household finances

'Do We Need a Prenup?' Why You Really Should Discuss It

To many couples, following a romantic marriage proposal with a pragmatic discussion about a prenuptial agreement feels like you're predicting a divorce. But the conversation can have real benefits for the health of your union and your finances.

Your Child Is Sick. You Need to Work. What Now?

Sooner or later, your kids will come home with something that lands them in bed, sick. For parents, caring for a child's aches and pains often leads to household financial distress. Working parents face the additional challenge of finding a substitute caregiver while they're away. Here are five ways to get prepared before the common cold comes calling.

Financial Lessons for Parents from 'Downsized'

In the season premiere of reality-television show "Downsized," which airs Tuesday, things are looking up for the Bruce-Rumsey family of nine. In an interview with The Price of Fame, family members tell us they've made mistakes. Here's what you can learn from their story.

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Laundry Budget

Doing the laundry is bad enough without having to spend a pretty penny on energy and detergent. Here are five tips on how to keep the chore from taking your wallet to the cleaners.

Moms' Best Back-to-School Savings Tips

As the new school year approaches, families head to the shops for new supplies. But the back-to-school shopping season can be hard on the wallet. Follow these money-saving tips from moms across the country and you'll have plenty of cash left for apples for the teacher.

Where Do You Go for Cash in a Pinch?

Most Americans may need to save more money for emergencies. A poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that less than half of Americans say they would turn to their savings accounts when hit with an unexpected bill.

Before Market Slide, Americans Were Losing Confidence

Even before the latest stock-market plunge, U.S. consumer confidence was already sliding downward, according to a Fannie Mae survey released Monday. Some 70% of respondents say the economy is heading in the wrong direction.

10 Financial Planning Tips for New Parents

The stork has arrived, bringing a beautiful baby girl or boy into your life. It also brought a ready-made drain on your wallet. The list of costs is seemingly endless: diapers, health care, child care, education, clothing, and much more. Here are some family-planning tips to keep your finances from interfering in the joy of parenting.

Financial Tradeoffs Parents are Making for Their Families

Every parent knows that children aren't cheap. The average cost of raising a family has grown higher than ever, and parents are making some sacrifices to pay it. Here are some of the common tradeoffs new mothers and fathers are making.

Will Your Finances Be Better in 2012? Most Think Not

When it comes to the the state of their family finances, Americans seem to be moving toward the "acceptance" stage. Some of us think our own household scenarios will get better in the coming year, some of us dread things getting worse, but mostly, we expect more of the same.

Obama's Balanced Approach to the (Household) Budget

During an impromptu drop-in at a conference of personal finance writers, President Obama was asked: How does he approach his own household finances? His response was timeless, irrefutable, and not quite consistent with his prescription for the federal government.

Gas Prices Drain U.S. Consumers' Tax-Cut Savings

Americans are earning and spending more, but a lot of the extra money is going down their gas tanks. Gas prices have drained more than half the extra cash Americans are getting this year from a cut in Social Security taxes.

How Being Too Cheap Can Cost You a Fortune

Being frugal is smart, and these days, it's fashionable too. Sometimes, though, it just doesn't make sense to be a Scrooge: Going too far in your attempts to save can have financial consequences that leave you significantly worse off. Here are nine ways you shouldn't cut corners.

How to Avoid Making Dumb Money Mistakes

Even the smartest people can be dumb about money. Do you find yourself accumulating credit-card debt for goodies you don't really need -- and failing to plan for retirement?

Consumers Are Finding Cash for 'Small Luxuries'

As the economy improves, Americans have begun splurging again. But they're limiting their indulgences to haircuts, casual dining and coffee, while continuing to forego many bigger expenditures, like vacations and dining at expensive restaurants.

Why Jobs are Essential to the Economy

Americans who are unemployed or underemployed are three times as likely to fall behind on their bills as those who are fully employed, according to a Gallup Poll released Tuesday.

Surviving an Accidental Retirement

Lots of folks have reached retirement by surprise, thanks to the Great Recession. So, if you're scrambling to come up with a Plan B and plug the financial gap created by an unexpectedly early end to your career, here are some good ideas.

What Recovery? Most Americans See Worse Times Ahead

In a nationwide survey conducted by Marist College, that 53% of those polled think the U.S. will see more economic hardship ahead. Eight percent were unsure, while 39% felt the worst of the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis had come and gone.