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Wrecks, DUIs and low credit scores: Here’s how much they can drive up the cost of your car insurance

Finance
Pamela Moore | iStock | Getty Images PlusAh, the joys of the open road and carefree driving, until something happens that makes it cost even more. There are events — i.e., accidents, arrests for driving under the influence, a lapse in coverage — that can drive up the cost of your car insurance. By how much? It depends on a variety of factors, including where you live and the infraction or circumstance that causes the premium to spike."Drivers in certain parts of the country are paying considerably more for their auto insurance, especially after certain life events," said certified financial planner Stephen Kates, insurance analyst for Bankrate.More from Personal Finance:Here’s what post-pandemic travel might look likeHow much you need to earn to afford a houseTax-refund scam targets c...

Stimulus checks and expanded tax credits: Here’s how much money you could end up with

Finance
Getty ImagesBetween stimulus checks and expanded tax credits in the latest Covid-relief package, most U.S. households are poised to get some extra cash.The amount? An average of $ 3,450 for the bottom 60% of earners ($ 65,000 or less), according to research from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The number reflects direct stimulus payments and expansions of both the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit."The people you'd think need the help are going to get it," said Steve Wamhoff, director of federal tax policy for the institute.More from Smart Tax Planning:This tax pitfall could affect millions due to CovidState tax departments set their sights on pro athletesPeople fled from these high-tax states in 2020Congress on Wednesday gave final approval to the so-calle...
Humans evolved to use water much more efficiently than apes

Humans evolved to use water much more efficiently than apes

Science
March 5 (UPI) -- The story of humans' descent from the trees -- the journey from ape to early human -- often focuses on the development of big brains, dextrous hands and bipedal gait, but new research suggests another difference may have been equally important: water efficiency. In a first-of-its-kind study, published Friday in the journal Current Biology, researchers were able to show that humans process water much more efficiently than our closest relatives. Advertisement The trait may have allowed early humans to venture farther and farther from water sources, exploring and adapting to new environs. Until now, scientists didn't have the necessary data to compare the water conservation capabilities of chimpanzees and gorillas with those of modern humans. "Getting real data on this requ...

Too much stimulus in the U.S. may bring ‘imported inflation’ to China, economists warn

Finance
Jason Lee | ReutersBEIJING — As the U.S. pumps trillions of dollars into its economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, economists are concerned about spillover effects in China, including the risk of "imported inflation."Worries about high inflation, or rapidly rising prices, hit U.S. markets last week. The U.S. Congress is reviewing a $ 1.9 trillion stimulus plan that critics say could cause inflation to soar, and add to debt levels that rose following last year's historic $ 2 trillion stimulus package.In China, economists are wary of risks to growth as the country tries to recover fully from the shock of the pandemic."The large-scale issuance of U.S. Treasurys, and the rapid expansion of the Federal Reserve (balance sheet), have increased the spillover effect of U.S. macro polic...

Americans are flocking to the suburbs — here’s how much you need to earn to buy a house

Finance
Home ownership has long been considered a staple of the American dream.During the pandemic, it has also become a dividing line between the haves and have-nots.As the coronavirus outbreak and rise of remote work pushed Americans to move from the city to the suburbs, those who could afford a single-family home have been able to leverage historically low interest rates to build equity and net worth.Many are doing just that. During 2020, the homeownership rate jumped to roughly 67%, up nearly 3% from a year earlier after remaining largely flat for a decade, according to the Census Bureau.More from Personal Finance:Some newlyweds face a ‘marriage tax penalty’ A financial snapshot of America one year after CovidWhat to do to get your $ 600 stimulus checkBut high demand for housin...