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.
Thanksgiving is sometimes known as the “season of plenty,” a celebration associated with a bountiful fall harvest. But Thanksgiving also serves as a reminder that “bounty” can quickly turn into “waste” when it comes to cooking more food than your hungry holiday crowd can possibly eat, and then dumping what’s left in the trash can. In fact, according to an article in U.S. News and World Report, Americans end up throwing away about 25 percent of the food they prepare on this feast day.
Have you noticed how more and more of your grocery budget is spent on meat these days? If so, you’re not alone, and for good reason: Meat prices are rising faster than any other food group, with the price of beef, pork, poultry and fish all recently reaching record highs. The price of ground beef, for example, is up more than 75 percent in just the past five years. That’s enough to give a cheapskate like me a grocery shopping phobia.
When you write about personal finance for a living, lots of folks ask for your advice about their own money issues and problems. That places me in a difficult position because, while I’d like to help, in many cases there are just too many variables when it comes to offering good financial advice to people I barely know. And then there’s the “How dare you!” factor. That’s especially common when you primarily give advice about the spending side of people’s finances, like I do.
I always find it interesting when something that’s been around for generations is rediscovered and gains new levels of popularity simply because it has a new name. That’s the case with “upcycling.” It’s the practice of taking would-be throwaway items and, rather than just recycling them back into raw materials, transforming them into something new and different, something more “upscale” than the original.
It's the kind of news story that makes national headlines every year or two: A person of seemingly modest means secretly amasses a small (or not so small) fortune while leading a frugal lifestyle, only to reveal that wealth by giving it all away to charity.
Renting a car during the holiday season may come with more fees than you bargained for. Municipal fees, airport surcharges and other unexpected costs could ultimately jack up the price from what seemed like a good deal.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, seems to be starting earlier every year. First we saw stores opening to hordes of shoppers at 4 a.m. Friday, then at 3 a.m., a few years back. Now some big-box retailers aren't even waiting that long. They're opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, hoping families will eat and run to the nearest mall.
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