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  • Make a great escape

    So, here it is – the recession’s second summer. Last year, all the talk about vacations centered around the “staycation,” and families will no doubt be looking for ways to …


  • Frugal Corner: Negotiators have their day

    Haggling – it’s the new black. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that fully two-thirds of Americans have tried to negotiate a better deal on something in the past six …


  • The hunt is on for summer jobs

    For many teens, a summer job means something temporary to pick up pocket money. For others who are older or who have been thrust into adult responsibilities, their job hunt …


  • Strapped seniors take health risks

    Seniors on fixed incomes have always struggled to keep up with rising costs. A new survey suggests they’re cutting more deeply into essentials during this recession, though.


  • Everyday Economy: Wanna trade?

    When Rob Butterfield needed to find someone to fix his ailing, 16-year-old Chevy Suburban, he thought he’d try something different. It was the same something different that Karla Turk decided …


  • Gas prices show an uptick, but aren’t likely to climb steeply

    If you drive, you’ve surely noticed a touch of volatility in the price of gas during the past year. Last April, prices in Spokane crested above $3.60 and were on …


  • Garage sales create opportunities for buyers, sellers

    The arrival of warmer weather brings the opening of one of the Inland Northwest’s most popular economic “sports.” Garage sales.


  • Frugal Corner: Most collegians rely on plastic

    Most of us know that college graduates leave school with a sheepskin and a pile of student-loan debt. But a recent report shines a light on a new and growing …


  • Frugal Corner: Cost of driving outpaces fuel

    While fuel costs have dropped recently, the overall cost of driving hasn’t changed much as other costs go up, according to a new AAA survey. The AAA analysis found that …


  • Home garden may open door to savings

    It may cost you some time and effort, but you can save money by growing your own food. Just how much money, though, depends. One Iowa State University estimate in …


  • Everyday Economy: Remodeling with confidence

    It’s spring, and a homeowner’s thoughts turn to home improvement projects. If you’ve got a big one coming up, you’ll be thinking of hiring a contractor. Few relationships can be …


  • Frugal Corner: Give your home a spring checkup

    Routine maintenance around the house may not be the most alluring of spring projects, but making sure the basics are in good condition can save you money on repair bills …


  • Everyday Economy: Mechanics see uptick

    Car sales may be down, but car repairs have been a growth industry in the past year. Drivers are sticking with their cars longer – putting off trade-ins and trying …


  • It pays to be prepared for kids’ college expenses

    If you’ve got kids ready to enter college next year, you’re already well into the process of planning how to pay for it. Or at least you should be.


  • Frugal Corner: Credit reports really are free

    When it comes to credit reports, it’s become a battle of the jingles. The Federal Trade Commission has launched a series of musical videos for Annualcreditreport.com, the Web site where …


  • It pays to think ahead for college

    If you’ve got kids ready to enter college next year, you’re already well into the process of planning how to pay for it. Or at least you should be.


  • Questions address foreclosure relief

    Wondering if you qualify for help under the Obama administration’s new foreclosure relief plan? Here’s a series of questions and answers from McClatchy Newspapers that should help you figure it …


  • Cardholders encounter unexpected credit hurdles

    Al Anderson had his credit card for a decade or more. He paid his bills on time. He rarely carried a balance. He thought he was a good customer. Then, …


  • Frugal Corner: Consumer comparisons

    What a difference a penny makes. In a recent study by researchers at Washington State University, shoppers made different choices based on whether a price was rounded to the nearest …


  • Tax season brings changes worth considering

    It’s not yet the last minute, but tax season has more than arrived. While every year brings changes in the tax code, there’s even more to keep up with for …


  • 401(k) plans force difficult choices

    The declining stock market isn’t the only thing eroding workers’ retirement savings. Increasingly, big companies are suspending contributions to their workers’ 401(k) plans – 90 had done so as of …


  • Work force must decide whether to negotiate retirement

    A lot of people are rethinking retirement. Workers of all ages have seen their 401(k) plans and other retirement investments shrink dramatically in the past year. But the stock market’s …


  • Americans show shift in savings strategies

    There’s an irony about savings and the economy: When times are good, people save less, and vice-versa. That means the United States may be heading into a period of increased …


  • Save money on health care? Can be done

    It’s easy to feel that health care decisions are out of your control. Doctors order tests and prescribe drugs. Follow-up appointments are scheduled automatically. The default position for health-care providers …


  • Refinancing takes homework

    With mortgage rates at historic lows, a lot of people are interested in refinancing their home loans. When does it make sense to do it? Many financial professionals have suggested …


  • Economy’s downturn means great deals on watercraft

    A boat may not seem like the most frugal purchase these days. But a large part of the region’s lake culture is made up of middle-class families with relatively modest …


  • Stop dreaming; start traveling

    Is this any time to be thinking of a dream vacation? Maybe so.


  • Beware of changes to credit scoring

    Your old credit score ain’t what it used to be. As lenders tighten the purse strings, a FICO score that might have been considered good a year ago won’t be …


  • Healthy eating saves in long run

    Up with beans, down with Fritos. That’s the gist of a new series of suggestions from University of Idaho nutrition experts illustrating ways to not only reduce the grocery bill, …


  • Holiday travel costs deserve second look

    A few short months ago, the idea of traveling home for the holidays was a daunting proposition. Gas hovered above four bucks a gallon. Airfares steadily climbed, and airlines added …

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