WASHINGTON -- If you are tired of the clutter in your life, it’s time to do something about it.
From now until the end of January, I’m encouraging people to clean both their real house and their financial house. It’s the 2017 #NoDebtNoMess Color of Money Challenge. I’ve made a video to explain the challenge, at http://wapo.st/2jAlG43.
WASHINGTON -- This is it. This is the year you will get your house in order. You will clear away the clutter. You will get rid of debt. Your home and your finances will get the special attention they need.
And I’ll help you along the way. This is the first week of the 21-day #NoDebtNoMess Color of Money Challenge. In a previous column, I laid...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We are still in that time of the new year when we make promises to ourselves.
I love the opportunity for a fresh start. I think everyone does. And this year, I have a new challenge for you.
In previous years, I’ve encouraged people to do a 21-day financial fast in which they couldn’t spend money on anything that wasn’t a ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A new year gives you a chance to develop new habits.
For 2017, may I recommend this resolution? I will learn more about my retirement account.
With that in mind, I asked author William A. Birdthistle to answer some reader questions left over from a recent online discussion. His book “Empire of the Fund: The Way We Save Now,” ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Given the number of multimillionaires tapped for Cabinet positions under President-elect Donald Trump, I wonder if frugality will soon be considered un-American.
Trump rallied to victory in November with unapologetic boasting of his wealth. He is the personification of conspicuous consumption.
But throughout history, philosophers...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We don’t do enough thinking about our finances.
I’m not talking about financial anxieties. You think a lot about your debts. They keep you up at night. If you’re married, they might cause a lot of fights.
You’re concerned that there’s not much in your retirement account, if you even have one. Your children’s grades or...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There’s a reason you have a rearview mirror in your car. You have to see what’s behind you.
It’s the same thing when it comes to your money, and that’s why I’ve looked back at what I consider some of the most important money stories that can impact people’s finances.
Here’s my countdown of the top 10 financial ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- What financial power moves do you plan before the year ends?
Need some suggestions? You’ve no doubt seen some of these real headlines or ones that are very similar:
-- 10 Money Moves to Make Before Year End
-- 7 Financial Moves to Make Before 2017
-- 10 Ways to End 2016 on a Financial High Note
-- End of Year Countdown: ...Read more
If You Leave this Farm: The Dream Is DestroyedAmanda Farmer
A Memoir about courage, hope, and resilience. The story powerfully shows the internal struggle and conflict between personal desires, the crushing weight of constant submission to a father's misguided use of God-given authority, and the need to be accepted by one's ...
WASHINGTON -- In this season of generosity, you want to give the perfect present, right?
Or maybe, you don’t.
Research by Deborah Cohn, a marketing professor at the New York Institute of Technology, describes what many recipients have long suspected. Some people purposefully select gifts with the aim of sending a message. And when their gift...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In my house, there is still a Santa.
My children know. They are 16, 18 and 21, and they’ve known since they were in grade school that Santa is a fantasy and that their presents arrive not on a sleigh but in the trunk of our car.
But because I believe in the spirit of Santa, they still indulge me when I ask them what Kris ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- To be an evolved grinch is to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Yet every time I hear people label someone a grinch, I suspect they don’t really comprehend the full message of the Grinch’s story. People instead focus on the character from early in the animated TV special about the mean old “Stink Stank Stunk” Mr. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Not leaving people money can hurt.
Several readers, pulling from their own experiences, asked that I rethink my view that parents have no obligation to leave an inheritance to non-disabled adult children. An inheritance is a gift not a right, I wrote.
The column elicited so much feedback that I thought I’d share a sample of the...Read more
WASHINGTON -- All I want to give or get for Christmas is cash. And if you’re honest, deep down, that’s what you’re thinking when someone asks you what you want.
“Please, just give me the money so I can buy what I really want -- or need,” you’d like to say. “Or pay a bill.”
But that isn’t polite or politically correct for ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- They took care of you. Now it’s your turn. But what if your parents, whom you feel obligated to care for, are bad money managers? What if their spending habits are likely to bring you down financially? Do you still spend to save them?
This is the dilemma for two readers who asked for my help during a recent online ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Boycotts have long been a way for consumers to voice their discontent.
If money walks, policies or business practices sometimes change.
But would a boycott work against President-elect Donald Trump, who has angered many people by his actions and politics and who has a vast corporate empire that could create conflicts of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If I can’t stop you from the spending madness that is about to take place, at least be smart about it by using your smartphone to spend less.
For years, I’ve doled out tips on safe holiday spending: Set a budget. Make a list. And cut people loose if you’re stretched financially.
But the Black Friday and Cyber Monday ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Financial planners used to talk about funding your senior years by using the metaphor of a three-legged stool.
It consisted of Social Security, a pension and personal savings.
With fewer companies offering pensions these days, that retirement stool is now more like a bicycle.
And if you consider the strain on Social ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump campaigned as a champion of the financially stressed middle class. To see how true he is to his word, watch how he handles the direction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The agency was created as part of Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, which was passed in response to ...Read more
EDITORS -- Michelle Singletary is taking a one-column vacation. Her next column will move Thursday, Nov. 10, for release Sunday, Nov. 13.
WASHINGTON -- I'm feeling like the Cubs right now.
In my win column: 25 years of wedded bliss.
And, given all the acrimony during this election season, couldn't you use a story about a man and woman in ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I voted early. I'll be out of the country on Election Day, so I wanted to make sure my vote was counted. But as I made my selection, my heart was heavy.
I'm concerned about how the outcome will impact the economy. Readers have been asking me what I think about the candidates' economic plans. I have stayed silent because I didn't ...Read more