How to Be Reunited With Your Long-Lost Money

Are you owed money you don’t even know about? You might be, if your name is in an unclaimed property database. Each year, billions of dollars from forgotten security deposits, refunds, uncashed paychecks and even old bank accounts are reported to state agencies. And each year, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, an organization affiliated with state … Continue reading


Feeling Out of Control? These Money Moves Could Help

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely and his colleagues at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight have a pact. Every week, the group of 50 people picks one small business in Durham, North Carolina, and each person spends $100 there. A one-time $5,000 infusion wouldn’t make a difference to Amazon, Costco or any other large retailer, but it could be enough to … Continue reading


Can You Have Too Much Credit?

People who care about their credit scores tend to obsess about some things they probably shouldn’t, such as the possibility they might have too much credit. Let’s bust that myth right upfront: The leading credit scoring formulas, FICO and VantageScore, don’t punish people for having too many accounts. And right now, having access to credit could be a lifeline. In … Continue reading


Is That ‘Contact Tracer’ Really a Scammer? How to Tell

If you’re contacted about possible exposure to the coronavirus, make sure it’s legit. Scammers are masquerading as contact tracers, and it’s smart to verify calls or texts before giving out any information. A tracer’s job is to help contain the pandemic by reaching out to people who may be spreading the coronavirus. You could be called because your test was … Continue reading


How to Organize Important Documents Simply and Safely

Tax filing deadlines inspire many of us to vow that we’re finally going to organize our papers. Start with understanding what should be kept, in what format and for how long. Then, set up a system to organize your records. It doesn’t have to be all-encompassing or perfect — just start where you are. Organizing will not only make next … Continue reading


Financial Lessons We’ve Learned While Staying at Home

Shelter in place. Lockdown. Quarantine. Whatever you call it, it’s been a few months since the COVID-19 pandemic taught us what staying home for an extended period of time actually looks and feels like. These are unprecedented times. And although things are unpredictable right now, we can control our ability to emerge from this challenge differently than we entered it. “Like everything … Continue reading


How ‘Maximizers’ Can Cut Decision-Making Angst

No one wants to waste money, but some of us go overboard trying to get the best possible deal. I have spent nearly as much time researching which hiking socks to buy as I have choosing a new car. Others of my species — we’re called “maximizers” — might miss locking in a good mortgage interest rate while waiting for … Continue reading


How to Plan and Budget for DIY Projects Now

Did you find yourself cooped up during the pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders, blankly staring at the walls of your house, longing for more? Maybe you wanted to travel or go out to dinner with friends. Or maybe you just wanted a fresh coat of paint on that wall. If you found yourself in the latter camp, you had company: When the … Continue reading


Scaling Back Spending Yields Unexpected Benefits

When I originally set out to write this column, I wanted to share the unexpected benefits of cutting back on my online shopping habit. At the beginning of the year, I set a personal challenge to reduce my online orders from several times a week (insert embarrassed emoji) to a few times a month. As time passed, I realized I … Continue reading


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