“Do your research in advance, have a short list and test-drive all of them,” he said. Tell the dealer that you’re not buying yet, to help reduce pressure. For a three-day weekend, Mr. Jones suggested narrowing your list to two or three models by Saturday. Test-drive the cars on Sunday, then buy — if you’re…
SEATTLE — Personal finance professionals live too often in the realm of tools and tactics, optimization and automation. All too frequently, their advice — our advice — is utterly bloodless. Gaby Dunn, Chanel Reynolds and Vicki Robin are not everyday personal finance practitioners. Ms. Dunn and Ms. Reynolds use vulgarities in the subtitles of their…
“This is a lot like a duck swimming in a pond,” said Ryan Ellis, a tax lobbyist in Washington and a former tax policy director at Americans for Tax Reform, who is helping to lead the push for the capital gains change. “All the real action is happening underneath the surface.” If the administration took…
“I don’t look at it as if there’s now this extra pot of money,” said Mr. Pearl. “The pot of money is just now somewhat larger than it might otherwise have been.” To drive home his point, Mr. Pearl used an analogy Mr. Schultz might appreciate. “If the Starbucks guy gives you an extra cup…
The tax preparers at H&R Block had to take a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training. They listened to a mock exchange between an employee and a customer whose refund would not just shrink but disappear. The fictitious client had received a $1,500 refund last year, but this year would…
To put it simply, the more hours you spend on an activity, the more value you’ll get from spending money on ways to improve it. That’s not to say that temporary things are bad. Getting a massage might only take an hour and last the day, but it’s still a nice treat every once in…
Unequal divisions of estates are often just an extension of how parents treated their children while the parents were alive. But without them around to explain their actions, their children are left to create their own stories, which can deepen an existing rivalry. When it comes to the estate itself — often a mix of…
Dollar is also lowering the age restriction on debit card rentals, to 20 from 25, to match the requirement in place for renting with a credit card. Some debit card restrictions remain, however. The company will still require proof of return travel plans and two forms of identification for rentals booked with a debit card…
When Alankrutha Giridhar boarded her flight on Monday, she was understandably more concerned with finding overhead luggage space than meeting her seatmate. Then she got a closer look at his face. “When I sat next to him, I was like, ‘I’m 100 percent sure it’s him,’” Ms. Giridhar said, “but I didn’t want to prod…
“It’s fun, rather than a struggle,” she said. Ms. Finn said that while cutting back on nonessentials might sound dull, “it’s all about getting creative.” Last year, the Winter Olympics were on television in February, so the couple watched at home and played games like “countertop curling,” using ice cubes. Ms. Finn and her husband…