Since the 1950s, American television has acted as a mirror, reflecting the style and speech of the times. And no current series reflects TV back on itself like Marvel’s deeply meta WandaVision. (Stop now if you care about spoilers!) The superhero vehicle follows Wanda Maximoff and Vision, probably the oddest of all the odd couples in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as they settle into a seemingly sitcom-perfect marriage in the suburb of Westview, New Jersey. …

Three decades of writing about personal finance have taught me to bob and weave with the ever-changing economic times. While most of the core advice I give about saving for the future and sidestepping the pitfalls of debt is evergreen, some other advice needs tweaking as our world — financial and otherwise — evolves. One recent example? I’m a huge proponent of using cash to help teach kids about how money is tangible and finite, but a year into the pandemic, that suggestion now comes with a bit more baggage.

One thing that seems to change as often as the…

As a personal finance writer for three decades (and a proud English major), I have always been curious about the link between money and language. So I was excited that my parents’ new book, So to Speak: 11,000 Expressions That’ll Knock Your Socks Off, included a chapter with more than 200 expressions related to money matters — from “bang for your buck” to “worth diddly squat.” These financial turns of phrase got me thinking: Where do they come from? Some research led me, surprisingly, to an obscure 16th-century guide to agriculture — think Get a Financial Life on the Farm

Royalty is having a moment in America, thanks in part to a pair of hit Netflix series. The historical drama The Crown and the romantic romp Bridgerton serve up royal relationships, rigid class strata, and (most important) palace intrigue — perfect escapist viewing for dispiriting times. It turns out that my parents were on-trend when they devoted an entire chapter to royal expressions in their new book, So to Speak: 11,000 Expressions That’ll Knock Your Socks Off. From drama queen to king’s ransom to royal pain, these phrases come in handy when we’re looking to fancy something up (an emperor’s…

One of the precious few positives in this year of isolation and unrest has been that many of us have reconnected with domestic life in a way our great-grandparents would recognize. We’re learning how to bake bread, knit matching scarves for the entire family, and finally build those garden beds.

One other throwback pastime has made a serious comeback: word games. And it turns out, this resurgence may be helping us and our families connect and stay engaged during these trying times. Raise your hand if you dug your dusty Boggle box out of the closet, or logged more hours…

How to sum up 2020? It’s as if we got stuck on the second phrase of Dickens’s opening line to A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the worst of times.” This past annus was so horribilis we had to bend language to fit the not-at-all normal new normal. We social distanced, contact traced, stayed in our pods, and tried to flatten the curve. Suffice it to say we’re all feeling Covid fatigue.

Lexicographers — the people who get paid to keep track of new language like this — have always known that bad times breed new buzzwords. But this…

If you’re stressed about college costs, you’re not alone. Americans today owe more than $1.4 trillion in student loans, and that number isn’t getting any smaller. Fortunately, there are tons of resources out there to make understanding and securing financial aid easier. I’ve compiled the latest research and tools into a straightforward guide on what you need to know about paying for your kid’s college, including how to navigate tricky conversations with your teen about borrowing student loans if your 529 plan and other savings can’t cover their tuition. (70% of students need to borrow money.)

Don’t get discouraged. College…

If your kid is going to work while in high school, there are a few ironclad rules for him to follow.

Unsplash
  1. Don’t work more than 15 hours a week during school, including weekends. More than that, and your kid’s grades will likely start to suffer. Research shows that students who work more than about 15 hours per week are much less likely to obtain a college degree — and more likely to drop out of high school. If your kid wants to work more, there’s always the summer.
  2. Put school first. This might sound obvious, but when, say, your kid’s supervisor at the supermarket insists he work crazy hours during finals week just to make sure all the shifts get covered…

If your kid is about to graduate from college without a job lined up, he’s not alone.

Unplash

Although most schools offer extensive career services, the majority of students don’t take advantage of them as they should. As long as you follow these steps, you will almost certainly find something. As my mom told me when I was in college, “Keep your eyes open, and the job will find you.”

Beth Kobliner

Author of NY Times bestsellers Get a Financial Life and Make Your Kid a Money Genius. Journalist, #finlit nerd & mom. http://bit.ly/barnesmg

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store