Times are tight and you’ve cut back on the luxuries your family once enjoyed but could live without. However, every family has expenses, so how do you save money on the products or services that are necessities?

Personal spending is up -- conversely, personal saving is down. In fact, according to the most recent Commerce Department report, the savings rate for Fiscal Year 2006 was a staggering negative 1 percent. The translation: Americans spent more money than they earned -- borrowing against their savings to make purchases.

Tired of spending way too much on holiday gifts that end up shoved in the back of the recipient's closet? Still blushing after buying a size 14 for your size 8 cousin last year? Dread the idea of your thoughtful present ending up regifted? This year try giving everyone on your list - from the do-it-yourselfer to the one who has everything - just what they want while saving time and sticking to your budget.

For many small businesses who weathered the economic storm in 2009, 2010 represents a new beginning to return to growth and jump-start projects put on hold during the recession. Goal setting will be critical to help small businesses get back on their feet, map out their business plans and prioritize what they wish to achieve in the upcoming year.

In preparing 2010 tax returns, people who’ve been unemployed should make sure they are getting every available tax break they deserve and preparing their taxes correctly.

You may feel the insurance company has all the power when it comes to setting your rates, but the truth is you’re the one in the driver’s seat. Here are five steps you can take to curb insurance costs this summer.

It now takes more than 71,000 pages to cover and explain federal tax laws. So it’s not surprising the vast majority of taxpayers look for help preparing and filing their tax returns. Use of online tax preparation and e-filing continues to grow at record rates. In fact, more than 32 million taxpayers e-filed their tax returns from home last year, according to the Internal Revenue Service.