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.

Happy man soaking in the sun at the pool outside his house
10 of the Most Undervalued Housing Markets in America

on February 2, 2022

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

Woman working on budget or taxes at a computer
6 Ways to Get Your Taxes Done for Free

and on February 1, 2022

Don’t fork over hundreds of dollars to a tax professional to prepare your taxes.

Elon Musk
10 Billionaires Who Doubled Their Wealth During the Pandemic

on January 31, 2022

When the going gets rough, the rich get richer. These 10 men collectively doubled their fortunes over the past two years.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Businessman showing or looking at tax rates
Here’s Your New Standard Tax Deduction for 2022

and on November 12, 2021

This common federal income tax break will be worth up to $800 more due to inflation, and tax brackets also will edge up.

Thanksgiving dinner
8 Thanksgiving Groceries That Cost a Lot More This Year

on November 2, 2021

Food prices in general are up, but these holidays favorites have seen more dramatic price increases.

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