Recent content from Kara McGuire
Beware of the resurgence of credit card offers in the mail. Some may be good deals, but some can be deceptively risky.
I’m fine with the fact that there’s only so much money. That there’s only so much time? Well, that’s another story. I’m continually struggling…
Tax time presents a telling picture of your money situation.
The financial planning model has been shifting in recent years as new entrants, new pricing structures and new technologies evolve to offer advice to the masses.
Parting words from the Star Tribune's personal finance columnist.
If you're like many Americans, saving more tops your resolutions list. Here's a look at some incentives to keep savers on track.
How to craft a thoughtful charitable giving plan.
Robyn Schein of the Minneapolis Foundation says many people tend to have their charitable priorities all mixed up, supporting other people's passions through workplace fundraisers and charitable events before they fund the causes or issues they care about most. Here's a breakdown:
Judge said she hopes Hecker's ostensible wife finds respect for law while behind bars.
Nonprofit foreclosure counselors can help homeowners postpone sheriff's sales and navigate the loan modification process. Nonprofit financial counselors also can meet with strapped consumers to explore debt-payoff options. Knowing that, if you're still looking at for-profit companies in those fields, or hoping to hire a lawyer specializing in debt-settlement or foreclosures, consider:
Laws intended to protect financially strapped consumers from greedy scammers have tightened since the recession. But there are still ways for bad actors to find ways to keep doing business.
But Steve Leuthold says it's the time to buy. He steps back from the fray and offers words of wisdom learned from a 50 year career.
The McDonough family of Lindstrom found a financial program that motivated them and never looked back.
Created by best-selling author and radio show host Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University is a 13-week program offered mostly by churches to help congregation members pay off debt, create a budget, save for emergencies and build toward tithing 10 percent.
Why I'll do more holiday shopping at small businesses this year.
There are lots of ways to avoid running up your credit cards during the holiday season - if you plan ahead.
Big banks want to make up lost revenue, blaming regulatory changes. They've already got a few ideas of what they might do.
Colleges are now required to have a price calculator online. But when it come to paying for higher education, nothing is simple.
They can be hard to find. Start by looking on the financial aid or admissions pages. If your search for a "net price calculator'' comes up empty, try looking for a "financial aid estimator'' or a "college cost calculator.''
Misappropriation of a minor's Social Security number can be hard to detect through credit checks.
Here's how to contact the three credit bureaus:
Why some businesses charge longtime customers more than new ones, and what we can do about it.
Many parents need to set aside funds for retirement and other long-term needs.
From required courses to college credit, Minnesota districts are finding ways to teach teens about money.
You can switch your IRA to a Roth IRA and back again with this forgiving strategy.
A Roth conversion: When you take an IRA and convert it into a Roth, paying taxes today with the assumption that waiting to pay taxes…
Nowadays, women increasingly regard themselves as their family's "chief financial officer."
WOMEN AND MONEY • On average, women outlive men by three to four years. • Three in 10 women and two in 10 men age…
A down housing market can make it tougher to refinance a mortgage. Examine a way to jump the hurdles and evaluate whether refinancing makes sense.
If you're looking into a refinance, here are five things to take into account:
Carol Stack thought most financial aid books weren't helpful to families. So she wrote her own.
"I'm getting tired of this," said David Chalupnik, head of equities for Nuveen Asset Management, when I asked him to explain the latest series of erratic stock market moves.
Economists and average Minnesota citizens wonder if we're headed into the Great Recession, Part II.
Budgets shouldn't just keep track of day-to-day spending. They should be a holistic tool that takes care of future goals too.
An essay winner from Plymouth started picking up lessons in investing early -- and is sharing the wisdom. Plymouth 18-year-old wins national contest for his essay on investing.
Here are essay winner Jack Alexander's five tips for budding investors:
Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a 1,012-person telephone poll in July about the new bureau. The findings:
Finally there's a sharp-toothed government watchdog for consumers, on the lookout for the types of shenanigans that contributed to the financial crisis
When interest rates get too low, eyes turn to equity income.
The following nine Minnesota companies have conservative payout ratios and a history of at least 25 years of consistently increasing dividends. Dividend yield is annual dividends per share as a percentage of the share price. Payout ratio is the percentage of the firm's earnings that are paid to shareholders as dividends.
Who doesn't like to save a buck. But at what cost?
Jaki Gardner, a career insurance regulator, took her expertise from Minnesota to Haiti to help rebuild its insurance system post-earthquake.
Want to use coupons without being rude? Here's a compilation of coupon dos and don'ts from Kara McGuire. Send your own tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I posted that question on Twitter. Here are some of the responses:
Prepaid cards now appeal to the mainstream, as more Americans get used to living with less, or with blemished credit.
Curious about prepaid cards but concerned about fees?
But it takes many people devoted to a common goal, regardless of the title on their business cards, to be leaders and to make something great.
You've found your match. But are you a financial fit? Time to talk money.
Insurance, income, investing and loans. It's time for college graduates to get on top of their finances.
The U.S. Department of Education has issued new rules that require public and private colleges that offer career education to prove that they are preparing students for "gainful employment" or risk losing funding.
Who better to ask about college costs than graduates?
Fidelity Investments asked college graduates to rank the importance of financial advice geared toward high school students hoping to attend college. Here's what the class of 2011 had to say:
A money course for hairstylists teaches principles that benefit commissioned employees from all sorts of fields.
To find out if your mortgage is a Fannie Mae loan, visit www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup or call 1-800-7FANNIE.
If you have a car, you must buy gas. Here are some ways to pay less for fuel.
Wallet empty? You can get fee-free cash if you follow these steps.
Here's a sampling of ATM fees from some of the largest banks and credit unions in Minnesota.
Compare financial aid offers from various schools: apps.collegeboard.com/fincalc/compare_aid.jsp
Does your college financial aid award fall short? Don't be afraid to ask 'Is this it?'
Filing taxes is much easier if you don't wait to get organized.
Debit card issuers that offered a loyalty program in 2009, up from 53 percent in 2008.
Debit rewards programs are going under the knife. But customers can find rewards for doing business most everywhere they turn.
Dwindling summer job opportunities make finding a position a difficult job.
Age: 22 Job: Merchandise planning business analyst for Target (started on June 9) Salary: $48,000 What do you do? As a merchandise planning business analyst,…
There are effective and low-cost ways to monitor your credit accounts.
8.1 million -- The number of U.S. adult victims of identity fraud in 2010.
The number of Minnesotans who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit has been growing over the past several years. Here's a breakdown for the seven-county metro area:
Here's where we stand one year after the credit card reform went into effect.
Most of the layoffs take place outside of Minnesota; earnings guidance raised.
Expert advice on celebrating Valentine's Day in a way that pays dividends.
It's a sign that consumers are putting the thaw on spending freezes they implemented during the Great Recession.
TurboTax offers iPhone and Android application for 1040EZ users.
Investors should be heartened by news that a new standard for regulating financial advisers is closer to reality. However, it's not in place yet, so customers must remain vigilant and ask questions.
Job, mortgage woes led more residents to bankruptcy court. More Minnesotans struggling to pay the mortgage and live without a job are heading to bankruptcy court.