Whether heading to college and curious about checking accounts or paying for college and trying to understand financial aid, The WSJ Guide to Understanding Personal Finance speaks to the money-handler in all of us. This fourth edition covers the latest in online banking, new check-cashing policies and estate planning. Confused by various interest rates on savings accounts? The authors smartly use a loaf of bread to explain the differences. Mastering basic economics in a short guide is quite a feat; this guide is the book you might have wished for when struggling through Econ 101 in college.

Tiffany Speaks is a former business writer for Newsweek Japan who does her budgeting and writing from Norman, Oklahoma.

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