Liz Weston: I travel-hacked a college tour and saved $3,000

Amtrak’s “buy one, get one” spring sale got me started. My teenage daughter and I had used a similar two-for-one deal last year to take an overnight train trip from Los Angeles to Po...

Liz Weston: It’s time to let go of shame over your debt

Many of us feel bad about our debt. Most of us probably shouldn’t. Three-quarters of U.S. households owe money, but the vast majority pay their bills on time and have debt loads that...

Liz Weston: Is it time to switch your college savings plan?

College savings plans are a great way to save for education. But not all college savings plans are great. Most state-sponsored 529 college savings plans, which allow you to invest in...

Liz Weston: 5 financial tasks you should tackle by year-end

A task without a deadline is just wishful thinking. Sometimes, you can get away with procrastinating. If you never get around to alphabetizing your spices, no one’s life will change....

Liz Weston: What to do if your parents need financial help

Most parents in the U.S. provide some sort of financial support to their adult children, multiple surveys have found. But often, financial aid goes the other way. A 2015 survey by TD...

Liz Weston: Speedier payment systems could curb your costs

Here's an illustration of the many ways slow payment systems can inconvenience you and cost you money. Let's say Homer is two days from payday. The family checking account at First B...

Liz Weston: How to choose the right health plan

When we're given a choice about our health care plans, we often choose badly. In one study, more than 80% of the employees at a Fortune 100 company picked the wrong plans, often choo...

Liz Weston: In 'SIM swap,' criminals really have your number

If you're not familiar with SIM swap fraud, prepare to be terrified. This scam, also known as port-out or SIM splitting fraud, allows criminals to hijack your cell phone number. Once...

Liz Weston: How to quit stalling and write your will

You know you should have a will, but you keep stalling. No one likes to think about dying or about someone else raising their children. But if you get no further than scribbling notes or thinking abou...

Liz Weston: Is premium economy airfare worth the money?

As coach travel gets more cramped, airlines have added "premium economy" sections that promise more space and comfort — often at a substantially higher price. Air carriers have disco...

Liz Weston: The 6 biggest retirement mistakes, and 1 defense

One of the biggest retirement mistakes you can make is not realizing what you don't know. I regularly hear from people in or near retirement who misunderstand how Social Security wor...

Liz Weston: How to mess up a variable annuity

Variable annuities are complex insurance products — so complex that what people actually buy and what they think they're buying may be quite different. Those misunderstandings can end up costing them,...

Liz Weston: Don't be duped by these phone and email scams

Some of us in the personal finance realm have a weird little hobby: We try to scam the scam artists. We're not out to steal their money — just their time. When fraudsters call to say...

Liz Weston: Is your wealth dripping away?

As a spokesperson for the insurance industry, Loretta Worters often gives tips to homeowners on preventing water damage. Some of her knowledge comes from personal experience. Worters...

Liz Weston: 3 steps to keep 'solo agers' happier and safer

Retirement coach Sara Zeff Geber visited several Northern California assisted living facilities to interview "solo agers" — people, either single or coupled, who don't have children to help them as t...