February 18, 2014

Naked With Cash: Betsey S, January 2014

Naked With Cash is an ongoing series at Consumerism Commentary in which readers share their households’ finances with other readers. These participants benefit from the accountability that comes from tracking their finances publicly and the feedback of the four expert Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). For more information, read this introduction. […]

Six Tactics for Handling Piles of Credit Card Debt

This article first appeared at U.S. News and World Report Money. A lot of American families have a lot of credit card debt. The average U.S. household credit card debt is $15,270. That’s almost a third of the annual median household income in the United States. […]

Don’t Cut Where It Hurts (At Least, Not at First)

The one part about turning around your personal finance situation that everyone dreads is the cutbacks. It’s easy to see why. Your normal, everyday life is what has led you to this financial corner. In order to turn the ship around, you’re going to have to make some changes to your normal, everyday life. People don’t like changes. […]

How We Started Collecting Coins

My son and I have recently started collecting coins. Several months ago, my son received an Electronic Piggy Bank: Digital Counting Money Coin Jar with LCD Display as a gift.  After the jar was filled with pennies, he decided that he wanted to deposit his money in his savings account. As we were sorting through the coins, in preparation for our trip to the bank, I noticed a few “wheat-back” pennie […]

Ask the Readers: Have You Ever Been Audited by the IRS?

Tax season opened this year on January 31st, and like every year before it, we're all very careful about getting our tax returns right. Right? Have you ever been audited by the IRS? What did you have to do to set things straight? […]

37 Hidden Travel Fees You've Probably Paid But Shouldn't Have

Travel budgeting isn't as easy as it seems. Hidden travel fees can take you by surprise and put a damper on your trip. Here are 37 hidden travel fees to be aware of, with some tips on how to avoid them. (See also: How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Vacation) Flying Budget airlines are terrible for tacking on hidden fees; it's how they make money. But they're not the only offenders. […]

Your future … seriously

This post is from staff writer William Cowie. The science fiction author Isaac Asimov, inspired by his visit to the New York World’s Fair back in 1964, wrote down some predictions of life 50 years hence. Fifty years from 1964 brings us to today, and the New York Times recently re-published the piece in honor of the occasion. What did Mr. Asimov foresee that came true? […]

Habits Aren't Boring — They're the Secret to Happiness. Here's Why.

Editor's Note: This is the first of a two-part series on harnessing habits to change our lives for the better. Tomorrow, in Part 2, Sarah puts theory to the test and attempts to corral one of her own bad habits — too much time spent on social media. Do you brush your teeth every day? Of course you do. But do you know why you do it? You do it because an advertiser named Claude C. […]

50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter

It's all too familiar during the winter. You are stuck inside, yet again, due to the latest snowstorm, bitterly cold polar vortex, or gloomy rain. But it doesn't need to be an all-day drag when there are many fun activities at hand. Try any of these entertaining ideas, and note that catching up on extra work and doing chores are not on the fun list! (See also: Fun Winter Staycation Ideas) 1. […]

A Secured Credit Card Can Repair Your Credit Score — Here's How to Pick the Best

When you have no credit history, or if you have poor credit and are trying to rebuild, one of the options you have to rewrite your credit story is the secured credit card. A secured credit card is a credit card in which you offer collateral in exchange for a line of credit. You pay a deposit, which is held in a separate account, and you are extended a line of credit. […]