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Millennials Are Seeking Prenups—and It Might Just Be Worth Considering

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A Visual History of Cash, From Beads to Bitcoin

How did we get from counting wealth in beads and shells to buying a car with a thumbprint? The nature of money is constantly changing, and the way we earn, store, and spend it changes too.

One constant is that money exists to help us move value from point A to point B, without having to haul heavy trade goods around. That’s why the ancients came up with a money system as soon as they had enough valuable items to store and sell. “An entire warehouse of olive oil, beer, or wheat could be reduced in value to an easily transported ingot of gold or silver,” writes Jack Weatherford in The History Of Money.

A complete history of money around the world takes up several books (we’ve got the reading list below to prove it), but here are some highlights from millennia of monetary innovation to enjoy and share.

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6 Steps to Improving Personal Cash Flow, So You Can Be Like Your Own CFO

Picture this: It’s the end of the month, you’ve paid all your bills, and even had a little fun. You’ve made ends meet, as you always do, but your savings account isn’t growing and there’s nothing left to fund an emergency should one arise. Sound familiar? If you’re just breaking even—or worse, spending more money than you’re taking in—you’ve got a personal cash flow problem.

Maybe you’ve been living this way for a while, and it now feels normal. But here’s the deal: Without a positive cash flow (meaning you earn more than you spend), it’s hard to get ahead financially. Until you’re in the black, you could be shut out of good financial opportunities—including getting low interest rates on personal loans, or mortgages, or even student loan refinancing. You’re also missing out on the money you could be earning by investing what you save.

The good news is, it’s possible to turn that around. You’re the Chief Financial Officer of your life, so it’s up to you to learn exactly how to improve your monthly cash flow. It will take some work, but by increasing your income and lowering your expenses—both fixed (rent, utilities, and car payments), and discretionary (entertainment and clothing)—you can make dramatic shifts in your financial life. Follow this six-step plan, and you’ll see your monthly cash flow move from negative to positive even faster than you’d expect.

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4 Money Moves to Make Before Your Next Move

You’ve been offered a fantastic new job with the company of your dreams—and, on top of that, it’s thousands of miles away. Along with the excitement and anticipation that comes from uprooting your life and starting over, you’ve got to think about how this will affect you financially.

Should you accept the position, you’ll need to make some major financial decisions and changes. So you can breathe easy while working on the other aspects of the move that will keep you busy—like packing away your whole kitchen into a few boxes—try these four money moves to help you avoid any financial bumps on your road to relocation.

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7 Essential Tax Tips for Young Professionals

Whether you’ve been filing taxes for 5 years or 15, it never seems to get any easier. Maybe it’s because a whole year goes by between each tax season—plenty of time to forget everything you learned about W-2s, deductions, and tax credits the year before (not to mention your e-file password).

Meanwhile, the older you get, the more complicated your tax situation tends to be. As you earn more income and achieve new financial milestones, you face questions like what expenses are itemized tax deductions, what’s considered income for tax purposes, and if you can write off interest payments on your student loans.

Life is too short for a formal education in tax code—getting a handle on a few of the basics can help you maximize your tax refund (or at least minimize what you owe). Here’s a roundup of sage tax advice for young professionals from financial experts to make your tax return a breeze—or just less terrible than usual.

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