Car costs across states
Owning a car isn't cheap anywhere, as costs for fuel, insurance, and repairs rise, said Wenqian Zhu at CNN. But where you drive can make a big difference in your wallet. A new report found that Georgia is the nation's costliest state for car owners, who pay $2,000 more per year there than they would driving the same car in Oregon, "the nation's cheapest state" for drivers. Costs are higher in Georgia largely because of steep car sales taxes and registration fees, which also contribute to high ownership costs in California, Wyoming, Rhode Island, and Nevada. Sprawl and insufficient public transportation also translate into longer commuting times in those states, driving up gas costs. Residents of big cities like New York pay more for car insurance, but often pay less overall than suburban and rural drivers because they do less driving.
Strike a "power pose"
Break those submissive body-language habits, said Sue Shellenbarger in The Wall Street Journal. Researchers say your posture can have a big impact on your work success. Practicing "power poses" in private — "such as standing tall and leaning slightly forward with hands at one's side, or leaning forward over a desk with hands planted firmly on its surface" — can reduce stress hormones, leading to better performance and a more confident attitude at work. Avoid "low power" poses, such as folding or crossing your arms or legs. Scientists have found that the effects of so-called power poses can linger, and might help workers make better impressions during job interviews and meetings.
See the light with greener bulbs
To maximize your home's energy efficiency, you have to consider the long run, said Farnoosh Torabi at Yahoo. Incandescent and halogen light bulbs, for instance, may seem cheap at the checkout aisle, but by purchasing them "you're burning money." Compact fluorescent and LED bulbs prove themselves well worth the extra dollars over time. Compact fluorescent bulbs can be up to 75 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and can last up to nine years. LEDs are even better — they can last up to 23 years. What's more, the newer bulbs have an estimated energy cost of less than $1.70 per year. That can mean significant savings, considering that the average household spends $2,200 each year on energy — 12 percent of that on lighting.