you donate $100 to a charity, you're adding only $97 to the charity's coffers, while making some nameless bank $3 richer?


That's probably what's happening if you donate by credit card -- which has become increasingly popular as charities join the rest of the world online.


Making yogurt in a slow cooker is super easy. It's helping me get enough calcium in my diet. And boy, is it delicious.

By Donna_Freedman May 23, 2011 3:42PM

I never cared much for yogurt. It generally seemed too sour to me, unless it was loaded with fruit and sugar or turned into tzatziki sauce on a gyro sandwich.

Apparently I just never had the right kind of yogurt.

I'd heard that the homemade version is better than the commercial kind. I'd also read about people making yogurt in a slow cooker. After looking online for instructions, I settled on the process described at A Year of Slow Cooking.

And then I improved on it.


More and more adult children are depending on their parents for financial help.

By doubleace May 23, 2011 3:20PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.


Fifty-nine percent of parents provide financial support for their adult children who no longer are in school, according to a survey done for Forbes.


To which I have two questions: "That few?" And, "What's new?"


The Forbes story has the statistics -- unemployment rate over 14% for 20- to 24-year-olds, huge debt from college loans, etc. -- while my evidence is merely anecdotal. At dinner with friends or on the golf course with buddies, it is a recurring conversation.


If you really want to know what kind of mileage your chariot is getting, calculate it the old-fashioned way.

By MSN Money Partner May 23, 2011 2:28PM

This post comes from Mark Huffman at partner site


Almost any car manufactured in the last couple of years has a gauge that measures the vehicle's fuel economy, showing you how many miles to the gallon you're getting.

But you might not be getting nearly the fuel efficiency it says you are.


The editors at conducted a total of 14 tests in seven vehicles and found that the miles-per-gallon gauges were 5.5% off, on average.


Where you live is a factor in what you'll pay, but there are ways to lower your bill no matter where you are.

By Stacy Johnson May 23, 2011 10:36AM

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.


Rather than Motor City, maybe Detroit should be known as Insurance City. Average cost to insure your car there last year: $5,948, the highest in the country.


That's 56% higher than the next highest, and more than seven times the cost of full coverage insurance in the lowest-cost city in the country,



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