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Kira Botkin

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Kira is a longtime blogger and serial entrepreneur who enjoys gardening, garage sales, and finding stray animals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, where football is a distinct season, and by day runs a research study for people with multiple sclerosis. She hopes that the MoneyCrashers team can help you achieve your goals and live a great life.
form 1098

What Is a 1098 IRS Tax Form – 1098-C, 1098-E, 1098-T

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. There are...
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9 Ways to Improve Your Car’s Gas Mileage and Drive Efficiently

As gas prices remain high, improving your car's mileage is crucial. By stretching a tank of gas further, you can reduce the amount of times you must fill up per month, which can help...
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11 Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates – How to Lower Your Costs

When shopping for car insurance, it can be tempting to reduce your rates by choosing lower amounts of coverage or by raising your deductibles. These are, of course, the two most obvious factors that affect...
Fixed Rate Mortgage Definition

What Is a Fixed-Rate Mortgage Explained – Definition, Pros & Cons

When shopping for a home mortgage, there are a dizzying array of options available to you. The most popular option is the fixed-rate mortgage, which offers an interest rate that does not fluctuate for...
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5 Things You Need to Start a Small Business

Owning your own business may seem like the epitome of the American Dream. You can be your own boss, keep your own schedule, and answer to nobody but yourself - no wonder so many...
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10 Reasons to Continue Working After Retirement

When you picture yourself in your golden years, are you sitting on a beach, hitting the golf course, or working behind a desk? For many people of retirement age, continuing to work makes perfect...
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How to Prepare and Plan for Retirement

Whether your retirement is fast approaching or decades away, it is likely that you do not spend much time pondering what will happen when you stop working. Unfortunately, many people are unable to retire when...
Piggyback Mortgage Pros Cons

What Is a Piggyback 80-10-10 Mortgage – Pros & Cons

A piggyback mortgage is exactly what it sounds like - one mortgage on top of another. This set of two mortgages was commonly used prior to the mortgage crisis to avoid paying private mortgage insurance...
Adjustable Rate Mortgage Definition

What Is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) – Definition, Pros & Cons

When shopping for a mortgage, you have a variety of options. Mortgages can be structured differently and many factors are negotiable, such as the interest rate, closing costs, the loan's length, a pre-payment penalty,...
Private Mortgage Insurance

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – How to Avoid Paying It

If you look at your monthly mortgage statement and see a line for "PMI," you're paying for private mortgage insurance. It probably costs you between $50 and $200 per month, depending on the balance...
Save Down Payment Pay Off Debt

Should I Save for a Down Payment on a House or Pay Off Debt?

When you're preparing to buy a home, it's important to get your finances in order. Not only will you have to be organized to fill out the loan application, but you want to otherwise...
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Best New & Used Car Buying Services Online

If you want to buy a car, but don't want to haggle with salespeople or spend weeks reading the classifieds, using a car buying service may be exactly what you need. It could save...