Category archives for: Smart About Money

Smart About Money: When Things Get Complicated

Santander Holdings USA is the U.S. subsidiary of the Spanish financial services company Banco Santander SA. The banks are known in this country as Santander, and they have a sub-prime auto loan subsidiary known as Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. Why am I going through all the corporate names and locations? Because when I read […]

Smart About Money: Checking Accounts for Kids

A recent article in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance talked about raising kids who are good with money. One of their key takeaways was that it’s very important to let kids manage money on their own. “Your kids will spend unlimited amounts as long as it’s yours,” Kiplinger’s said. “When their money is on the line, it’s […]

Smart About Money: Catching a Thief

One morning at the bank, we had a call from a customer who was on his online banking the night before and noticed a check he hadn’t written had just cleared his account. He wondered if it was a bank error. And even though technology has made mistakes like that much more rare, they do […]

Smart About Money: Saving for the Future

It’s probably fair to say that most of the troubles people have with money have nothing to do with unavoidable disasters. In fact, many of the troubles people have with money could be avoided if they did the one thing that most of us just don’t like to do: Make today’s financial decisions with your […]

Smart About Money: Scammers Hit Home

My father-in-law was home one afternoon and the phone rang. At first he thought it was a telemarketer. Then he realized the caller was saying they were from “Microsoft” and it was something about his computer. So he took a minute to see why they were calling. The caller said he wanted to check on […]

Saving is a ‘path to happiness’

For too many people, saving sounds boring. Like they’re not going to have any fun … now or ever. That is absolutely wrong. Most of the people who think saving is boring usually end up in debt. Since incomes tend to be steady and expenses tend to rise, it can be a real temptation to […]

Smart About Money: Extended Warranties

David Bakke, writing for the Money Crashers personal finance blog, says he “cannot think of a single instance where purchasing an extended warranty is a good idea.” With one exception (which I will get to at the end of this column), I’d say Bakke has it exactly right. And extended warranties — also known as […]

Smart About Money: Beware of the sucker list


If you’re trying to help a relative or friend you see responding to dubious mail and telephone schemes, you’ve probably realized how tough it is to combat the unstoppable flood of “offers” they get. Maybe you’ve even wondered if the person you’re concerned about has been specifically targeted. In many cases, the answer is probably […]

Smart About Money: Advice on Mortgages

Unless you’re Donald Trump or refinancing is your hobby, getting a mortgage is probably not something you do often. Borrowers tend to see it as a serious commitment to a house and to a loan. And why not? Finding the “right house” and getting a mortgage is a big deal! Something people very much want […]

Smart About Money: Red Flags of a Scam

Sometimes it seems as if there are people in the world who actually have nothing to do all day and all night but think up scams to steal money from complete strangers. Besides being international criminals, these scammers are heartless in the way they target people with highly emotional appeals, which run the gamut from […]

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