Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is estimated to be responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

You can't see, smell, or taste radon--it's a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be present outdoors and in any type of building, but you're likely to get the most exposure to radon in your own home.

To help protect your health, you can test your home for radon and take measures to lower radon levels if needed


If you earned less than $45,060 (or $50,270 if you're married and filing jointly) last year, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The maximum credit for tax year 2012 is $5,891.

Even if you don't owe any tax or are not required to file, you must file a tax return in order to claim the credit.

Find out if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jump start 2013 with these three money management tips

Make 2013 the year that you change a few of your money habits. These three money management tips are designed to help control spending:
1.     Always shop with a list.  Don't cheat by making the list as you are entering the store, especially at the grocery store.  Be thoughtful and prepare a list ahead of time.  Your list is your guide and will prevent you from impulse buying.
2.     Avoid impulse buying and buyer's remorse by waiting at least 24 hours before spending $100 on an item.  Ask yourself if the item is something you truly need.  Perhaps it is something that you can borrow.
3.     If you are disorganized, stop buying in bulk and/or items that you may need in the future.  Many individuals who buy in bulk and/or in advance forget they have the items they purchased or cannot find them when they need them.  If you are organized, buy only the items you use regularly in bulk and always watch for sales.    

Laundry packet cautions

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising parents and caregivers to lock up single-load liquid laundry packets and keep them away from children.

Liquid laundry packets are attractive to children because they are soft and colorful and resemble familiar items like candy and teething products.

These items also dissolve quickly when placed in the mouth or are handled with wet hands. Children who are exposed to the chemicals are at risk of serious injury because they can be toxic.

In 2012, CPSC staff have learned of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by the packets.

CPSC recommends these steps to prevent unintentional poisonings and eye injuries:

  1. Do NOT let children handle laundry packets.
  2. Keep the liquid laundry packets sealed in their original packaging, and make sure they are locked up and out of a child’s sight and reach.
  3. If swallowed or exposed to the eye, immediately call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222.

Learn more about the dangers of single-load laundry packets. (PDF)