Sat, 12 Mar 2011 18:03:00 ESTAs the parent of a soon-to-be college student, I'm privy to a lot of conversations other parents have about their child's chances of getting significant scholarship or grant money.
Wed, 09 Mar 2011 23:04:02 ESTBanks and retailers are battling over swipe fees, and debit card holders should pay attention.
Sat, 05 Mar 2011 19:25:01 ESTA new report from the Government Accountability Office warns employees to watch out for biased investment guidance from the financial companies paid to set up and run their 401(k) plans.
Wed, 02 Mar 2011 20:05:01 ESTIn fiscal 2010, the Internal Revenue Service filed liens against 1.1 million taxpayers.
Sat, 26 Feb 2011 17:14:01 ESTFor the past few years, I've been working with a single mother who has had to move four times, renting rooms in other people's homes so she wouldn't have to spend more than 50 percent of her monthly income on housing.
Wed, 23 Feb 2011 22:25:03 ESTTransUnion, one of the major credit bureaus, issued what on the surface should have been welcome news about the delinquency rate of credit users.
Sat, 19 Feb 2011 17:54:00 ESTWhen asked recently how they feel about their future, 85 percent of blacks said they are optimistic, with 65 percent indicating they specifically feel secure about their financial situation, according to a new poll conducted by The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard Univers...
Wed, 16 Feb 2011 20:20:00 ESTIt's a good thing in this economy to have some extra money on hand.
Fri, 11 Feb 2011 22:54:01 ESTFinding a good book about love and money reminds me of what Forrest Gump's mama told him about that box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. It might be trite. It might rescue your relationship.
Wed, 09 Feb 2011 19:42:04 ESTThere's some good news and some bad news about identity theft.
Sat, 05 Feb 2011 21:31:00 ESTWe may be going through a tough economy, but many guys know they had better buy something for their sweetie come Valentine's Day.
Wed, 02 Feb 2011 21:49:03 ESTTo hear congressional Republicans tell it, the Obama administration is much like the harried white rabbit that mutters, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."
Fri, 28 Jan 2011 22:43:01 ESTIf you had some major economic challenges in 2010, your tax situation may be different from in years past. So be more than a passive (or procrastinating) filer this year. Even if you use a professional preparer, which the majority of taxpayers do, or tax software, visit the Internal Revenue...
Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:49:00 ESTWhen the Government Accountability Office and the Securities and Exchange Commission issued reports on the professionals who help investors make financial choices, I couldn't help but think of the battle cry of the civil rights movement.
Fri, 21 Jan 2011 23:13:03 ESTOne would think that in an economy where unemployment is high, applicants for the precious few job openings would be on their best behavior.
Wed, 19 Jan 2011 19:35:01 ESTRailing against the tax code has become an American tradition. But the question remains: What are you willing to give up to get a simpler tax code?
Sat, 15 Jan 2011 15:45:00 ESTHow many times have you dreamed of being your own boss?
Wed, 12 Jan 2011 20:03:02 ESTI wasn't naive enough to think that major credit card legislation passed in 2009 would stop lenders from going after young customers.
Sat, 08 Jan 2011 23:02:01 ESTMy grandmother, Big Mama, was a stickler for order.
Sat, 01 Jan 2011 17:37:00 ESTAs one year ends and another begins, people begin to assess how deep in debt they are.
Sat, 25 Dec 2010 21:09:00 ESTOne of my favorite movie quotes comes from "A Few Good Men," when Jack Nicholson, playing a Marine colonel, shouts, "You can't handle the truth."
Wed, 22 Dec 2010 20:20:01 ESTFor the new year, I'd like to propose that those who give advice on how to budget should drop the expression "pay yourself first."
Sat, 18 Dec 2010 15:56:00 ESTRight about now, many people look back on the year that was and measure the triumphs and tragedies.
Wed, 15 Dec 2010 20:25:01 ESTSometimes it helps to see the data that prove the uneven financial ground you're standing on is occupied by a lot of other people as well.
Fri, 10 Dec 2010 22:42:05 ESTWhen Yahoo put out its Top 10 searches in the financial category for 2010, there was no surprise to find, among the leaders, unemployment, foreclosures and the Dow Jones flash crash, the term coined for when the Dow dropped more than 600 points in one day in May.
Wed, 08 Dec 2010 20:08:01 ESTFederal and state officials are patting themselves on the back for Operation Broken Trust, a nationwide effort to target investment fraud schemes.
Fri, 03 Dec 2010 21:38:02 ESTWhat's in a name? That's what Juliet asks Romeo in William Shakespeare's classic love story. Juliet knew that what matters is not what you're called, but what you are at your core. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," she says. Take the case of a debit card versus a credit card. Incre...
Wed, 01 Dec 2010 20:05:02 EST
Fri, 26 Nov 2010 21:54:01 ESTAnother national holiday shopping extravaganza officially kicked off with Black Friday. But what if searching for and giving to a good local charity also became part of this annual ritual?
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:08:01 ESTNobody is safe. Velma Hart, who burst onto the media scene after telling President Obama she was scared about her financial future, has been laid off. Hart was let go as the chief financial officer for Am Vets, a nonprofit Maryland-based veteran services organization. Hart has become another casu...
Sat, 20 Nov 2010 18:20:00 ESTIf indeed it is better to give than to receive, then there should not be much criticism from givers if the charitable tax deduction is reduced as the government tackles the budget deficit.
Wed, 17 Nov 2010 23:53:03 ESTGeneral Motors will be issuing new stock, a signal that the company is emerging from the ashes like the mythical phoenix.
Sat, 13 Nov 2010 23:47:07 ESTShawn Dunning has been getting his hair cut every three weeks at a Hair Cuttery salon in the District of Columbia for years.
Wed, 10 Nov 2010 20:36:01 ESTTick tock. Tick tock. That's the sound recent college graduates are hearing as they near the day of reckoning. The typical six-month grace period on student loans is about to end.
Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:18:05 EDTEvery year columnist Michelle Singletary chooses several people or families and helps them with their finances. This year she has worked with women recently released from prison. She met them through a volunteer outreach effort of a financial mentoring program she directs at First Baptist Church of...
Wed, 03 Nov 2010 20:27:01 EDTIn an economy that is still as rocky as the Grand Canyon, many people remain perplexed about what they should do if they find themselves without a job or on the verge of losing one soon.
Sat, 30 Oct 2010 21:05:01 EDTDebt-free u How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents By Zac Bissonnette Portfolio Trade, 304 p. $16.00 Let's see, there was the tech bubble in the mid- to late 1990s that eventually busted a lot of people financially. We're suffering ...
Wed, 27 Oct 2010 20:20:01 EDT
Sat, 23 Oct 2010 17:16:00 EDTJob applicants painstakingly pore over their resumes and cover letters because studies show that hiring managers have little tolerance for any mistakes. And now, there's something else for applicants to worry about - their credit profiles.
Wed, 20 Oct 2010 20:14:00 EDT
Fri, 15 Oct 2010 12:49:01 EDTReally, should any of us be surprised at the recent events surrounding home foreclosures?
Wed, 13 Oct 2010 20:32:01 EDTWhenever I'm traveling and I see uniformed military personnel, I can't help but become a little teary-eyed.
Sat, 09 Oct 2010 18:30:00 EDTWhen I'm in a hurry and all of the supermarket checkout lines are long, I head for the self-service terminals to ring up and bag my own groceries.
Wed, 06 Oct 2010 20:09:01 EDTIt's been a long time since a retail clerk has asked me whether I was paying with cash or credit.
Sat, 02 Oct 2010 20:57:01 EDTThe next economy and America's Future By Robert B. Reich Knopf 192 pp. $25 So what are we to do about an economy that is so badly broken? We have to look at where we've been, figure out what went wrong and be open to new ways of doing things. That's what Robert B. Reich does in "Aftershock: The ...
Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:17:01 EDTGot debt? Well, if you do, the federal government has made it more difficult for unscrupulous or sham debt-settlement companies to make false claims that much of your debt can be easily erased. Debt-settlement or debt-relief services promise to renegotiate or in some way change what you owe to an...
Sat, 25 Sep 2010 18:32:05 EDTBy the time I called her, Velma Hart was surprised at how her words had been dissected and analyzed. Hart is the middle-aged, middle-class Maryland woman who asked President Obama to reassure her that he remained the crusader for change she had voted for.
Wed, 22 Sep 2010 19:52:01 EDTSo it's officially over. Technically, the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). It was the longest of any downturn since World War II. We need another yardstick to measure how bad off we are, because the one we have now isn't good enough.
Sat, 18 Sep 2010 18:20:01 EDTI keep wondering if consumers will learn their lesson from this recession - to rely less on credit cards and more on the cash they have.
Wed, 15 Sep 2010 20:20:01 EDTI've read so many surveys about people neglecting to save for retirement that my eyes hurt.
Sun, 22 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDTEntering freshmen at colleges across the country will be the first class of regular-semester students to face credit card restrictions under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.
Thu, 19 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Obama administration wants for-profit career colleges to better prepare students for gainful employment and to improve debt-repayment rates. The government is threatening to pull access to federal student aid for colleges that fail to show progress.
Sun, 15 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDTThere are a lot of bank fees that deserve the "Slater Slide." Steven Slater is the JetBlue flight attendant who allegedly cursed an uncooperative and rude passenger, then opened an emergency exit and jumped down the aircraft's escape slide. He slid into infamy or history -- depending on your take...
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Internal Revenue Service has dealt a hard blow to a tax product that has long needed to be knocked out.
Sat, 07 Aug 2010 16:02:00 EDTIn the real estate world, there was one word that used to be the cardinal rule: location, location, location.
Thu, 05 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDTWithin the massive financial reform package is a requirement for no fewer than seven studies intended to help protect individual investors.
Sun, 01 Aug 2010 00:00:00 EDTState and local consumer-protection agencies across the country should pool their limited resources and start an advertising campaign called "Gotcha."
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTOver the years, I've met too many people who were stuck in a hellish payday-loan cycle, rolling one loan into another until the fees and the outstanding balance crushed them.
Sun, 25 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTInstead of focusing on the politics behind the firing and subsequent redemption of Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod, we should consider what she was trying to tell us when she addressed the NAACP.
Thu, 22 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTBarack Obama promised enormous change in how our government was run when he was elected president.
Sun, 18 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTMy husband and I are hoping to retire -- or at least reduce our work schedules -- when our youngest child, who is now 9, graduates from college.
Thu, 15 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute regularly delivers the dreadful news of how unprepared so many Americans are for retirement. The findings give you a chill, much like seeing an image of the iconic black-robed, scythe-carrying personification of death.
Sun, 11 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTWHEN THE TIME COMES Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles And Solutions By Paula Span, Springboard Press 288 pp., $23.99 The ladies like him. He's got jokes, so the staff likes him, too. Despite his reservations, my 81-year-old father-in-law is doing well at the assisted-living facili...
Thu, 08 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTTarget-date mutual funds -- investment vehicles that automatically change your mix of assets as you near retirement -- are thought by many investors to be a safer investment choice that's relatively insulated from market gyrations as the funds get closer to the target date.
Sun, 04 Jul 2010 00:00:00 EDTIn my online discussions I frequently get questions from couples facing financial issues.
Sun, 27 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTWhile I'm away for a short vacation, I'd like to pass along some interesting questions -- and answers -- about debt from a recent online discussion.
Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTWhen we talk about the aging population in the United States, the conversation is often focused on who will take care of the physical needs of millions of seniors.
Thu, 17 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTWhen someone you love is laid off, the news can feel debilitating to you, too.
Sun, 13 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe magnitude of the BP spill really hit me once I starting seeing front-page photos of oil- soaked birds. One poor thing looked like a Hollywood- inspired alien or a prehistoric creature.
Thu, 10 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTIt's an all-too-familiar Washington story. Officials call a news conference to pat themselves on the back for righting a wrong they shouldn't have allowed in the first place.
Sun, 06 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTSoon the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" will fade and thousands of college graduates will have to really start facing the music -- their education loans.
Thu, 03 Jun 2010 00:00:00 EDTBefore my grandfather died of cancer, I helped my grandmother care for him in their home. For more than a decade, I managed health care and other financial issues for my disabled brother until his death. I also assisted with some of my grandmother's financial affairs in the years leading up to he...
Sun, 30 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe residents at the assisted-living facility looked so frail, many sitting in wheelchairs or hunched over their walkers, making their way slowly along the hallways.
Thu, 27 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTWhy in the world would Congress provide some consumers with free access to credit scores, but not others?
Sun, 23 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTPicking up trash is a career step up for Stephanie Harris.
Thu, 20 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTPeople often ask me what's the best financial advice I've ever received.
Sun, 16 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe time has come. As the nation ages, millions of adults will find they are thrust into caring for an aging parent or other relative. My husband and I have just joined this group of caregivers. We recently began taking care of my father-in-law, a fiercely independent, 81-year-old ex-military man...
Thu, 13 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTI've played out in my head many times what I would do if I were abducted and forced to withdraw money from an ATM.
Sun, 09 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe financial teaching grade is in for teachers -- and it's not good.
Thu, 06 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTEvery now and then, I answer questions culled from my e-mail or left over from my regular online discussions. I do this to let you know I'm concerned about your financial issues even if I can't reply to all inquiries personally.
Sun, 02 May 2010 00:00:00 EDTCan I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? The Crash Course: Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job
Thu, 29 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTValisha Cooks assumed that the college education she financed with debt -- about half of it in expensive private student loans -- would pay off handsomely.
Sun, 25 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTBurglars hate alarm systems, and they hate big barking dogs.
Thu, 22 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Treasury Department is making a big push to go green -- and save a lot of green -- by switching millions of people who receive Social Security and other federal benefits from paper checks to electronic payments.
Sun, 18 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDT"MADtv" wasn't so mad after all. When the writers on the comedy show penned a 2008 skit about a no-frills airline that charges multiple fees, who knew they were predicting the future? The airline industry now has more add-on fees than the number of peanuts in the miniature bag still given to some...
Thu, 15 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTJust in time for April 15, the dreaded tax day, several consumer advocacy groups released the results of a mystery-shopping test of commercial tax preparers. They were not good.
Sun, 11 Apr 2010 16:36:00 EDTThroughout my childhood, my grandmother Big Mama extolled the virtues of owning a home.
Thu, 08 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed guidelines in an effort to keep track of the estimated 1.2 million paid tax-return preparers.
Sun, 04 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTTHROW OUT FIFTY THINGS Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life by Gail Blanke Springboard Press. 304 pp. $13.99 Spring, the season of rebirth and warm days, is as good a time as any to get busy throwing out the stuff clogging your home, office, mind and spirit. I'm going to do it. I'm going to throw ou...
Thu, 01 Apr 2010 00:00:00 EDTTucked inside the health-care reform law is significant financial relief for the millions of students who borrow to obtain a higher education.
Sun, 28 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDTWith the most significant changes to the nation's health-care policy in decades having finally come to fruition, the question I have, as I'm sure so many others do as well, is how the new law will affect me.
Thu, 25 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDTThe tax code is complicated enough, but some people who tried to learn more about a recent Internal Revenue Service initiative to help those in economic distress discovered anew why Americans get so frustrated with the agency charged with collecting our tax dollars.
Sun, 21 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDTWhen my eyesight began to give me trouble, I tried to ignore it.
Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:00:00 EDTIn what feels like never-ending regulatory fiddling with the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the Federal Reserve wants to know what consumers think about certain fees that lenders charge as penalties for late payments or other issues.
Sun, 14 Mar 2010 00:00:00 ESTFor the second year, the Internal Revenue Service is reaching out to folks in financial trouble.
Thu, 11 Mar 2010 00:00:00 ESTI've been noticing a lot of notice fatigue lately. By now, you may have become a bit overwhelmed with correspondence from your bank or credit union about mandated changes to your credit card account.
Sun, 07 Mar 2010 00:00:00 ESTStephanie Harris's management and sales skills helped her earn $3,000 for just six or seven hours of work on a "good" day.
Thu, 04 Mar 2010 00:00:00 ESTBeginning April 1, when you go online to view your federally mandated free annual credit reports, you'll get exactly what you came for. Hopefully.
Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:00:00 ESTA PURSE OF YOUR OWN An Easy Guide to Financial Security By Deborah Owens with Brenda Lane Richardson. Fireside. $15 Except for the occasional special coin or the Martha Washington $1 silver certificate, I always wondered why the face of a woman isn't part of U.S. currency. Then I saw this quote f...
Thu, 25 Feb 2010 00:00:00 EST"Credit card debt, does it ever end?" That's a haunting line delivered by comedian Amy Poehler in a 2006 "Saturday Night Live" skit also featuring Steve Martin and Chris Parnell. The sketch was brilliantly and simply titled "Don't Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford." (You can view it at Hulu.com ).