WASHINGTON -- Valentine's Day spending is hyped as a way to show your love.
But one way to truly have a successful, loving relationship is to have frank, regular discussions about your finances. Bare your financial soul to your soul mate.
Yet many individuals aren't honest with their significant others. Roughly 1 in 5 couples have a credit ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If you tend to procrastinate about filing your tax return, this is not the year to dawdle.
Usually everyone is fixated on April 15, when federal tax returns are typically due. But this tax season, Feb. 15 is the looming date on your calendar. That's the day when the temporary funding ends for the federal agencies that were shut ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You work all your life hoping to reach this milestone.
Then it happens. You finally get into the 401(k) millionaire's club -- at least on paper. Although taxes may technically keep you from netting $1 million, you've still achieved what many others only dream about. You're a millionaire, but not because you got lucky. Rather, you ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The government agencies that were shut down are back in business, but the financial crisis it left behind for many federal workers and contractors isn't over.
Yes, the 800,000 federal employees who were affected will get their back pay. But that doesn't mean they'll be made whole. Some had to borrow money, incurring interest ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If you're able to save money in an emergency fund, you may be frustrated at the low return on your investment. But don't be. This rainy-day money is meant to be safe, accessible and ready for a storm.
During a recent online discussion, certified financial planner Carolyn McClanahan joined me to answer questions from readers on ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Lenders are offering a wide variety of help to workers impacted by the partial government shutdown, but one type of assistance in particular can save your credit rating.
I've heard from some readers who fear that their credit scores will drop if they miss a loan payment due to not getting their paychecks. And they aren't being ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Financial institutions are treating the partial government shutdown like a natural disaster, providing affected customers with everything from no-interest loans to fee waivers.
Some institutions are even proactively reaching out to customers they believe are feeling a financial pinch from the shutdown.
Bank of America said it has...Read more
WASHINGTON -- My grandmother Big Mama taught me everything I know about budgeting, and she did it on the back of an envelope.
I'm reminded of Big Mama's budget brilliance as I hear from readers who work for the federal government or who are contractors affected by the partial shutdown.
Some of these readers have always struggled because they ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- On his way to Camp David on Sunday, President Trump was questioned about the financial strain the partial government shutdown has put on workers.
"Mr. President, do you relate to the pain of federal workers who can't pay their bills?" a reporter asked.
"I can relate," Trump said. "And I'm sure that the people that are on the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As they get closer to missing their first paycheck of the new year, many federal employees are filing for unemployment benefits to tide them over during the government shutdown.
Even if a deal is reached quickly to reopen the shuttered agencies, workers probably won't get a paycheck until mid-January or later.
So what's a worker ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Many federal workers living paycheck-to-paycheck haven't yet felt an income shock because of the partial government shutdown.
Most federal employees received their last check based on time worked before the shutdown began on Dec. 21. Some, who were required to work the Saturday following the shutdown -- the last day of the pay ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I meet a lot of people who have spent years making a financial mess of their lives.
They come to me deep in debt. They often have little money saved. Their retirement portfolios -- if they have one -- are so low that they better hope they stay healthy enough to work into their 70s.
What strikes me most about these folks is their ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's done.
You probably didn't have a budget, but even if you did, you ignored it, because the holidays inspire generosity.
But in a few weeks, after the holiday decorations have been taken down and packed away, you'll get your credit-card bills. You'll open the statements and want to faint. The truth is there in print. You took ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You mean well. You tell yourself every new year that you'll do better with your money.
But by spring, you're no better off. You haven't made progress with any of your financial resolutions. Then you get discouraged. Off to the mall you go to soothe your soul with a sale.
Fidelity Investments looked at what people say are their ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It may be too late this holiday season, but you now have more than a year to prepare family and friends for your new reality -- a gift-free Christmas.
And before you call me Scrooge or the Grinch, hear me out.
We know a lot of people are not saving enough for retirement. Parents and students are borrowing record amounts for ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I'm definitely an advocate of regifting, but even I had to gasp when Donald Trump Jr. said his dad once regifted him a monogrammed present he had given him the year before.
Seasoned regifters know that's one of the biggest gaffes when regifting, which involves giving someone a present you received for yourself.
President Trump's ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Just about every time someone tells me they got something on sale, I smirk.
I don't do it to their face. My smirking happens in my head. When you write a personal finance column, people feel compelled to brag about bagging a good sale.
But the more you know about how sales work, the less you might be inclined to pat yourself on ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The holidays open our hearts in ways no other time of the year does. We generously give our time and money to the poor and others in need.
But there are 40 million family caregivers who also need your help. These are the women and men caring for loved ones who can no longer do some of their own basic daily life activities, such as...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I've never liked the "lean in" movement.
And now I can say that out loud since former first lady Michelle Obama recently spoke some real truth during her promotional tour for her new book "Becoming."
At a Brooklyn appearance last weekend to promote her book, "Becoming," Obama talked about her marriage, motherhood, work and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We talk about the joys of caregiving, but it can take an emotional and financial toll on even the most loving person.
In September, I fell and fractured my right foot in two places. I'm mobile now, but for a few weeks I couldn't do much for myself. It was torture lying there waiting for help. It was a preview of what it might be ...Read more