Michelle Singletary

Personal Finance Books are the Gift That Keeps Giving

By Michelle Singletary, Posted December 8th, 2014

Every year, someone asks me what financial books I recommend as holiday gifts to teach children or young adults about money, to help somebody prepare for retirement — or for someone who is trifling with his or her money.

Let’s be honest, not many people are going to exclaim... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

Gift Cards No Longer Seen as Presents From The Lazy

By Michelle Singletary, Posted December 2nd, 2014

My husband and I were talking with our children about what they wanted for Christmas. All of them are in their teens, and any pretense of Santa has long been gone. The holiday has now become their chance to break down our frugal barriers.
But we do love to hear their squeals of delight... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

There’s Always a Catch With ‘No Interest’ Offers

By Michelle Singletary, Posted November 24th, 2014

We have become a nation charmed by offers that something might be free. Especially when it comes to credit.

Let’s look at the offers many consumers will receive as they shop for the holidays. Professionals call these promotions “deferred interest plans.” But more... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

Sometimes, It Pays More to Rent Your Roof Than Own It

By Michelle Singletary, Posted November 14th, 2014

For as long as I can remember, homeownership has been a home run on the American Dream scorecard.

When I graduated from college, my grandmother gave me two choices — live with her or buy a home. In her mind, to rent meant I was a failure financially.

“When you rent, you... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

As the Holiday Shopping Season Approaches, Learn to Spend Wisely

By Michelle Singletary, Posted November 5th, 2014

We, the anti-consumerists, are losing the battle to curtail the consumerism that drives America, especially during the holiday season.

Again this year, major retailers are leaping over one another in an effort to be the first to open early on Thanksgiving Day — before... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

The Many Perils of Student Debt

By Michelle Singletary, Posted October 30th, 2014

Someone said to me that I make too big a deal of student loan debt.

I heard similar comments before the housing crisis. We now know how that turned out.

Next month, thousands of college graduates will see an end to their six-month loan grace period and will have to start making payments. Many will easily... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

With the Gyrations in the Stock Market, is it Still Important to Invest?

By Michelle Singletary, Posted October 24th, 2014

Fears of a major and long-lasting crash in the stock market have been replaced — for now — by news about the Ebola virus. Nonetheless, the recent turbulent run has some people concerned about their investment holdings.

“There was more market volatility... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

Small Steps Can Lead to Big Financial Changes

By Michelle Singletary, Posted October 7th, 2014

Seeing decorations popping up everywhere reminds me of one of my favorite songs from the television feature “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.”

A young Kris Kringle is trying to help the mean old Winter Warlock change his wicked ways. Kringle sings, “Put one foot in front... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

Financial Advice on How to Improve Your Credit Score

By Michelle Singletary, Posted September 11th, 2014

There are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score.

Say that to yourself three times a day until you stop trying to figure out or waste good money searching for an easy fix to boosting your creditworthiness.

I say this because I was taking calls from some radio listeners recently... READ MORE

Michelle Singletary

Headache-Free Retirement Planning

By Michelle Singletary, Posted September 9th, 2014

Every time one of my children says, “Back in your day,” I wince.

After watching an old black-and-white sitcom, my son actually asked me if there was color television back in my day. His sisters thought it was funny. Me? Not so much.

I will say this. Back in the day, retirement was a lot less... READ MORE