Home & Leisure



Everyday Cheapskate: A Simple Solution for Gross, Smelly Towels

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If my inbox is any indicator of what's going on in the world, and I believe it is, smelly towels are a growing problem for consumers -- and certainly for my dear "Everyday Cheapskate" readers. And it's a rather new problem, the result of modern things like front-loading high-efficiency washing machines, detergents, fabric softeners and damp ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Things You Need to Do Now to Plan Ahead for Disaster

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The idea of emergency preparedness is good. But just having an idea is not good enough. Every person -- every family -- needs a plan in the event of a disaster that could disrupt the normal course of life. But where to start? That's where most of us get stuck for lack of useful, specific direction. Hopefully, these quick tips will do the trick ...Read more

Carla Fried: Helping adult children financially — learn to say no

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Between high rents, student loan debt and meager wage growth, it's hardly surprising that young adults increasingly lean on parents for financial support. A Pew Research survey reports that the majority of us think it would be grand for an adult child to be financially independent by age 22. But Pew's analysis of government data estimates that ...Read more

ViacomCBS explores sale of the famous CBS 'Black Rock' headquarters in Manhattan

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

ViacomCBS is exploring the sale of the historic CBS headquarters known as 'Black Rock' in midtown Manhattan.

ViacomCBS Chief Executive Bob Bakish revealed the plan Monday during his appearance at the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York.

Bakish said a Black Rock sale was one of a number of real estate transactions the company will look it ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Secret to Staying Out of the Red and in the Black

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When I am not writing about personal finance and consumer debt, I knit. Something about the gentle rhythm of yarn and needle calms my spirit and unwinds my brain.

I have managed to finish a few projects, not because I'm a great knitter but because I can "tink" almost as well as I knit (knit spelled backward is the process of undoing your ...Read more

Art of Design: The Power of Black

Consumer / Art of Design /

Black is used by designers all over the world. Industrial designers use it to accent shiny and polished metals and to highlight the shape of whatever they are designing. Publishers use black in bold fonts to capture your eye. In interior design, it is used both as an accent and as an entire color scheme. It is a color that is bold, elegant and ...Read more

Susan Tompor: 5 year-end tax tips to get your money safely through the holiday season

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Stop, take a deep breath and wait for a warning from the Internal Revenue Service before you pull out that plastic to jump on yet another holiday deal on a TV, toys or a smartphone.

Will you really have all the money you need by January or February to cover all those holiday bills? Not necessarily, if you're banking on a big income tax refund ...Read more

Hot Property: Jimmy Rollins gives up a base to Bruno Mars' producer

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Former Major League Baseball star Jimmy Rollins has sold his home in Encino to Grammy-winning producer-songwriter Philip Lawrence for $10.55 million in a deal completed off market.

The gated neoclassical-vibe house, built in 2017, has 14,900 square feet of polished living space, a gym, a home theater and indoor and outdoor ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Peloton's controversial bike ad stirred immediate reaction when I watched it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A week ago while winding down from Thanksgiving weekend, I turned to my husband shortly after seeing what's now turned into a firestorm of a TV commercial and quietly said: "Don't get me a Peloton."

His quick response: "Here is the good news: It never crossed my mind."

The exchange between us seemed so funny that I immediately tweeted it out ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: My condo association's suing me. Can I ignore them?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: A few months ago my condo put a wrongful charge on my monthly dues bill. I called the management company and gave them a piece of my mind. They never called me back, and while I did get a few letters, I ignored them. This morning, someone knocked on my door and handed me a lawsuit filed by my association! Do I need to deal with this nonsense?...Read more

Here's How: Clean Window Glass With Squeegee Like a Professional

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have been living in my new home for about three months, and I cannot believe how dirty the windows keep getting. Why is this? What is the proper method to clean the windows the way professionals do? -- Crystal M.

Dear Crystal: It is not uncommon for the windows in a new home to become dirty very quickly after they are cleaned. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Best Thing I Ever Bought

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Of all the columns I've written, the one on how to have perpetually clean carpet in my home has generated by far the most interest. Here it is again, updated. Enjoy!

I bought my Hoover SteamVac on Dec. 7, 2008, and I only know that because there it is in my Amazon order history -- $147 with free shipping. All these years later, while still ...Read more

Americans near 50, not 30, are buying homes, Deutsche Bank says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

NEW YORK -- The vision underpinning the American dream -- of fresh-faced young people buying a first home with a white-picket fence -- hasn't held up well.

It turns out that the median age of the U.S. home buyer is now 47, compared with 31 in 1981, Deutsche Bank chief economist Torsten Slok wrote in a note.

"This is driven by an aging ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Yellow-Stained Bed Pillows White Again

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Favorite bed pillows get a lot of use every night. We keep clean pillowcases on them and don't think much about the pillow inside until it's time to change the bed linens. Have you looked lately?


The culprit is sweat, the chemical composition of which varies from one person to the next depending on everything from what ...Read more

Redfin launches online home-bidding program in San Diego

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Redfin launched a new online home bidding service in San Diego on Tuesday that aims to cut down on thousands of dollars in commission fees.

The service, called Redfin Direct, allows potential homebuyers to bid on homes through a website or mobile app -- cutting out a real estate agent and likely lowering costs. Critics of the new effort, which ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Remarkable Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you love your morning cup of joe, there's a pretty good chance you're throwing out spent coffee grounds on a regular basis. Take a look at this list, and you just might discover more than a few ways you can recycle and reuse old grounds so you can enjoy them over (and over) again!

Not a coffee drinker? These days, local coffee shops offer ...Read more

3 easy DIY holiday decor ideas from a style blogger

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Minneapolis DIY style blogger Erin Francois, author of, says she comes from "a long line of makers," including a grandmother and mother with abundant drawing and sewing talent. Francois' youthful love of playing with craft materials eventually led to a degree in interior design and a job applying her skills to commercial spaces...Read more

Carla Fried: Huge advantage 401(k) savers enjoy over those using an IRA

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In 2020, anyone with a workplace retirement plan they contribute to can pony up even more money. The IRS adjusts the annual contribution limit to keep pace with inflation. For 2020, if you're younger than 50 you can pile as much as $19,500 into a 401(k), 403(b) or similar defined-contribution plan. That's up from $19,000. If you're 50 or older, ...Read more

Giving Tuesday: How to donate to charity directly from your retirement account and save on taxes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

If you're the right age and plan to give to charity, here's one great way to amplify your gift.

Generally, those over 70 1/2 have until year's end to take required money out of their Individual Retirement Accounts. It's called required minimum distribution, and it must be taken.

Instead of withdrawing and paying income tax, however, you can ...Read more

Susan Tompor: How to protect your money from online crooks while holiday shopping

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As shoppers whip out the plastic for online deals, the holiday angst only heightens when it comes to threats to your credit card accounts and other personal information.

Even consumers who shop online through a major retailer, like Macy's, can fall victim to some of these incredible hacking incidents.

During a one-week period in early October,...Read more