CPI Report: Inflation Was Slightly Less Terrible in November

Goods and services are getting less expensive in response to the Federal Reserve’s persistent increases in interest rates. But prices are still higher than they were a year ago. Consumer prices are up 7.1% year-over-year as of November 2022, according to Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index tracks … Continued

What if You Can’t ‘Out-Budget’ Inflation?

Inflation is a nightmare for the many Americans who already stretch their dollars to cover basic needs. What happens when those dollars lose value? Their choice is probably not about whether to cut streaming services or opt for store-brand groceries. Instead, they may have to pick between buying enough food and paying rent. The families … Continued

Don’t Let Your First Car Be a $30K Mistake

Buying your first car is already an intimidating experience; in the midst of historic supply shortages, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. In March of this year, the average price of a used car was $27,246, according to Cox Automotive — an automotive marketplace and data company — or 28% higher than it was a year … Continued

Mortgage Rates are in for a Bumpy Ride in June

June mortgage rates forecast Mortgage rates might be volatile in June. A graph of them may resemble the cutting side of a handsaw, with sharp daily ups and downs. I predict that the average rate on a 30-year mortgage will be higher in the last week of June than in the last week of May. … Continued

How to Handle Mixed-Income Friendships

Finally, as the country reopens, you’re likely seeing more of your friends. Out with the video chatting and in with the high-fiving, hugging and, well, spending. For every dinner, there’s a check to pay; for every wedding, a gift to buy; and for every concert, a ticket to score. You may notice that you and … Continued

Trial, Error and What I Learned About Money in My 20s

Your 20s are a time of self-exploration, finding your footing as an adult — and likely making some money mistakes. To save you from learning the hard way — and pass on some knowledge as I enter my 30s — here are five money lessons from my past decade. Get serious about goals For several … Continued

Financial Vital Signs to Monitor Right Now

A midyear financial review is often a good idea. This year, it’s almost essential. With people going back to offices, travel resuming and Congress making significant changes to various laws affecting your finances, consider taking some time to check in on your money. You might be able to make some smart moves to reflect the … Continued

How to Travel Safely and Cheaply This Summer

As vaccination rates inch upward, Americans are beginning to travel again. More than 10 times as many passengers passed through Transportation Security Administration screenings in the first week of April compared with the same period last year, a sign that some degree of normalcy is returning. And travel this summer could get far busier. “Right … Continued

6 Steps for Financial Spring Cleaning, Pandemic-Style

Given the challenges of pandemic life, many financial tasks may have stayed on the back burner this year as we all tried to just make it through each day. At the same time, the pandemic had a big impact on our financial lives, and some money-related to-do’s are likely in order. Now that it’s spring, … Continued

Reboot Your Budget to Prepare for Reopening

Picture cruising your car deep into 2021 and never glancing in the rearview mirror. Vaccines, travel and a hope of normalcy are finally on the horizon. With so much to look forward to in the future, it’s understandable to not want to look back. But returning to typical day-to-day life will be a transition. And … Continued