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Color of Money: Make a regular plan to give, because there's always a need.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I'm in awe of the generosity and volunteer efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

There was the Chick-fil-A manager who helped an elderly couple who had called in an order for two grilled chicken burritos with extra egg, and a boat. The manager sent her husband with his boat -- and some fellas on jet skis stopped to help.

...Read more

Color of Money: Don't be fooled by Hurricane Harvey flood scams

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- With every natural disaster come the scams.

After Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction in Southeast Texas, naturally people want to help. Americans are extremely generous when there's a devastating event, and criminals know exactly how to take advantage of a crisis.

Just three months after Superstorm Sandy pummeled the ...Read more

Color of Money: Making a dent in student debt

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- There are two words that can rock people with regret.

Just ask them about their "student loans." Then watch their faces. They will wince as they disclose how much education debt they're carrying.

Politicians have been promising to fix the growing loan crisis for years, but outstanding student debt has now mushroomed to $1.4 ...Read more

Color of Money: Allowing children financial freedom can pay off

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I've always struggled with how much financial freedom to give my children.

I'm a life-long penny-pincher, and I wanted my children to embrace frugality, too. So I forbade certain spending. I didn't want them to grow up being spendthrifts.

But, as I've matured and gotten better at parenting, I've realized that sometimes I have to ...Read more

Are you plagued by serial get-out-of-debt disorder?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- There's a group of people who suffer from what I'd call "serial get-out-of-debt disorder."

I know it's a mouthful, but it's a real condition for folks who find themselves stuck in a cycle of getting in and out of debt.

This ailment typically affects people who live above their means. One long-term effect of this ailment is the ...Read more

Color of Money: The cost of racism

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Racism has taken a toll on our society in many ways. One of its costs has been the lost economic mobility of generations of minorities.

I nearly lost mine.

Like so many, I watched the horridness that was on display in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend, including the twisted, angry faces of racist marchers and the blows...Read more

Color of Money: You can't afford to forget the lessons of the Great Recession

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The Dow industrial average hit 22,000 in August, ushering in yet another noteworthy high. But Americans also reached the big time with a different financial milestone this year -- and not in a good way.

Outstanding consumer revolving debt -- mostly credit card debt -- hit an all-time peak of $1.021 trillion in June, according to ...Read more

Color of Money: Is debt a deal breaker when dating? Four signs that it is.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The intersection of finance and romance is always a tricky place. And many people even arrive there while still dating, when the level of debt -- student loans included -- being carried by a potential partner creates concern about the next step in the relationship.

Here's the big picture: There's $1.4 trillion in outstanding ...Read more

Color of Money: Take time to harness the power of the pause

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- It's the vacation season, a time to get away. Regrettably, many vacationers take their work with them.

Some people don't even take the time off. Among employees who receive paid leave, only about half (54 percent) fully took their earned vacation time in the past 12 months, according to a survey by the job-search site Glassdoor.

...Read more

Color of Money: Don't be blindsided during the eclipse

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- For the first time in nearly a century, on Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse of the sun will be visible in parts of the contiguous United States.

Depending on where you live, and provided the clouds don't interfere, you will see the sun partially or, if you're fortunate enough to be in the "path of totality," completely disappear ...Read more

Color of Money: Be wary of 'free' offers. There's always a price to pay.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- It was supposed to be a risk-free offer, a chance to sample a skin-care product.

But the lure of something free turned into financial frustration for the many victims of face cream fraud.

It works like this. You see an online ad or you get an email to test a cream that is supposed to reduce wrinkles or age spots. All you have to ...Read more

Color of Money: A real debit card scare

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I could hear the panic in her voice, this pastor, who never fears anything.

She had simply wanted a free sample of face cream and agreed to pay the shipping cost -- $5.99.

But the day after she used her debit card to place the order, the online company put through two different and unauthorized charges, one for $92.92 and another...Read more

Color of Money: Protect yourself from debit card crooks

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Our financial lives have become a series of debit card swipes.

We swipe for groceries. We swipe for gas.

We tap our toes with impatience if we find ourselves behind someone using something so seemingly outdated as cash or a check.

Why bother with paper when access to all your money for just about any purchase is accessible ...Read more

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