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10 Weighted Body Bar Exercises You Can Do at Home

By Laura Williams

body bar exercisesOne of the best ways to shape up and add muscle definition to your body is to start strength training. This doesn’t mean you need to head to the closest gym and start training for a body building competition – all this means is that you should use some form of weight, whether it’s your own body weight or an external source of added weight, during exercise at least two times per week.

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10 Best Cities to Buy a Home – Buyer’s Markets in the United States

By Brian Martucci

portland, maineIf you owned a home between 2005 and 2009, there is a strong chance that you lost a good chunk of change on your investment. If you were lucky enough to sell at the top of the bubble and rent during the subsequent downturn, you’re probably still reveling in the afterglow of your fortuitous decision.

Fortunately, many U.S. housing markets have recovered (at least somewhat) from the trauma of the late 2000s. Some pockets of weakness remain, and while just one-sixth of U.S. markets have recovered to pre-recession price levels, things are looking up.

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10 Affordable Travel Tips to Stay Within Your Vacation Budget

By Jacqueline Curtis

travelIt seems like every time I log into Facebook or Instagram, I’m hit with a barrage of pictures from friends traveling the world. Whether they’re backpacking across Europe, sightseeing in Asia, or exploring South American jungles, it’s hard for me not to get a little travel envy. With two kids and a mortgage, though, dropping everything to jet set around the world just isn’t in the cards – or in our budget.

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What’s the Best Online Tax Preparation Software? TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

By Kira Botkin

taxes-online-computerAround February 1st, advertisements for tax preparation services start flooding TVs, radios, and newspapers. Every company wants you to know how great its services are, and that it can get you a bigger refund and will make tax filing easier for you. Essentially, tax preparation companies tell you anything they think will appeal to you and get you to use their service.

However, not all tax services are created equal. Many have significant benefits and drawbacks when compared to other services and for different tax situations. What follows is a comparison of three of the largest tax prep services: H&R Block, TurboTax, and TaxACT.

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TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express – Review

By Christina Majaski

american express trueearnings cardMany credit cards provide rewards for purchases made at supermarkets, but specifically exclude those made at shopping warehouses and superstores. The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express is an exception. It provides minimal rewards for such purchases, and if you shop frequently at Costco or want to earn cash back on gasoline purchases, you may want to give it serious consideration.

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IRS Tax Form 1099-MISC – Instructions for Small Businesses & Contractors

By Kira Botkin

In an effort to help make filing taxes easier this year, we are breaking down the various IRS tax forms to help you know if you need them, and how to use them.

1099 misc tax formIf you’re a freelancer or run a small business and use independent contractors, you’re probably familiar with the 1099-MISC form. This form is used to report income to freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals who, as their own employer, are generally responsible for paying the employer’s and employee’s portion of taxes.

Thanks to its versatility, businesses and clients use the 1099-MISC form for many different kinds of transactions. It’s very useful, but also potentially confusing because of all the data it can hold.

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14 Tips to Increase Productivity & Avoid Distractions When Working at Home

By Jacqueline Curtis

work at homeAccording to the U.S. Census, nearly six million Americans work primarily from home. If you’re looking to become one of them, it’s crucial to watch out for the pitfalls.

I’ve been working from home for the past eight years. And while I definitely am now comfortable doing so, there were a lot of growing pains early on. I once locked myself in the bathroom to have an uninterrupted conference call with a client – not quite the epitome of professionalism. However, if you take the time to prepare to work from home and create an atmosphere conducive to professionalism and productivity, it’s more than possible to build a thriving career.

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11 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

business credit cardsIf you own a business or do freelance work, you can keep track of your expenses and earn valuable rewards with a business credit card, all while keeping any spending and earning you do separate from your personal accounts. With countless options for rewards available, the task of picking the right card for you can be a challenge.

Here is our roundup of business credit cards that offer the best rewards programs, most manageable terms, and most exciting opportunities for business owners.

Best Business Credit Cards

1. Chase Ink Plus® Business Card

50,000 Point Sign-up Bonus; 5 Points on Office Supply Purchases; 2 Points on Gas and Hotels; Airport Lounge Access

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10 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

college student credit cardWhile college students may need their own credit cards for a number of reasons, the most important reason is to establish and build a positive credit history. However, if handled improperly, credit cards can have an extremely negative impact, and can result in an overwhelming mountain of debt.

As a student, it’s important to choose a credit card that you can easily manage. Furthermore, you must restrain yourself from overspending, and always pay your balances in full and on time. The best options on the market have minimal fees, yet provide student-friendly benefits, as well as excellent opportunities to build credit.

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5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

secured credit cards cashIt’s not easy to repair damaged credit after a series of missed payments or bankruptcy, but with the help of a secured credit card, it is possible. And while secured credit cards sometimes have a bad reputation for having heavy fees and high interest rates (which can exacerbate debt), the right card can help you build your credit history.

When choosing a secured credit card, it is important to pay attention to fees, and verify that your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. Prepaid cards function similarly to debit cards – therefore, your usage of a prepaid card is not reported to the bureaus, doing nothing to improve your credit.

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9 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

credit cards walletIf you regularly carry credit card balances, it is important that you choose a credit card featuring a low interest rate, rather than a rewards credit card. Rewards cards generally have high APRs, and should only be used by those who can pay off the entire balance each month.

Many low interest options are simple, “plain vanilla” credit cards designed to allow you to make purchases and transfer balances without paying a significant amount of interest. However, some low interest cards buck industry trends and offer small bonuses and rewards programs. Here are a number of the best low APR cards available based both on the rates they charge and the rewards they offer.

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11 Best Gas Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

gas pump carWhen choosing a credit card for buying gasoline, it is important to not just consider brand-specific cards, but also general credit cards that provide rewards on other purchases. By doing so, you can get the most bang for your buck. Of course, depending on your situation, a brand-specific card may be your best option – especially if you regularly purchase gas from a qualifying gas station that offers stellar rewards.

Here is a selection of the credit cards that provide the best return on your spending, both brand-specific and general rewards cards.

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10 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

passport travel credit cardsMany of the first rewards cards were credit cards that offered “miles” for purchases, which could be saved and used for purchasing airline tickets. Nowadays, flight restrictions and requirements on travel rewards cards don’t always result in dream vacations.

As a result, many travel rewards cards now award purchases with not only miles, but opportunities for cash back. These options are especially important if you are not a frequent flyer, but still want to carry a travel rewards card. If you fit this description, here are some of the best travel rewards credit cards to meet your needs.

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How to Help an Elderly Parent Deal With the Death of a Spouse

By Michael Lewis

griefVelta Lewis died the morning of May 15th in the arms of her husband in the home they had purchased upon retiring three years previously. Her death, nine months after the diagnosis of lung cancer, occurred shortly before the couple expected to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary during a two-week trip to Paris. My father was devastated. Over the following weeks, I would find him sitting alone in their darkened family room – no television, no radio, no conversation to break the silence – staring with red-rimmed eyes into the past, trails of tears upon his cheeks.

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How to Find the Best Charities to Donate to – 4 Characteristics

By Mary McCoy

charityThe emotional and financial benefits of charitable giving (including tax deductions) are well-documented, but the money and goods you give mean very little unless they produce tangible results. Unfortunately, not all charities serve the public good efficiently. Some even make national news for less-than-noble activities, such as misused funds, overpaid CEOs, and ineffective programs. Potential donors should do thorough research prior to giving their hard-earned dollars to a charity that may be under-performing or ripe for scandal.

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The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers.
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