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Doing your own taxes? Here’s what you need to know

More than 43.6 million Americans prepared and e-filed their own income tax returns in 2013, up 4 percent from the year before, according to the IRS. In addition to being more affordable than a storefront or accountant, online and mobile solutions have made doing your own taxes exceptionally easy and fast.

Practical strategies to help you stay on budget this holiday season

Whether you’re hosting guests, traveling to family or simply purchasing gifts, the holidays can put household finances to the test. This year, Americans aren’t letting short-term stresses like the holidays affect their long-term financial aspirations. According to the latest Merrill Edge Report, many Americans now rank saving for retirement as their top priority and short-term concerns like paying off debt are falling lower on the to-do list. To enjoy the season of giving without sacrificing your financial goals, it’s time to make a plan.

Tips for keeping your house warm without burning a hole in your pocket

The winter months mean celebrating the holidays, reconnecting with family and friends and planning your resolutions for the New Year. They can also mean a sharp increase to your monthly heating bill in order to stay warm and comfortable. If you’re interested in controlling your energy expenses while maintaining comfort, the tips below will help you make sure more of your money is put towards presents than power.

Geothermal systems provide energy independence for more homeowners

For years Dwight Nadig and his wife suffered through the cold winters in their York, Pa., ranch-style home, originally built in 1979. Nadig started to investigate geothermal (or ground-source) heat pump systems to help them stay warm in the winter – without paying a lot of money on their oil bill.

Dress to thrill for holidays and beyond

Family gatherings, office parties, New Year’s Eve bashes – the holiday social whirl is the most obvious reason for a shopping expedition to bag that special outfit. But special occasions don’t end on January first. Here are a few events that may inspire a new look and a few tips to find just the right style for each.

Best business investment for 2014: Fueling employee engagement

Do your employees feel personally connected to the organization they work for? Would they recommend your workplace to others? If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” you’re far from alone. Employee engagement is way down, so low that a recent study found that two-thirds of the U.S. workforce is not fully engaged. Here’s what every manager should know about engagement and how to make a difference with his or her employees.

Carbon fiber likely to be used in your next car

Carbon fiber has received quite a bit of attention lately, primarily due to its extensive use in Boeing’s high-tech, lighter weight 787 Dreamliner airplanes. But most Americans likely will experience this modern material in a more down-to-earth vehicle, now that automakers increasingly are turning to carbon fiber when planning and building new cars.

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