Personal Finance

Free ways to file your taxes

Preparing and filing your taxes is an annual -- and potentially expensive -- ritual that can be a burden, especially if you don't make a lot of money. But there are a few free tax-prep and e-filing options available.  More

The dream retirement: Buy a vineyard

Iris Rideau spent decades in finance, enabling her to pursue her passions in retirement: food and wine.  Play

What $100,000 in student debt feels like

It's a choke-hold on young people starting their lives -- It means putting off getting married, having children, and buying that first home.  More

5 biggest student loan mistakes

You can only afford to borrow as much as you expect to earn your first year working.  More

10 best states to retire in

Forget Florida. Residents of these states are happy, safe, and have good health care -- all for the right price.  More

5 ways Obamacare has helped Americans

On Obamacare's 5th birthday, CNNMoney looks at 5 ways the health care reform bill has made more Americans healthier.  More

The student loan hack you don't know about

Are you planning to work in public service? If you have student loans, there's a federal program you should know about.  More

You can now rent a Rolex ... or five

Watch rental company Eleven James lets customers rent luxury watches for several months at a time.  More

7 ways to maximize your Social Security benefits

Don't like solving complex puzzles? Then you won't enjoy figuring out your best strategy for taking Social Security. But if you don't try, you could leave tens of thousands of dollars on the table, if not more, say the co-authors of a new book.  More

Look what these homes are hiding

Whether they are for storage, work, security or just plain fun -- home owners are adding secret rooms to their construction plans.  More

24 hours with a professional bull rider

L.J. Jenkins is one of the top 35 bull riders in the world and during seven months of the year he's on the road. Here's what it's like to spend a day in his cowboy boots.  More

Should I bet it all on Buffett?

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has been incredibly successful at growing shareholders' capital. But owning Berkshire doesn't give you the same broad exposure to the overall economy and the market that you need for a well-diversified portfolio.  More

10 weirdest job interview questions

No matter how weird a question seems during a job interview, you'd be smart to take a deep breath and give it a go. The interviewer may want to know how you respond under pressure, how you think through a problem, and whether you'd fit in at the company.  More

Volunteering, living abroad: 6 retirees share their stories

Whether it's moving to a small coffee plantation in Costa Rica or volunteering at national parks, these six retirees are living the way they want. Here's how they got there.  More

Social Security killed me off!

After the Social Security Administration declared them dead, these people faced one financial nightmare after another.  More

Gas credit cards are the worst

CreditCards.com says gas cards come with higher interest rates, fewer rewards and more headaches than any other card.  More

Saved $1 million and living my dream retirement

A self-taught investor, Roy Nash said he saved more than $800,000 by age 55 -- enough to step away from his job and follow his dream of retiring early. Now he has even more stashed away.  More

Secrets of a dream retirement

CNNMoney's Christine Romans shares her secrets for a dream retirement.  Play

5 highest paying jobs for military vets

New data from Payscale finds that veterans are at least twice as likely than civilians to hold high-paying jobs in industries like national security, technology and transportation. Here are five of the top paying careers for former military members.  More

Cleveland's rents soar ahead of Republican convention

When the politicians move into downtown Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention next summer, many residents will be moving out -- and renting their homes for more than 10 times the normal cost.  More

4 easy ways to combat tax fraud

While it's not "easy" to outwit criminals in the age of hacking and opaque online transactions, experts at a Senate Finance hearing agreed that there were a few relatively simple things lawmakers could do to stop more tax fraudsters.  More

Scammer tries to swindle top tax-crime fighter

Criminals posing as IRS agents over the phone have duped taxpayers out of $15.5 million so far, said one of the country's top tax-scam investigators.  More

Average wedding in America now costs $31,000

Couples are spending an average of $31,213 on their weddings.  More

IRS: Claim this refund now or you're out of luck

The IRS has $1 billion in unclaimed refunds for the 2011 tax year that will soon become the property of the U.S. government if taxpayers don't come forward to claim them.  More

Are you paying too much for financial advice?

You may love your financial adviser but is his fee really worth it? Here's how to tell you're getting the most bang for the buck.  More

High fees, scary threats: Lawmakers slam government debt collection

Lawmakers and consumer advocates are speaking out against the special treatment given to debt collectors hired by government agencies across the country.  More

Uncle Sam says my Swedish kid is American

Children born abroad to Americans are generally automatically granted U.S. citizenship -- which comes with a major tax responsibility.  More

Obama offers help for student borrowers

President Obama will announce new steps to improve how the Department of Education and its contractors manage student loans.  More

Your credit report errors have to be fixed

Experian, Equifax and TransUnion strike a deal with the New York Attorney General to work with consumers who dispute problems on their credit report. Consumers will have more time to resolve unpaid medical bills.  More

Don't want to file your taxes? Get ready to pay ... a lot

Sticking your head in the sand at tax time is an expensive habit. If you owe taxes and just don't file, you'll actually be hit harder by failure-to-file penalties than failure-to-pay penalties during the first year.  More

Private colleges with the biggest payoff

Graduates with bachelor's degrees from these private schools see the biggest return on their college investment, according to a report from PayScale.  More

12 biggest tax scams to avoid

There's no end to the creative ways scammers will try to steal your identity and your money. And tax time is one of their favorite times of the year. Here's how to spot a top scam and protect yourself.  More

Public colleges with the best bang for your buck

Graduates with bachelor's degrees from these state schools see the biggest return on their college investment, according to a report from PayScale.  More

8 tax audit red flags

Budget cuts at the IRS may mean fewer audits this year, but it doesn't mean everyone is getting off scot-free. Here's what you need to do to avoid getting snagged by the IRS.  More

What to do with a big, fat inheritance

Find yourself suddenly holding one big lump sum of cash? Here's what you need to know to make sure your money is invested the way it should be.  More

Buffalo's $1 homes aren't as cheap as they seem

In Buffalo, New York, the city is selling vacant homes for a $1 to those who are willing to fix them up and live in them for a few years. But as many buyers soon find out, the cost to renovate these super cheap properties can quickly add up.  More

Identity theft tops list of consumer complaints

The top 5 consumer complaints have to do with identity theft, debt collectors, imposters, telephone companies and banks.  More

'Corinthian 15' launch 'debt strike' over student loans

A handful of former students, banded together as the "Corinthian 15," are claiming to be "made poor by the business of education" are protesting their student loans by refusing to pay them.  More

529 plans may soon cover more college expenses

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would expand benefits offered by the college savings plans to include coverage of expenses like computers and Internet access, among other things. And there is bipartisan support for it in the Senate, too.  More

24 hours with a U.S. diplomat

Charlie Slater has spent the last 21 years working in U.S. embassies worldwide. His latest post is Vienna, Austria.  More

Americans have a record $248 billion in 529 college savings accounts

More than 12 million Americans have a 529 savings plan, a jump of more than 4% in the past year.  More

The secret world of government debt collection

CNNMoney's exclusive investigation looks at the debt collectors hired by government agencies to go after unpaid property taxes, speeding tickets, even $1 tolls.  More

Michael Jordan joins billionaires' club

Michael Jordan is among the newest names on Forbes' annual list of the world's richest people. The basketball star made his fortune through endorsement deals and his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team.  More

The millennial investor raking in a 250% return

Justin Brosseau started investing when at age 15. Friends laughed. Boy has that changed.  More

This should be your first investment

Think you don't have enough money to get started? Think again. $50 a month can be a game changer.  More

CEOs make double what NBA players do

African-American actor Hill Harper is telling kids if you want to get rich, start saving now and aim for the C-suite.  More

10 best companies for internships

Glassdoor recently published its annual list of the highest-rated companies for interns.  More

Your home, your tax shelter

Companies have the Cayman Islands, and you have your home. Christine Romans breaks down what you can deduct on your taxes from your home.  Play

Average tax refund is $3,120 so far

A month into tax filing season, 83% of returns that were filed qualified for a tax refund, the IRS said.  More

8 tax audit red flags

Budget cuts at the IRS may mean fewer audits this year, but it doesn't mean everyone is getting off scot-free. Here's what you need to do to avoid getting snagged by the IRS.  More

What Obamacare means for your taxes

The next Obamacare controversy: your taxes. Christine Romans explains what hidden penalties are lurking, and the complicated maze of forms you can look forward to.  Play

The world wastes $400 billion in food every year

Over $400 billion worth of food is wasted by consumers each year, according to a new report by a U.K. nonprofit organization called WRAP.  More

Should you tap your Social Security benefits early?

Many people want to get their hands on their Social Security benefits as soon as possible. Others see the benefit of higher benefit payments for life. But which strategy is ultimately best for you?  More

What you need to earn to buy a home in 27 cities

To afford a home in Pittsburgh, you'll need to earn just under $32,000 a year. But if you want a place of your own in San Francisco, you'll need to earn more than four times that amount.  More

Supreme Court to hear case about 401(k) fees

Retirement savers may soon get a boost from the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the country's highest court will hear arguments in a case that centers on the investment fees paid by 401(k) plan participants.  More

Obama pushes protections for retirement accounts

The White House unveiled a proposal Monday that would hold financial advisers handling individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s to a higher standard.  More

The proven way to retire rich

Smart investors have a few traits in common. Do you have them too?  More

Threatening letters from a government debt collector

Americans across the country are getting scary debt collection letters -- threatening jail time, suspension of their driver's license or garnishment of their wages -- over what seem like minor offenses.  More

The debt collector doing government dirty work

CNNMoney's exclusive investigation looks at the debt collectors hired by government agencies to go after unpaid property taxes, speeding tickets, even $1 tolls.  More

No dogs allowed: San Francisco's pet housing crisis

The housing crunch in San Francisco isn't just forcing out lower income renters, it's forcing out Fido, too. According to San Francisco animal welfare nonprofit SF SPCA, there's been a surge in owners abandoning their pets due to an inability to find pet-friendly housing.  More

Inside the lives of millionaire debt collectors

Yachts. Mansions. Extravagant dinner parties. Life is good for the founders of one of the nation's biggest government debt collectors.  More

Debt collection nightmares

High fees. Mistaken identities. Traumatizing letters. These six Americans received collection notices from Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson that they say turned their lives into nightmares.  More

How to buy a home when you can't afford it

An innovative program in Vermont helps low- and middle-income people ease into homeownership.  More

Female investors often beat men

Survey after survey shows women lack confidence about investing, but their performance is actually very strong.  More

How weather affects what you tip the delivery guy

Winter weather conditions can cause tips for online food deliveries to jump.  More

My debt collection horror story

Law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson rakes in big money going after everything from unpaid parking tickets to back taxes. But many of the millions of people the firm goes after say they have been unfairly targeted. Here are three of their stories.  More

The debt collector that runs Texas

Through lobbying efforts and generous campaign donations, this debt collector has countless politicians -- from school board members to state lawmakers -- on its side. And these connections have paid off big.  More

A-Rod: Best paid pariah in the history of sports?

Least popular athlete in sports could earn $61 million and millions more in bonuses even if he's reduced to a reserve player his final three years.  More

Protect your retirement from the government's whims

Carefully choosing which investments go into your retirement portfolio and how you withdrawal them can provide a measure of protection against any government actions that might impact your nest egg.  More

How a $1.25 toll became a $300 bill

How ROTC instructor Harry Memnon ended up with a bill for $287 after he was told he failed to pay $1.25 in tolls.  More

Cost of getting a show dog to Westminster

For the love of dogs and breed competition, some people will spend upwards of six figures a year to prepare, primp and promote their favorite pooch on the show-dog circuit.  More

Personal trainers aren't just for the rich

Get the individual attention of a personalized workout, without the hefty price tag.  More

Illegal ways people are nabbing bigger tax credits

Most people out to scam the IRS understate their income. But in some cases, falsely inflating income can net a bigger refund. And like any other lie on your tax return, it's not allowed.  More

Fake IRS phone calls tops list of tax scams

Scammers impersonating IRS agents are targeting the elderly and new immigrants threatening them with arrest, deportation or the loss of their driver's license. And the IRS says this scam is on the rise, topping its list of "Dirty Dozen" tax scams this year.  More

Coming soon: A change in who gets overtime pay

Labor advocates say more workers should qualify for overtime pay after 40 hours because protections have eroded over the years. Business advocates worry changes will be too large and too absolute.  More

Hiding money in a tax shelter can come back to bite you

When someone tries to sell you on a scheme that promises to slash or eliminate your tax bill by putting your money into a complicated financial structures such as trusts, captive insurance or limited liability companie, think twice. It's likely to be a scam.  More
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