personal finance

igor kislev / Flickr/CC

Of all the difficult conversations between parents and children, talking about money may be the one parents are the least prepared for. This, despite the constant stream of financial news and data all around us. We talk with New York Times columnist Ron Lieber about where parents should draw the line between educating their children about money and unnecessarily involving them in the financial stress of an adult life.

Guest:

In a new book called “Saved”, author Ben Hewitt explores a different way of looking at wealth. Rather than dwelling on monetary standards and what can be lost financially, Hewitt writes through experience of what can be gained when we prioritize personal relationships, community cooperation, and connectedness to the environment.

Guest:

  • Ben Hewitt - Vermont based author. His new book is called "Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World"
Bryan Costin via flickr Creative Commons

How much tip do you typically leave for your server when you dine out? Maybe 20% if the service is good? 18% if you can do the math? The New York Post reported last year that many diners in that city leave a 25% to even 30% gratuity to their bill. Tipping is meant to incentivize and reward exceptional service, but a new movement proposes that the quest for the mighty tip is at the root of some problems in the restaurant industry. Bruce McAdams is a seasoned restauranteur and professor leading the Sustainable Restaurant Project at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada…he gave a Ted-X talk last year on the problems with restaurant tipping.

John-Morgan via flickr Creative Commons

Since its introduction in 1861, “Tax Day” has loomed as a day of inevitable fiscal obligation. As the 15th of April approaches, stresses related to tax filings inevitably ramp up. To some, tax burdens may become too much to shoulder, leading to filings for extensions or an uncomfortable loss of funds. However, yearly tax payments can result in an even more uncomfortable reality – damage to your credit. Here to discuss how Uncle Sam affects your credit score is Gerri Detweiler, credit.com’s personal finance expert.

Tax Day 2012 is looming — and after we file our returns, many of us will try to figure out what to do with the seemingly innocuous but possibly crucial documents we use to prepare our returns. Filing electronically can make those records easier to manage. But what should we really keep, and for how long?

Most experts recommend holding on to financial records for three years after they're used in a tax return — that's the amount of time the IRS has to audit taxpayers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it's looking to overhaul rules on overdraft fees. The new agency will be seeking data from banks about how they handle overdrawn accounts, and how they assess fees. The agency plans to use this information to help consumers limit their exposure to these costly charges.

The CFPB estimates that last year, banks made between $15 billion and $22 billion from overdraft fees.

One of the key consequences of the economic collapse a few years ago was the passage of a massive piece of legislation called the "Dodd-Frank Act." The bill was co-sponsored by (now-retired) Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut and (soon-to-be-retired) Democratic Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank.

In their books, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama's boys. Those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — are now coming to the radio, with Dubner as host.

(Photo by Eifachfilm Vacirca via Flickr Creative Commons)

Back in the mid-2000's, peer to peer lending web sites like Prosper and Lending Club bet that ordinary people could take the place of banks. The business model was both daring and consistent with the hyper-connected internet culture. The idea was that people who needed loans could connect with investors willing to bet on getting paid back with a little interest. Prosper’s faith in crowd-sourcing replacing traditional risk-assessment tools used by banks turned out to be a mistake.

Tammy Green, courtesy Flickr

 

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I've heard of the slow food movement, but what is “slow money” all about?
                                                                                                                    -- Phil Nimkoff, New York, NY

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4864672208/in/photostream/" target="blank">jimmywayne</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

The phrase “first in the nation” is the shorthand we use for talking about the New Hampshire presidential primary coming before any other.

New Hampshire is first among states in other ways, too. Some are good – like having the lowest rate of child poverty among states. Some are not so good – like having the highest student debt load in America.