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Smart Buying

The Lowdown: What You Need to Know

Make the right moves to save time and money.

Each month, Kiplinger's Personal Finance highlights key information you need to know about a particular topic -- ranging from investing to travel to taxes. Below, check out the articles we've offered this year.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT...

Auto Insurance
How you can save on premiums.

Identity Theft
Learn how to protect yourself.

Certificates of Deposit
They are a good mode of investment.

Paying Your Taxes
Uncle Sam gets his money one way or another.

Bargaining
Try out your bargaining skills with these tips.

Social Networks
Widen your pool of contacts-virtually.

Financial Stress
Breathe your money fears away.

Buying Renewable Energy
How to plug in and power up.

Money-Market Funds
Is my money protected? Until when?

Health Privacy
HIPPA, helpful or hindrance?

Leasing a Car Now
Automakers flooded with off-lease gas guzzlers shut off the tap.

Trading Currencies
Gaming with currency? See where the pound, yen, euro and dollar fall or rise.

Paying Your Vet
How much does it take to keep your pet healthy?

Saving On Gas
Ways to slash the cost of pain at the pump.

Couples & Money
Tips on how to navigate through couples & money shakey waters.

Summer Travel
Best bets include historic cities in Central America and cruises in the Mediterranean.

Computer Repair
Find out how to fix your sick computer.

Your Cell-Phone Contract
Break free from your Cell-Phone contracts with these hints.

Do-Not-Call Lists
Want to get rid of those pesky telemarketers? Here's how.

Travel Rewards Programs
Winning the flight game isn't easy, even when you play your cards right.

Holiday Sales
Holidays shopping is here but what is there to buy?

Smart Phones
Technology and communication-all in a small Smart phone gadget. Is it a blessing or a curse.


Carbon Offsets
Helping the environment? Can buying "carbon offsets" to help reduce carbon emissions elsewhere really make a difference? Find out.


Paying Bills Online
The chore of paying your bills just got easier. Paying your bills online can help you save both time and money.

Buying Music Online
The digital music marketplace is still working out some kinks. Read policies you should be aware of before you download.

Summer Airline Flights
The six smart strategies outlined in our slide show can save you time and money when you travel by air this summer.

Summer Rentals
Renting a vacation house can be a great deal, but know what you're getting into. Follow these guidelines to ensure a fun trip.

Auto Body Shops
Whether the accident is your fault or the other guy's, make sure you go to an appropriate shop -- and ask for what you require.

Tax Prep Firms
Make sure you're dealing with an experienced, reputable outfit. And read the fine print on every paper you sign.

The AMT
The alternative minimum tax is affecting more and more people. And little is being done about it.

Gifts of Love
Valentine shopping? Here's something to love: getting a sweet deal. We tell you how.

Your Dry Cleaner
A missing or ruined garment can get you really steamed. Here's what to look for -- and what you should expect -- from a good dry cleaner.