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This week: How your credit score impacts a job search, how to avoid fighting with your spouse over money, how millennials should use their tax refunds, how to keep pests out of your house and how to keep your pets cared for when you're on vacation.

1. 3 Ways to Keep Vacation Pet Care From Costing a Fortune

[Credit.com] “Deciding how to care for the family pet while you’re away can be one of the hardest parts of planning a vacation. Not only does it add to the stress of preparation, but proper pet care is a difficult expense for many people to afford. Thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to lessen the strain that pet care can put on your wallet.

We have two cats and a dog, but are fortunate to have a friend stay at our house when we’re away. If you’re not so lucky, this post is for you. Suggestions include knowing the kind of care you’ll need, planning in advance and considering all the options.

2. Dealing With Winter Pests the Weather Drives Indoors

[The Dollar Stretcher] “According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), when temperatures begin to fall, an estimated 21 million pests head inside every year because their food sources are less accessible and they cannot adapt to the cooler weather.”

Sounds creepy, right? This article tells you how to make it more difficult for creatures like ants, mice and spiders to move in with you and share the warmth. Of course, you could always do what I did: Move to Florida so it’s warmer outside than in.

3. Tax Refund: 4 Great Ways for Millennials to Spend a Lump Sum

[Credit Sesame] “An extra chunk of change can help you to get a jump-start on retirement, fatten up your emergency fund or even boost your credit score. If you’re a 20-something, here are four smart ways to make the most of a tax refund, work bonus or any other cash windfall that comes your way.”

We just did a story on how not to blow your tax refund, but a second opinion never hurts. This article suggests millennials use their refunds for opening an IRA, getting a secured credit card, paying down debt or starting an emergency savings account. Sounds sensible, but where’s the fun? See the post for details.

4. How to Mend a Broke Heart

[Debt.com] “An amusingly depressing poll was released today. According to Fidelity Investments, ‘Almost 3 in 4 couples say they communicate exceptionally or very well on financial matters.’ Yet in that same poll, ‘nearly half of couples argue about money’ — 47 percent of the more than 1,000 couples they quizzed.

This article takes an amusing look at why couples argue about money and how to stop. One of the suggestions? Keep some financial secrets from your significant other. Check it out to understand the logic.

5. Here’s How Your Credit Score Affects Your Job Search

[Wise Bread] “If your FICO credit score is weak, you probably already know that this low score might keep you from qualifying for a mortgage loan, auto financing, or a new credit card. But can a low credit score keep you from landing your dream job?”

It’s common for personal finance “experts” to suggest that a low credit score translates into low odds of getting a job. Not true. While bad credit can, in some cases, hurt your job chances, employers are legally forbidden to use credit scores in employment decisions.

Looking for work and concerned about your credit? Give this one a read.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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