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How That ‘Free’ Flight Cost Me $1,400

It’s easy to love free things, and of all the freebies that tempt us, none make a wandering spirit more weak in the knees than the promise of free airfare. It’s about a million degrees below zero in Chicago for the third straight week, and I'd lov … [Read more...]

Before You Move, Consider This: Where You Choose to Live Has a Surprising Impact on How Rich You Feel

Over the summer, I traveled to Bend, Ore. with my wife and kids to scout it out as a possible place to live. I had lots of good reasons for doing this, starting with the weather: In Chicago, we’re slogging through another horrid winter. Bend, by c … [Read more...]

One in 5 Americans Have Credit Report Errors That Are Easily Fixed; Isn’t it Time to Check Yours?

The whole business of navigating credit reports proves tricky for a number of reasons -- starting with the fact that you don’t have one credit bureau to worry about, but three. Imagine if you had to talk to three auto mechanics before you could get y … [Read more...]

Why – After 29 Years – I’m Cutting my Favorite Credit Card in Half

Had I tried to write this post three months ago—when my anger over a credit card company slight reached full boil—it would’ve turned into a train wreck. Now that I’ve had time to cool off and reflect, I’m giving it my best shot, because my story serve … [Read more...]

My Millionaire Friend Offers the Best Advice You’ll Get All Year

I had planned to write a column about credit scores until my friend Pete called me earlier in the week and asked me to meet him at his office. After our meeting, I knew I had to share with you what he told me. Pete (not his real name) is a close … [Read more...]

Is The Payday Loan Industry’s Bad Rep Deserved? Clients Say: ‘We Know What We’re Getting Into’

Sometimes, payday can't come fast enough. As someone who derives income as a freelancer, the game that many clients play goes something like this: “Get my work done, like, yesterday! And as for your check, our terms are 90 days net, unless the p … [Read more...]

A Target-sized Data Breach Will Happen Again; 11 Ways to Protect Yourself

A few days before Christmas, I hit a Chicago Target and bought “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures,” a Wii U game for my son. The half-price sale proved too good to resist, but only up to a point. Nothing short of a gun to my head could’ve compelled m … [Read more...]

Survey Finds Most Americans are Delusional About Their Money — Are You?

More than half of Americans 25 and older give the average American a failing grade when it comes to their knowledge of saving and investing according to a survey by Genworth Financial. Respondents (whose average annual income is $50,000 or higher) … [Read more...]

Get the Most Money for Your Used Phone

We the People — at least the tech-savvy ones — crossed an invisible line in 2013. It didn’t get much coverage, but ultimately it will prove more historic than the government shutdown, twerking and the Red Sox winning the World Series combined. Curio … [Read more...]

Are You a Compulsive Shopper? Here’s How to Spot it and Stop it

Like a 500-foot inflatable Santa chucking gadget-filled, diamond-trimmed stockings to all good little iBoys and iGirls, Black Friday is nearly here. So, should I be psyched? I’m not. Actually I’m worried, though this has nothing to do with lan … [Read more...]