Brandon Ballenger

I'm a freelance journalist living in South Florida. If I'm not writing, I'm playing video games or at the beach. My favorite spice is oregano, and I thought you should know. I got my bachelor's degree in English and public communication from Florida Atlantic University in 2008.

Older woman taking an at-home COVID-19 test
Get Your Free COVID-19 Test Kits Now

on January 18, 2022

The new federal website for mail-order COVID-19 tests launched earlier than expected. Order yours now to avoid delays.

A woman surprised by bill or tax form
6 States That Just Lowered Their Tax Rates

on January 18, 2022

The 2022 tax year will bring lower income taxes for a handful of states, thanks to recently enacted laws.

Happy couple buying a house
The 16 Most Popular Housing Markets of 2021

on January 13, 2022

These places have the most-viewed real estate listings, high housing inventory and good price appreciation, according to a new study.

Senior couple using a tablet
Social Security Increases This Month — Here’s What You Should Know

on January 7, 2022

Temper your expectations: The biggest increase to Social Security benefits in decades comes with positives and negatives.

surprised senior
4 Social Security Payment Quirks That No One Warns You About

on January 6, 2022

These details may not affect how much you get, but they’re still important to know.

Happy man gesturing thumbs-up while holding his phone
How I Saved $924 a Year on my Phone Bill

on January 4, 2022

You might think it required some major hassle and sacrifices. It didn’t.

Upset couple worried about grocery shopping costs
9 Costly Mistakes to Avoid While Grocery Shopping

on December 27, 2021

Shop smarter and turn your grocery receipts into something to smile about.

Couple who just purchased a new home
These 10 Housing Markets Are ‘Hidden Gems’

on December 22, 2021

Even as home prices have risen at the fastest rate in decades, experts say properties in these cities remain undervalued.

Upset man stressed out over his taxes
21 States Where Inflation Hits Harder at Tax Time

on December 21, 2021

Inflation puts a tighter squeeze on your after-tax purchasing power if you live here.

Happy retirees in Florida
The 15 Best Cities to Retire in Florida

on December 10, 2021

With excellent activities, health care and quality of life, these places are a retirement dream come true for many.

8 Ways Amazon Snoops on Customers
8 Ways Amazon Snoops on Customers

on December 4, 2021

The shopping giant may know far more about your family than you realize.

President Joe Biden
6 Tax Breaks in Biden’s Build Back Better Bill

on November 29, 2021

If the current version of the bill becomes law, Americans could enjoy some of these tax credits and deductions for years to come.

Man setting up a wireless internet router
The 4 Best Internet Router Brands, According to Shoppers

on November 29, 2021

Is your Wi-Fi not working as well as you’d like? Maybe it’s time to try one of these brands.

Seniors playing games together
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

on November 26, 2021

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

Doctor talking to a patient in the hospital
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

and on November 26, 2021

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

Women watching TV
8 Black Friday Deals on Streaming Services

and on November 26, 2021

Now is a great time to try a new TV, music or audiobook service.

Man holding up his hand to stop a home purchase
5 Home Services You Should Not Pay For

on November 23, 2021

Some can be had for free, and others are of dubious value.

Quinoa salad
8 Easy Ways to Cut Back on Meat

and on November 23, 2021

You don’t have to go cold turkey to enjoy the savings and health benefits of eating less meat.

Retiree in Paris, France
5 Countries Projected to Have the Most Early Retirees

on November 19, 2021

By 2050, the average retiree here will be able to enjoy most — or all — of their 60s without having to worry about work.

Senior searching for something she lost
New Bill Would Create ‘Retirement Lost and Found’

on November 17, 2021

This proposal could solve a problem for millions of Americans.

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