Times when money isn’t real

Money is money, whether it’s cash in our hands, plastic cards at checkout counters or encrypted bits of data coursing between computers on the internet. But our brains don’t view all money as equal, thanks to what behavioral economists call “cognitive biases”: —We spend cash more carefully than plastic. —We regard tax refunds as a […]

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Q&A: Where to find help with managing your finances

Dear Liz: I am a mid-30s single woman who needs accountability in managing my finances and paying down debt. I have about $7,000 in credit card debt and $9,000 in student loans and I earn $55,000 a year. I feel as though I may have the financial means to do this but require a knowledgeable, […]

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Q&A: Sheltering home profits

Dear Liz: I understand that the profit realized on the sale of a home is not subject to tax, as long as that money is reinvested in another home. What if the couple divorces before or after the sale? If they split the profit from the sale and one or both put those funds into […]

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Q&A: Remarrying late in life

Dear Liz: This is regarding the letter from the children worried about their widowed father remarrying. My father remarried a year after my mother died. He was 86. His wife and her family gave him love, care and companionship until his death at 93. I gained a wonderful new family whom I love. Once my […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A good retirement savings option for the self-employed. Also in the news: Jobs that could mark you as a risk for late payments, what to ask before giving a cell phone as a gift, and the financial perks of not celebrating Christmas. A Good Retirement Savings Option for the Self-Employed Consider a […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Manage your debt for a smoother divorce. Also in the news: Giving your child the gift of stocks, how to donate credit card points and miles to charity, and six ways to make the most of your holiday bonus. Manage Your Debt for a Smoother Divorce Making a difficult situation a bit […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to make successful financial resolutions in 2017. Also in the news: 5 insurance coverage gaps that could cost you, what to know before giving and accepting money from relatives, and 10 psychological retail tricks that make you spend more money. How to Make Successful Resolutions in 2017 Stick with it. Insurance […]

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Gift cards aren’t gifts

If it’s the thought that counts, then gift cards don’t count much at all. They’re popular, granted. Six out of 10 people responding to National Retail Federation surveys this year said they wanted to receive gift cards for the holidays, and more than half said they planned to give them. The rest of us may […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to tell your checking account is the right fit. Also in the news: Tips for handling holiday financial stress, financial concepts you’ll actually use, and important things to know about 529 college savings plan withdrawals. 5 Ways to Tell If Your Checking Account’s the Right Fit Avoid excess fees. 5 Tips […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for December. Also in the news: How to tell if a Roth 401(k) is for you, why postdating checks is a waste of time, and how many credit cards you should have. NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for December 2016 Just in time for holiday spending. How […]

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