How Shopping Small Makes a Big Impact in Your Community

I get it. It’s easy to shop on Amazon. Running low on toilet paper? Need lightbulbs? Want a bath caddy on a whim? With two clicks and even less thought, the item you need/want/desire is at your doorstep, often in 48 hours or less. Shopping locally requires more thought. Supporting small businesses is an intentional … Continued

3 Ways COVID-19 Reshuffled Our Finances

The U.S. economy ground to a halt in March 2020 as state after state issued lockdown orders and shut down businesses to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. A year later, mask-wearing is commonplace, the phrase “social distancing” is now in the dictionary, elbow bumps have replaced fist bumps and hugs are still on pause. … Continued

Get Ahead of Holiday Debt With a Payoff Plan

In a holiday season that many of us will spend apart from loved ones, gift-giving might feel even more important than usual. After all, if you can’t travel to see family, at least you can see them unwrap gifts over a video call, right? And just as many families will use a video service for … Continued

13 Ways to Leave Scammers Empty-Handed This Holiday Season

We’re primed to get suckered this holiday season. Tight budgets, wishful thinking that we can get a screaming deal if we hurry, and plain old impulsive spending are a dangerous mix. Scammers know this. One example: Clicking an online ad, maybe for an ornament featuring a Santa with twinkling eyes and a smile hidden under … Continued

Should You Choose a Point-of-Sale Loan to Gift Now and Pay Later?

A point-of-sale loan lets you break down a purchase into a series of smaller payments, so you can buy now and pay later. In recent years, point-of-sale financing has rapidly expanded in the United States, with lenders like Klarna, Afterpay and Affirm now partnering with major retailers, including Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart, … Continued

The Case for Shopping on Black Friday in 2020

Like most things in 2020, Black Friday won’t be the same this year. But at least in the case of holiday shopping, change might not necessarily be a bad thing. If you’re thinking about shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, here’s why you should — and at least one reason you shouldn’t. The day still holds meaning … Continued

What to Buy (and Skip) on Black Friday 2020

Amid all of the retail chaos and change of 2020, at least one thing remains the same: the biggest sale day of the year. Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving — has a reputation as the best time of the year to buy just about anything. But even though Black Friday still exists in … Continued

3 Ways to Keep Your Distance With Contactless Payments

If you’re looking for a self-improvement task in this pandemic era, try teaching yourself to use contactless payments with your phone or “tap-to-pay” credit and debit cards. Any germaphobe will tell you that the surfaces of bills and coins have always been gross. And handing your credit card to a cashier who has the sniffles and … Continued

Scaling Back Spending Yields Unexpected Benefits

When I originally set out to write this column, I wanted to share the unexpected benefits of cutting back on my online shopping habit. At the beginning of the year, I set a personal challenge to reduce my online orders from several times a week (insert embarrassed emoji) to a few times a month. As … Continued

Upgrade Your Old Car With New-Car Tech

Time has marched on since you last bought a car. You may love the reliable, low-mileage car parked in the garage but still long to make a hands-free phone call or summon up a song off Pandora. But you don’t need to spend $35,000 on a new car just to get a rear backup camera … Continued