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Spending

Be a Savvy Guest This Summer

The good: You're staying at a friend's house for the weekend. Fun chats and way more relaxing than a hotel. The bad: Guest-gift anxiety. What do you bring?It depends on how long you’re staying, says etiquette expert Anna Post, describing the gift...

Little Luxuries Lift You Up

Five years ago, the economy, my marriage—and my income—all collapsed at once. Then in my late 30s, with two small children, I could barely afford my mortgage, and I was actually ill from financial stress. My mother insisted: Get a treat now. I...

How Botox Made Me Happier

Around about 2010, I’d had it. The recession had gouged my husband’s income and mine—and we were flat-out broke. As a fretful, 40-something breadwinner for a family of five, I did what no one in my position should: I looked in the mirror. Worry...

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...

Why I’m Front-loading School Costs

For families with even a drop of cash liquidity, the question almost invariably comes up: public school or private? For my three-child family—for whom “liquidity” is ephemeral at best—the answer should be “public.” But I’m not doing it. I feel so...

Longer Loans Cost More. So?

It’s car-buying season, and new data show that a growing number of Americans are choosing longer car loan terms—as long as seven years. Most personal finance advice would steer you away from the longer loan—because in the end you’ll typically pay...

Gestating...in Style

I’m one of the least fashionable people I know. So how is it possible that I’ve spent over $800 on new clothes lately?  I got pregnant, that’s how. But a handful of new companies are offering mothers-to-be a solution a la Rent the Runway: now you...

How to Buy...a Down Comforter

It’s a winter essential—yet buying a good down comforter has gotten almost as complicated as picking a smart phone.Whether you're spending $200 or $1,200, here's what you need to know:Decide between down and down-alternative. Down is insulating...

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