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Know Your Unknowns

It was one of those minor life events that put a spotlight on a big financial issue. I’m the type to stay on top of household spending, but when my daughter started preschool, my system went haywire. I combed through our bag of receipts and...

When Debt Can Make You Richer

What do the very rich know that the rest of us don’t? That the D-word—that would be debt—can actually be a tool for building wealth.After the financial disasters of the last five years, that may seem counterintuitive, to say the least. But...

Get More for Your Rewards

You spend a lot on your cards and you want all the perks you deserve. With so many options (flights! merch! cash!) how do you get the most for your hard-swiped points?  Best Cash back. Redeeming points for cash is a smart way to go, experts say....

Socially Responsible Investing Does Not Mean Lower Returns

  By choosing a socially responsible investment (SRI) fund, you don't have to sacrifice performance. According to Victoria Collins, Ph.D., CFP, a senior managing director of First Foundation Advisors, "SRI funds perform as well if not better than...

Be Smart About Store Cards

Store cards: friend or foe? Given how tempting that on-the-spot 15 percent discount can be, signing up for a store card is hard to resist—and may even be worth it. But retail cards can also compromise your credit in ways you may not realize, says...

A Solo 401(k) Is Smarter

When I exited my magazine-editing job a few months ago to start a business as an editorial consultant, I knew the standard advice was to roll over my 401k into an IRA immediately. After talking with a few money-savvy friends, I opted to call...

Inflation Translation

Remember when a slice of pizza was $1 or a cup of coffee was 50 cents? (If that was before your time, bear with us.) These days, depending on where you live, a slice is about $2 and a cup of ordinary, nondesigner coffee is about $1.25. At least....

Why Kids Should Chip in for College

When I was in high school, I worked as a waitress, slinging hot cakes and hash at my local IHOP. My plan: to drive off to college in a lightly-used red sports car. Then my father presented me with my college tuition bill. He asked me to pay the...

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