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Twentysomethings: It's Time to Declare Financial Independence

As we prepare to celebrate our nation's independence, let's take a moment to think about our individual declarations of financial independence. If you're still ruled by debt, fiscal confusion, and reliance on others, here are a few tips for breaking free.

Your 7-Step Midyear Money Checkup

With six months of earning, saving, and spending under your belt, you've got plenty of data to project how 2012 is going to play out. So let's lift the hood on your finances and give everything a good once over.

Can a Spending Splurge Help You Reach Savings Success?

Every dieter knows you sometimes have to give in to your cravings on the long road to a weight loss goal. Turns out the same principle applies to personal finance: A splurge now and then can actually help you attain your budget and savings goals.

Financial Spring Cleaning: 4 Steps to a Fresh Money Start

The return of warmer weather is an cue for many of us to clear out the debris that has gathered over the winter. But it's not just the house and the yard that could benefit. Here's a step-by-step guide to spring cleaning your finances.

Car Loans Are Now Americans' No. 1 Bill-Paying Priority

The recession and its hangover have turned our bill-paying habits upside down. Cash-strapped Americans are paying off their car loans before they pay credit card bills and make mortgage payments, a TransUnion study finds.

6 Strategies for Young Adults to Save More in 2012

Saving doesn't come easily for us young adults. Entry-level salaries don't give you a lot to work with, and we tend to spend what we make. But don't worry: We're not doomed to frivolity and financial ruin. Here's how you can start saving smart.

4 'Must Do' Money Moves to Achieve Fiscal Fitness

There are many roads to financial security, but whatever path you follow, there are some mandatory steps everyone ought to take along the way. Alexa von Tobel, founder of LearnVest.com, cuts through the thicket of advice to give us her essential keys to sound money management.

3 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances in 2012

After the overindulgence of December, it's no surprise that so many people spend January trying to turn over new leaves. If you're ready to get your financial house in order, consider one of these three websites, each with a different take on helping you better manage your money.

4 Mobile Apps to Make You Smarter With Money

If your underperforming money needs a kick in the right direction, turn your mobile device into a financial adviser, motivational coach, and investment guru with these apps. Because a penny saved is a penny earned, they're all free.

7 Financial New Year's Resolutions to Keep

Every January, we plan to make changes, and we often don't succeed. Let's make this New Year's different: Here are seven fairly simple resolutions recommended by the financial experts for getting you on a firmer fiscal footing in 2012.

How Money Stress Can Make You Sick: Dr. Stork Explains

Money woes don't just make it harder to pay for prescriptions and doctors' visits -- they can also make you more susceptible to a host of health problems. Dr. Travis Stork of 'The Doctors' offers some tips for how to save money while still taking care of yourself.

3 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Finances After a Debt Storm

When you get deep into credit card debt, it can feel like you've been through a financial storm. That's the story for a social worker named Heather, who has $30,000 in credit card debt. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley looks at key steps to clear the debris from her path to a brighter financial future.

How to Face Your Budgeting Fears and Take Control

In the midst of a divorce, a mom of five faces a financial horror story: $40,000 in credit card debt, a huge mortgage payment and minimal college savings -- and she has no idea how to budget. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley offers a few ways she can begin her escape from the financial twilight zone.

Money-Life Balance: What It Is and How to Get It

We're all know about work-life balance -- the idea of hitting that sweet spot where one's home life is rich and full, and doesn't collide with one's career. But how about money-life balance, when you can enjoy your earnings without racking up uncomfortable debt? Too few of us have that: Here are some tips on how to get it.

Divorced Mom: How Do I Rebound Financially?

Splitting up makes a mess of your finances,as Lynn, a nurse living in Florida knows all too well. Her 2008 divorce from her husband of 28 years left her in debt, with bad credit, and with limited financial skills. She's already begun to dig out, but she needs a better plan.

What to Do When Credit Card Bills Devour Your Paycheck

Credit card debt is tough to avoid -- and tougher to escape. We received an email from a reader who owes $20,000 on her cards, and spends a third of her income on those payments. Credit expert John Ulzheimer offers a legitimate method for her to reduce monthly costs and get out of the red.

Helping a Caregiver Climb Out of Debt

Joe did right by his mother in her declining years, but half a decade of expensive care for her has left the 53-year-old in a financially precarious position. Money and Happiness columnist Laura Rowley offers him a step-by-step plan to get out of debt and back on track for his own retirement.

A 70-Year-Old Asks: Can I Afford to Retire?

Jack, 70, is still working full-time at an environmental agency for the state of Tennessee, earning $60,000 a year. He has no debt, and a good amount of savings, and an income property. What he doesn't have is a clear picture of whether he's in a good position to retire.

Advice on Juggling Higher Bills, New Business

Cassandra and her husband have seen major life changes in the past few months: A new house in the NYC suburbs, bills that suddenly exceed his salary, and a new business for her. But though her consulting firm is thriving, now she's got a different problem: how to properly take money out of it. DailyFinance drafted an expert to help.

How to Dig Yourself Out of Credit Card Debt

U.S. credit card debt shrank 5% in the second quarter from a year ago, approaching 10-year lows. It's not just due to banks, which have written off uncollectible debts. Consumers have been taking control of their finances, tightening their belts and working second jobs to pay off their credit card bills.

Financial Lessons for Parents from 'Downsized'

In the season premiere of reality-television show "Downsized," which airs Tuesday, things are looking up for the Bruce-Rumsey family of nine. In an interview with The Price of Fame, family members tell us they've made mistakes. Here's what you can learn from their story.

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Laundry Budget

Doing the laundry is bad enough without having to spend a pretty penny on energy and detergent. Here are five tips on how to keep the chore from taking your wallet to the cleaners.

Moms' Best Back-to-School Savings Tips

As the new school year approaches, families head to the shops for new supplies. But the back-to-school shopping season can be hard on the wallet. Follow these money-saving tips from moms across the country and you'll have plenty of cash left for apples for the teacher.

Where Do You Go for Cash in a Pinch?

Most Americans may need to save more money for emergencies. A poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that less than half of Americans say they would turn to their savings accounts when hit with an unexpected bill.

Before Market Slide, Americans Were Losing Confidence

Even before the latest stock-market plunge, U.S. consumer confidence was already sliding downward, according to a Fannie Mae survey released Monday. Some 70% of respondents say the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

Get the Biggest Bang for Your Organic Food Buck

Buying organic can be confusing, especially if you're trying to prioritize on a frugal food budget. Should you spend extra on pesticide-free fruits and veggies? Or hormone- and antibiotic-free meat? We went to the experts to find out how to maximize the health value of your organic food budget.