Mistakes First-Time Homeowners Make

Q: My husband and I have been renting an apartment since we got married. We recently decided to buy our first home. Some friends of ours had lots of trouble with the process, and wound up buying a house they can’t really afford. We don’t want to go through what they did. What can we do…

Risking It When Investing

Q: My wife is a risk taker and wants to invest in things that aren’t really in my comfort zone. I know it’s generally considered better to invest where returns are higher, but that also means a higher risk! Is there some sort of middle ground? A: It’s great that you’re thinking this through. Many…

Surviving the Holidays With Your Sanity Intact

The holiday season is a special time. With Charlie Brown on TV and carols on the radio, and an ever-growing list of people to shop for, it’s easy to get carried away.  The pressure to over-shop and overspend when you’re rushing to buy everything on your list can be overwhelming. No worries, though; we’ve got…

The 20% Down Myth

If you’re desperate to own a home of your own, you are likely saving up until you have 20% of your dream home’s total value. All that’s great, but the fact is you don’t need to put down 20%. The 20% myth is leftover from the era after the housing crisis, when many lenders tightened…

How Can I Shop Safely on Black Friday?

Q: I’m an incurable bargain hunter and I thrive on finding incredible deals. I’m really looking forward to Black Friday, but I worry about the risks. From the possibility of being trampled or getting into a fistfight with a fellow shopper, to the chance that my shopping bags will be stolen or that my credit…

7 Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Costs this Month

Thanksgiving means giving thanks for all the good in our lives. It also means stuffed turkey and gravy, cranberry pie and mashed potatoes. It’s a time-honored tradition of spending time enjoying a delectable holiday meal while in the company of those we love. It can also mean spending an awful lot of money. According to…

Beware of Debt Relief Scams

Anyone saddled by debt would love a quick way out. After all, it isn’t easy to be constantly squeezed and stressed out from more debt than you want. Unfortunately, though, unless you’ve won the lottery or suddenly inherited millions, there really is no way but the slow way. You’ll need to make those monthly payments…

ATM Jackpotting Scam

Hitting the jackpot in an arcade game is enormous fun. You stand there grinning as the tickets keep pouring out. And then you get to choose a cool prize to take home. Recently, though, scammers have given this awesome kind of win a sinister twist by bringing the jackpotting mechanism to Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)….

Medical Identity Theft

Scammers never rest. Even when the government and financial institutions take added measures for protecting consumers against fraud, scammers are dreaming up new ways to con you out of your money – and your identity. In the latest wave of identity theft, scammers are cashing in on Medicare’s extra level of protection. In order to…

Beware These Tax Scams

They’re at it again! Every year, tax season brings a fresh crop of scammers with yet another way to con you out of your money – and sanity. The IRS and the FTC are both warning the public about a series of tax-related scams to be wary of during this busy and stressful time. You…