household spending

Waiting to Inherit: Not a Sound 'Financial Plan'

An estimated two-thirds of baby boomer households will receive an inheritance at some point, with a median amount of $64,000, according to an AARP study. I recently received an email from a reader who has fallen deeply into debt in anticipation of her legacy -- and is now worried that her bailout may not be at hand:

How to Dig Yourself Out of Credit Card Debt

U.S. credit card debt shrank 5% in the second quarter from a year ago, approaching 10-year lows. It's not just due to banks, which have written off uncollectible debts. Consumers have been taking control of their finances, tightening their belts and working second jobs to pay off their credit card bills.

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.

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.

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 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.