Personal Spending

Translating Fedspeak

The Federal Reserve’s new practice of open communication with the public still is an exercise in baffle-gab. The Fed regularly uses language that no one understands, because if America’s taxpayers really knew what’s happening, they’d totally freak. 

The Piggy Bank Strategy

Wealth starts with a goal, discipline, and saving a dollar at a time. Call it the piggy bank strategy. There are lessons in that time-honored coin-savings container.

Any seemingly gargantuan task seems easier to contemplate when reduced to baby steps. If you wished to climb a 12,000-foot mountain, and could do it a day at a time, you would only have to climb 33 feet daily to reach your summit.

Pet Financial Planning

Are you a good pet owner? Owning an animal means more than feeding it and loving it. Pets aren’t cheap, so doing right by Fido or Tabby involves financial planning.

Net Worth Nonsense

What is the net worth of U.S. households? You can cut the statistics any number of ways, but the right answer is: low. A recent report would have us believe the number is rosy. It isn’t.

The dubious report, from the American Enterprise Institute think tank, claims that the net worth of the average American household is now $700,000 – up from $406,000 just 10 years ago.

Average? Of $700,000? I don’t think so.

Protecting From ID Theft

Leave your laptop unlocked, toss a bill full of sensitive financial info into the trash un-shredded, even just hit the submit button when using your credit card to buy online: You can stumble into the identity-theft trap at any time. Protecting yourself means making basic security steps a habit.

What Your Pet Costs

Your pet cuddles, purrs, flies, slithers or otherwise takes over your heart. Your little buddy can also empty your wallet fast as prices for food and other pet services mount. When figuring out your family budget, do not neglect to count the many day-to-day costs of animal ownership.

I can’t imagine our house without our 11-year-old Labrador retriever, Taxi. If you’re sick, she’s there; if you’re happy, she’s happy. If you have popcorn you’re her best friend.

Hazards of Travel Planning

Trip planning is complex, involving everything from budgeting to itineraries to questions about comfort. How to fly to your destination without suffering is a major consideration. Here’s how to do it without getting squeezed both financially and physically.

There are two measures of airplane seat comfort. “Width” is the size of the seat in inches across. “Pitch” is the distance between your seat and the seat in front of you. As airlines pursue increased revenues, they squeeze more seats into economy sections on many aircraft, decreasing both width and pitch.

Millennials’ Credit Scores

Your credit score ranks as one of the most important numbers in your young adult life. Here’s what to know as you build one.

This three-digit number acts as your financial report card, representing your creditworthiness and an indication to potential lenders of the likelihood that you pay debts on time. If you’re a millennial, born in the 1980s and early 1990s, you must start building this indispensable tool of financial adulthood.

Money Lessons for Your 20s

Your third decade brings accepting yourself and learning how to stand up for yourself – and more pragmatic, financial lessons. Here are a few.

Getting a grip on your money comes hard when you start out. The sooner you start figuring out your finances, the better. Here are 10 money Lessons I learned in my 20s.

Talk Money With Your Honey

The role of money and the ritual of talking about money rank high in relationships. Here’s how partners can chat about their cash.

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