Thinking Money Over the Holidays

The PBS documentary Thinking Money: The Psychology Behind Our Best and Worst Financial Decisions probably won’t take root as a holiday tradition like gathering the family round to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. But it’s sure to be a worthwhile reprieve from binge-watching A Christmas Story and other holiday TV classics. For more information on when Thinking Money is airing and to watch short clips from the show, check out this website. >> Discussion: What would you do with a …

Gift Ideas for Tiny Grandchildren — and Their Parents

Buying adorable little presents for adorable little grandchildren is a cinch. What’s harder is ferreting out those genuinely useful items that will make life easier for the kiddos and their parents. With only nine shopping days left till Christmas, I asked six new moms of my acquaintance what they’d most like to receive this season — either for themselves or their kids. Right from the mama horses’ mouths, here are some great gift ideas you might not have thought of. >> Get travel discounts with …

6 ‘Other’ Credit Card Protections

Think you’re safer paying with cash? Not always. For instance, holiday shopping means mall pickpockets are on the prowl. Despite reports of data breaches at retailers including Target, Home Depot and others, don’t shelve your credit cards just yet. Compared with debit cards, you’ll have fewer hassles and less liability should your card be used fraudulently. For certain purchases, credit cards are better than debit cards and cash because of other, lesser-known protections. These policies vary by card type and provider, so ask about your specific coverage: Extended return policies. Many retailers …

Season’s Cheatings! Get Wise to Holiday Shopping Scams

Black Friday has kicked off the official holiday shopping season, so here’s a rundown of the most common scams aimed at shoppers — and how you can avoid them: The name game Scammer-run websites use the names of popular items and retailers to steal credit card and password information or deliver malware. You’re led to them when you do online keyword searches, including terms like “discount toys.” >> Top Seasonal Scams to Avoid Search away to compare prices, but before you click …

Shop ‘Small’ for the Holidays

As the holidays approach, owners of “mom and pop” stores want to remind shoppers in pursuit of the perfect gift to support local businesses. Small Business Saturday is the kickoff to the holiday shopping season for independently owned businesses, which include restaurants, bakeries, bookstores and other merchants. This year it falls on Nov. 29, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. >> Best Ways to Spend $200 The event was developed to encourage consumers to back America’s …

Director Ron Howard and Wife Hold Online ‘Garage Sale’

If you want to sell all that stuff you’ve accumulated over the years, you probably think about having a yard or garage sale. But when celebrities pile up on random odds and ends, where do they turn? On the heels of selling their 32-acre estate in Armonk, N.Y., for the asking price of $27.5 million, director Ron Howard and his wife, Cheryl, decided to sell lots of their furniture and furnishings through One King’s Lane, a high-end home shopping website, at prices …