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The Balance


Master every aspect of your financial life with expert advice and how-to guides on topics ranging from investing and debt management to finding a new job.






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Lumber Prices Jump (Again), Increasing New Home Costs

Lumber prices are soaring again, adding more than $18,600 to the cost of an average new home, a builders group says. This chart shows how much lumber has gone up.

Feds To Probe In-House Student Loans for Potential Abuses

A government watchdog that enforces laws against lending abuses is expanding its focus to for-profit colleges and other schools that loan money to their own students.

Stock Market Has Worst Week Since Pandemic Hit

22 - That’s how many months it’s been—going back to the pandemic’s first onslaught—since the S&P 500 Index or Nasdaq Composite have had a week this bad.

Number of Homes on the Market Plummets

Where are the for-sale signs? Homes for sale plummeted below 1 million for the first time since at least 1999, a chart shows.

Jobless Claims Hit 3-Month High, Home Sales Decline

The COVID-19 surge pushed a measure of weekly layoffs to a three-month high, and the volume of home sales fell for the first month in four, reports showed Thursday.

The Foreclosure Wave That Wasn’t

Of all the upheavals brought on by the pandemic, a surge of home foreclosures wasn’t one of them. In fact, 2021 saw a record low number of filings, this chart shows.

Homeowners Insurance Cost Rising Faster Than Inflation

If you own your home, be prepared to pay more to insure it: Homeowners insurance premiums are rising along with prices almost everywhere else in the economy.

Credit Bureaus Providing Less Consumer Relief, Feds Say

If you’ve filed a complaint with federal regulators about mistakes on your credit report, your chances of having it resolved are slim, the government said Wednesday.

Buying a House With a Partner Who Has Bad Credit

Lenders may use the worse credit score when considering joint mortgage applications. Learn how to buy a house when your partner has bad credit.

How To Set Financial Goals You Can (Actually) Achieve

Setting financial goals will help you develop a strong budget and set you on a path of financial health for years to come. Learn how to dream big—and get there—here.

Tips for Keeping Your Utility Bills Down Over the Winter

Cold weather can increase your monthly utilities bills, especially with heating. Use these money-saving tips to cut expenses while still living comfortably.

Credit Card Fees Bite Family Budgets, Analysis Shows

If you shopped on Cyber Monday, a good deal of your tab probably went to cover credit card costs—even if you didn’t pay with plastic, according to a new analysis.

Can You Pay Off a Credit Card With Another Credit Card?

You can’t directly pay off a credit card with another credit card, but you can use a balance transfer. Learn more about that and other options.

Set Up Automatic Deposits To Put Saving Money on Autopilot

Automatic savings can help you save with very little effort. Here, you’ll learn strategies for automating your savings and putting your finances on autopilot.

How To Write a Check: A Step-by-Step Guide

See an example of how to write a check, including an explanation of each step. After you write the check, keep a record of the payment.
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