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We play the radio, listen to CDs or enjoy audio books. Many of us talk on our cell phones and, if our observations over the years are any indication, some motorists apply their makeup, shave and even catch up on their reading while stuck in traffic.
Coupons that require the purchase of two or more items continue to plague or delight my readers, depending on a person’s perspective. When readers complain about having to buy two or more of an item, others have responded with ideas – everything from, “It’s good to have one extra on hand,” t…
The Home Affordable Refinance Program has evolved since its introduction in 2009. With some real estate pros calling for yet another iteration, we take a look back at how the program helps underwater homeowners
The redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 leverages aluminum to minimize weight and boost its fuel economy, but without sacrificing utility.
The majority of my reader mail comes from consumers, but I always enjoy hearing from people who work on the “front lines” of where we consumers spend a lot of our time – the supermarket. This week, I’ve got two emails to share with stories from the checkout lanes:
A real estate transaction is a two-way street. Knowing how to best communicate with your agent will make their job easier, and make the process of buying or selling home a lot smoother
Kia’s Soul gets a makeover for 2014 that adds both style and substance to this already endearing compact hatchback
Remodeling magazine's annual project report ranks with home improvement efforts pay off.
No topic that I’ve written about in this column has generated more reader responses than the topic of product shrinkage. While I primarily focus on coupon savings, product shrinkage is also of concern to any shopper that wants to maximize her dollars. So, if you’ll indulge me for yet another…
The laws of physics dictate that, all else being equal, a larger and heavier vehicle will always fare better in a crash than will a smaller and lighter one. For years, automotive engineers have been fairly successful at rewriting the rules by taking out bulk from cars to save fuel economy wh…
As a frugal shopper, I’m always closely watching my grocery budget. When I plan a shopping trip, I know roughly what my pre-tax, post-coupon total should be before I get anywhere near the checkout lane. This is helpful when coupons don’t scan correctly or worse, when an item I buy scans at a…
An appraisal is an important yet tricky-to-navigate part of the real estate process. Ensure you’re getting a fair quote with these expert tips
A leading classic car insurer looks into its crystal ball to predict which of today’s new vehicles could become valued collectibles down the road
I’ve long advocated stocking up on the products we consume most often in order to save money. When you have a reserve on hand, you’re never forced to pay full price for a bottle of laundry detergent, can of vegetables or box of cereal.
Some resources will give you plenty of data on a potential agent, but numbers alone don’t give the full story when it comes to agent performance
Picking a car that pollutes less can also minimize the cost of a fill-up.
Recently implemented laws from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are designed to protect borrowers.
My recent column on “coupon fairies” – people who leave unwanted coupons on store shelves for others to pick up ¬– generated a lot of comments from readers and retailers alike. Not surprisingly, the store employees that wrote in were grateful that the issue of unwanted coupons littering shel…
New-car shoppers can save big money by choosing a model that’s most affordable to own in terms of depreciation, fuel costs and other factors
Ford introduces the all-new Ford F-150, the reinvention of America's favorite truck. It is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever -- setting the standard for the future of trucks.
Q: We’ve got a beautiful old Mustang we drive only about 3,000 miles a year, usually for a couple of long trips. The tires have only 30,000 miles on them, but they’re nine or 10 years old. Is that a problem?
Renting out a property has the potential to be a lucrative endeavor, but there are many to-do’s to cross off your list before you start taking in tenants
Car shopping is a numbers game, but few motorists know what a vehicle’s specifications really mean
Q: We’ve been trying to impress on our son the importance of being much less sloppy when he’s jumpstarting his friends’ cars. He’s not especially detail oriented, and we’ve told him it’s possible to injure himself or someone else badly if he doesn’t slow down and make sure the jumper cables …
Staging often is called upon to help a for-sale home fetch a higher price, but a new study says it doesn’t make as much of a difference as we’ve come to believe
Choosing a model that can run farther on a tank of gas – or one that can avoid the pump altogether – can help save cash and the environment.
Q: We’re looking at the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and we’re enthusiastic about it, but we’re afraid that all the bad press about the redesign will spoil its resale value in five or six years. What do you think?
Do you have a special ritual or method for getting through the checkout lane in a speedy manner? Some of my readers do, and I found many of their tips so thoughtful and clever that I’m going to share some this week.
Depending on who’s looking, your home may have just the thing that today’s homebuyers’ desires. Here are the features that buyers must have to close the deal — and they might be right inside your home
Turbocharged, supercharged, diesel and electric powerplants dominate the list of ‘best new-car engines’ for 2014.
Q: It seems to me that there’s an exorbitant amount of attention given to compact SUVs compared to sedans and other types of vehicles that appear, when I’m driving around town, to be a lot more popular. So tell me. What percentage of vehicles that are sold every year fall into that compact S…
Coupons that require the purchase of multiple items seem to be the bane of many of my readers’ shopping experiences. As a mother of three, multiple purchases are part of my stock-up strategy each week, but some shoppers are less than thrilled with having to buy more than one of something.
A picture may tell a thousand words, but a well-produced, marketed video of a home for sale can lead to a faster sale worth thousands more. That’s the belief among many real estate professionals who continue to urge their clients to use the power of video to help buy or sell a property.
Don’t expect to see much in the way of discounts on what are thus far the most popular models of the year
Q: We have a law in our city against “puffing” – a term they use for starting your car and leaving it running in the driveway to warm it up (and that’s something that we all like to do during these sub-zero days). I can’t imagine we’re the only place in the country where puffing is illegal a…
Is couponing easier in the city, the suburbs or rural areas? As a suburbanite who lives in Chicagoland, I have to argue that couponing usually is easiest in the suburbs, particularly if you live within a radius of a major city. Why? Shopping options tend to be plentiful, with several superma…
With the growth in home equity, it can be tempting to borrow more. Learn more about what this means for your finances
Though most are priced higher than comparable gas-only models, several hybrid cars can prove to be more cost effective over a typical ownership period
Q: We’re in the very early stages of researching for a new car purchase next year, and are hearing GM’s OnStar will be in Volkswagens soon. What do you know about that?
Recently, a supermarket chain in my area announced that it was closing its doors, and the stores would reduce everything to 50 percent off. As you can imagine, my blog readers at JillCataldo.com were pretty excited about the opportunity to pick up groceries at great prices, busily discussing…
As big banks stay stingy with mortgage money, small community banks fill in the gaps
Q: My mother-in-law is a good and cautious driver. But she has begun having trouble, due to a failing left knee, getting out of her car. Any suggestions?
Depreciation is typically one of a motorist’s largest ownership expenses and it pays off down the road to choose a model that’s predicted to have the highest resale value in its class.
What’s a “coupon fairy?” Coupon fairies are people who leave unneeded coupons in the store for others to find. Do you do this? As it turns out, some of my readers do.
The three L’s of real estate are giving way to three S’s
I heard from a reader regarding my recent rant against hideously self-absorbed drivers who ignore traffic rules and put the rest of us at risk. This gentleman put forth a different point of view, and one that I hear (different words/same message) often lately:
The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a stylish and comfortable five-passenger crossover SUV, with solid on- and off-road capabilities and a long list of high-tech options
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