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The hidden costs of homeownership

The expense isn't limited to the mortgage payment

When evaluating whether it makes sense to buy a house or rent your home, you need to look at all the expenses that go into both choices.When renting, t...


When dining out, pay attention to calories

Here are some tips for avoiding extra, and unhealthy pounds

Nutritionists will tell you that there is more to weight control than counting calories. But it can't be denied that piling up the calories will usually le...


Starbucks to close all Teavana stores

Executive say lagging sales and declining mall foot traffic led to the decision

In an effort to focus more on its coffee-shop business, Starbucks announced on Thursday that it will be shutting down all 379 of its Teavana store location...


Here's the latest utility company scam

Buying Federal Reserve routing numbers to pay your bill won't work

Scams revolving around utility bills are not uncommon. Utility bills are a major expense that every consumer has every month. Criminals are always looking...


U.S. economy shifts gears

Output in the second-quarter was stronger than it was three months earlier

An advance look at how the economy was doing in the second quarter of 2017 indicates things were going better than they...


What to look for in a house if you have a pet

5 features that can help provide a better environment for pets

From gourmet treats to doggy day spas, pet parents often go to great lengths to ensure their four-legged companions get nothing but the best. For Millennia...


Credit card rates hit another record high puts the average rate at 16.11%

The Federal Reserve this week decided not to raise a key interest rate, but credit card rates are still going up.The Fed's Open Market Committee left t...


New Colorado law aims to combat hot car deaths

Consumers will be able to forcibly enter another person's car to save the life of a child or pet

Authorities usually frown on consumers who break into other people’s vehicles, but starting next month, it will be legal for Colorado residents to do just...


Model year 2017 Ram 1500 trucks recalled

The vehicles may have a broken fuel tank control valve

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling four model year 2017 Ram 1500 trucks.The fuel tanks in the recalled vehicles may have a broken fuel tank control val...


Senate fails again to undo Obamacare

Straight repeal of the healthcare law loses 43-57

Obamacare is the Timex watch of laws.For those not old enough to recall, watchmaker Timex once ran an advertising campaign subjecting the inexpensive w...


Decorating around black appliances

Four ways to embrace the new trend in kitchen appliances

Black stainless steel finish appliances are relatively new on the scene, but can add an elegant, modern touch to any kitchen. KitchenAid calls the new mate...


Choosing the right cash back credit card

Pick one card that rewards your biggest area of spending

Millennials have been slow to embrace credit cards.Coming of age in the wake of the financial crisis, they appeared leery of using credit, preferring t...


New home sales edge upward in June

Prices, however, were mixed

Sales of new single-family houses rose in June for a second straight month.The Commerce Department reports sales last month totaled a seasonally adjust...


Stefano's Foods recalls Stromboli

The product contains eggs, an allergen not declared on the label

Stefano’s Foods of Charlotte, N.C., is recalling approximately 981 pounds of Stromboli.The product contains eggs, an allergen not declared on the label...


Feds may scrap aggressive fuel-economy standards

Consumer groups say higher mpg requirements have saved consumers billions

A new study commissioned by a consumer group finds that 79 percent of Americans support higher federal fuel economy standards for cars, but the U.S. Transp...


Tips for spotting and preventing dry drowning

Drowning can happen even after a child has gotten out of the water

Taking a dip in the pool, ocean, or lake can be a great way to beat the summer heat, but spending time in bodies of water can also put kids at risk of drow...


Zillow: median home value now over $200,000

Home values are higher than at the peak of the housing bubble

The thing that jumped off the page from Monday's existing home sales report was the fact that home sales went down in June, yet home prices went up. Sal...


Wells Fargo ordered to re-hire whistle-blower

OSHA says branch manager was fired after reporting fraudulent activity

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), part of the Labor Department, has ordered Wells Fargo to reinstate a branch manager allegedly fir...


Staying safe while driving with pets

Pet passengers can be more distracting to drivers than rambunctious kids, poll finds

Driver distraction causes 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes, and unrestrained dogs can be a huge distraction to drivers. In fact, a new survey fro...


Mazda recalls Mazda6, CX-7 and CX-9 vehicles

The passenger front airbag inflator may rupture, posing an injury risk

Mazda North America Operations is recalling 205,377 model year 2009-2011 Mazda6, and model year 2007-2011 CX-7 & CX-9 vehicles.The recalled vehicles ar...


Consumer confidence back on track in July

Economic growth is seen continuing through the year

Following two straight monthly declines, the confidence of consumers in the nation's economy is on the rise again.The Conference Board reports its Cons...


Bhu Foods recalls protein bars

The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Bhu Foods of San Diego, Calif., is recalling various flavors of protein bars after being told by a supplier that organic sunflower seed used in the bars ha...


iRover recalls self-balancing scooters/hoverboards

The lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards can overheat

iRover of Fair Lawn, N.J., is recalling about 2,800 self-balancing scooters/hoverboards.The lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/ho...


Model year 2017 Dodge Challengers recalled

The transmission may not remain in the PARK position

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 7,802 model year 2017 Dodge Challengers equipped with 5.7L V8 engines and eight-speed automatic transmissions.The tr...


New Social Security scam making the rounds

Scammer promises victims a 1.7% benefit increase

To scammers, Social Security is like catnip. They can't resist it.It's hard to count just how many scams involve the retirement benefit in one way or a...


Signs you might not be ready to buy a house

Savings, debt, and employment history are huge factors

Buying a home can be a good investment. It can be a rewarding experience for you and your family.But the fact is, it isn't right in every situation and...


Look out, Airbnb, Google is watching

The search giant could put a big dent in the vacation rental market

Airbnb has had a pretty good thing going for quite a while. Like Uber and other peer-to-peer connectors, it has made scads of money simply connecting peopl...


How to safely view the solar eclipse

NASA says viewing glasses should have a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard

The August 21 total eclipse of the sun is already a widely-anticipated celestial event, and interest will likely only increase in the next four weeks.W...


Types of boat insurance and what they cover

Skippers should always know where they stand when it comes to their insurance

For some consumers, there’s nothing that beats taking the boat out on the water during a hot summer’s day. But just as with any other vehicle, accidents ca...


Preventing childhood falls around the house

What parents can do to keep kids safe around windows, stairs, and backyard play sets

Play is a huge part of childhood -- but unfortunately, so are playtime-related tumbles and falls. Scraped knees and bruised shins are often just a part of...


Best-made vacation travel plans can get bumped

An involuntary bump could ruin an expensive trip. Here's what to do

Some people travel a lot and know the secrets to getting from point A to point B on time. This time of year, however, many infrequent travelers are in airp...


Withholding -- too much vs. too little

Some easy steps for having the right amount taken out

When tax time comes every April, do you find yourself celebrating because you're getting a refund or griping because you owe taxes?There's a way to avo...


Hotels in solar eclipse path filling up fast reports Nebraska hotels seeing a 325% surge in searches

Every once in a while nature puts on a free show and the world goes nuts for it.Yet another will come up August 21 when the moon will pass between the...


Manhattan Toy recalls activity toys

The product's colored plastic tubes can become brittle and break into small pieces

The Manhattan Toy Company of Minneapolis, Minn., is recalling about 15,400 Winkel Colorburst activity toys sold in the U.S. and Canada.The colored plas...


Cesina Sausage Company recalls pork kolbassi

The product label identifies this product as ready-to-eat when it is not

Cesina Sausage Company of Aliquippa, Pa., is recalling approximately 10 pounds of pork sausage (kolbassi).The product label identifies this product as...


Toyota recalls Avalon and Camry Hybrids

The vehicles could suffer a loss of propulsion

Toyota Motor North America is recalling 671 model year 2016 Avalon and Camry Hybrids.The vehicles' front drive shaft assembly may have been misassemble...


Sears will sell Kenmore products on Amazon

Company sees it as a way to significantly expand its reach

If you can't be 'em, join 'em. That might be the thinking behind Sears' announcement that it will begin selling its Kenmore products on


GM wins another ignition switch case

Arizona driver blamed his rear-end collision on the faulty switch

General Motors won another ignition-switch case this week, as a federal jury in New York rejected claims that the defective switch was responsible for a fe...


Where rents are rising the most (and least)

Rents are being pushed up as fewer people can afford to buy the median-priced home

Extremely tight supplies of houses for sale and rental housing have pushed up the cost of both, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. ...


Jobless claims plunge

The outlook for economic growth continues to be positive

Photo (c) designer491 - FotoliaThere was a huge drop last week in the number of people filing initial applications for state unemployment benefits....


Polaris recalls Sportsman 570 ATVs

Fuel can leak into the headlight pod,

Polaris Industries of Medina, Minn., is recalling about 25,600 Sportsman 570 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).Fuel can leak into the headlight pod, posing a...


Improving your home's outdoor entertainment spaces

A pool, a great grill, and a lush lawn make backyard summers more enjoyable

Summertime is outdoor time in much of the U.S. If you're contemplating outdoor home improvement projects that will add to summer entertaining and enjoyment...


How long is it safe to leave your dog home alone?

It's best not to leave a dog by itself for more than 4 hours, says one expert

Most pet owners would relish the opportunity to spend all day with their four-legged companion. But since many workplaces, restaurants, and retailers aren’...


Summer car safety tips for parents

Ways to prevent tragedies related to hot cars and distracted teen drivers

With kids out of school for the summer, parents may find themselves shuttling children to and from activities more often. Whether you’re driving to the poo...


Safeway to pay $3 million to settle drug probe

Company was tardy in reporting missing or stolen drugs from pharmacies

The Safeway supermarket chain, part of Albertson's, has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) o...


Mortgage applications on the rebound

Contract interest were mostly lower

After dropping during the week that included the Fourth of July holiday, mortgage applications are on the rise again.The Mortgage Bankers Association r...


A turnaround for new home construction

June's increase was the first in three months

After two consecutive monthly declines, developers were able to turn things around in June.The Commerce Department reports construction of privately-ow...


Polaris Recalls RZR 570 and RZR S 570 ROVs

The front brake can detach, posing crash and injury hazards

Polaris Industries of Medina, Minn., is recalling about 1,160 Polaris RZR 570 and RZR S 570 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs).The front brake ca...


Things you should know about credit

TransUnion survey identifies a number of credit myths

Consumers generally understand the importance of credit scores and how they can impact significant areas of your financial life.But the latest survey f...


Citi adds perks to its Prestige card

High-end card raises the competition for the affluent consumer

Citi has added new perks to its luxury travel credit card, upping the ante when it comes to rewards.The Citi Prestige Card, which is metal instead of p...


Disaster preparedness tips for pet owners

Having a 'go kit' prepared can help ensure pets stay safe

A well-stocked disaster supply kit and an emergency plan can be lifesavers in the event of a disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado. But if you’re a pet...


Another dip in builder confidence

Rising lumber prices are creating concerns

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell again in July to its lowest level since last November.The National Associatio...


Boom time for teen summer hiring

Over a million young people found work in June

Things have really turned around in the teen summer job market.An analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & C...


Model year 2007-2011 Honda CR-Vs recalled

The front airbag may not deploy as intended, increasing the risk of injury

American Honda Motor Co. is recalling 629 model year 2007-2011 Honda CR-Vs that have had the passenger front airbag replaced.The airbag inflator repair...


GM recalls model year 2016-2017 Buick Envisions

The possible lack of energy-absorbing foam blocks in replacement headliners increases the risk of injury

General Motors is recalling ten model year 2016-2017 Buick Envisions.The recalled vehicles received a replacement headliner as part of a repair that mi...


Critics hit Amazon's Whole Foods takeover

Antitrust and labor issues stir discontent; retail analysts skeptical

Amazon's plan to gobble up Whole Foods is causing indigestion on Capitol Hill and elsewhere as critics worry the plan would be too successful or, on the ot...


At what age can kids stay home alone?

Consider the law in your state, as well as your child's maturity level

Whether you need to log a few extra hours at the office or simply make a quick trip to the store, you might wonder when it’s okay to leave your child home...


14 baby names that could soon become extinct

BabyCenter says these names haven't yet been chosen for a newborn in 2017

Choosing a name for your bundle of joy can be a daunting task, especially if you’re looking for a name that isn’t too common -- and many soon-to-be moms an...


Think it can't happen to you? Think again

Phone scammers are out there and nobody is immune

Imagine arriving home and finding a message on your answering machine (some of us still have them) telling you to call a certain phone number -- or else!...


Model year 2017 Lexus ES350s recalled

The vehicle could experience a loss of steering

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 1,761 model year 2017 Lexus ES350s.The right-hand side tie rod lock nut may loosen over time....


Cool off with an Alaskan summer cruise

Most of the major cruise lines operate ships in Alaskan waters

The middle of the summer is a good time to think about getting away to a cool spot for a week or two. That's probably why Alaskan cruises are very popular...


Tomatoes may help prevent skin cancer

Study finds a 50 percent reduction in male mice given a daily tomato serving

You still need sunscreen, but a new study says that a daily tomato or two may help prevent skin cancer. And no, you don't smear it on your skin, you eat it...


Consumer inflation on hold in June

Falling energy costs and steady food prices get the credit

A break from inflation to kick off the summer.The Labor Department (DOL) reports its Consumer Price Index (CPI was unchanged in June, thanks to a drop...


TOMY recalls Munching Max chipmunk toys

Parts inside the toy can break creating a sharp point

TOMY International of Oak Brook, Ill., is recalling about 14,000 Lamaze Munching Max chipmunk stuffed toys sold in the U.S. and Canada.Parts inside the...


Verizon disputes accounts of its data breach

The company says no customer service records were exposed

The technology media is reporting a data breach at Verizon's third party cloud storage that may have exposed millions of customer service records.Veriz...


Cash won't be king if Visa has its way

The credit card company is offering merchants cold hard cash to go cashless

Visa would like for everyone to stop using cash and is putting its money where its mouth is. The credit card company is offering thousands of dollars to sm...


What's your side-hustle?

A Bankrate report says 44 million of us have one

In the past, it was called "moonlighting." It was a job you did to earn extra money, in addition to your fulltime job.These days, it's referred to as a...


Target retries its hand at curbside pick-up

After shutting down a similar service, the company is rolling out a new iteration in Minnesota

Back in 2014, Target decided to launch a pilot program in conjunction with a California-based start-up company called Curbside to – what else – provide cur...


Wholesale prices up moderately in June

The cost of services rose for a fourth straight month

Photo (c) sakkmesterke - FotoliaThe prices of goods and services one step shy of the consumer level -- the Producer Price Index (PPI) for final deman...


Texas study finds 'green' homes are worth more

Researchers say green features can add up to $25,000 in value

As we've previously reported, some home additions and improvements add value to a home, some don't. In many ways, it comes down to what a prospective buyer...


Florida settles with Avis over e-Toll fees

State claims consumers weren't informed about daily fee for toll pass

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has reached a settlement with Avis Budget Car Rental System (ABCR) in a case involving toll fees.The agreement resol...


Gymboree closing 350 stores

Company says move will help it emerge from bankruptcy

Gymboree, the bankrupt children's clothing retailer, has announced it will close 350 stores following what it calls "a comprehensive evaluation of its reta...


A drop in mortgage applications

Contract interest rates continued to rise

After posting their first gain in four weeks, mortgage applications are headed lower again.According to the weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Assoc...


What kind of financial shape is your state in?

Researchers at George Mason University rank the best and the worst

Illinois and New Jersey have been in the news lately as they struggle to regain fiscal solvency. But they aren't alone. A number of states are struggling t...


Spotify tests new 'Driving Mode' feature

Users say activating it enables enlarged buttons, song announcements, and voice commands

Spotify users may soon find it easier to manage their music while they’re driving. According to several consumers on the popular public forum site Reddit,...


Job openings on the decline in May

However, the month saw a net increase in employment

There were fewer job openings at the end of May than there were the month before.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs...


BMW recalls vehicles with visibility issue

The rear reflex reflectors may not reflect enough light

BMW of North America is recalling 13,981 model year 2013-2014 528i, 528i xDrive, 535i, 535i xDrive, 550i, 550i xDrive, and M5 vehicles, model year 2013 Act...


The four types of Facebook users

Whether you're self-promoting or getting the word out, every user has their tendencies

It seems like just about everyone these days has a Facebook account, but a new study suggests that not every consumer uses it in the same way.After col...


Amazon gets set for Prime Day

Toys R Us counters with 20% off for 36 hours

Amazon's third annual Prime Day is Tuesday, but just like Black Friday, things get started early. Sales available exclusively to Prime Members in 13 countr...


Rents continued to rise in June

Apartment List report predicts that trend will continue over the next few months

The cost of putting a roof over your head continues to go up. Not only are home prices still rising, but the cost of rent rose 0.5% in June, according to a...


Drug-resistant gonorrhea causing concern

The sexually transmitted disease is especially dangerous to women

Gonorrhea may soon be resistant to all major antibiotics, health officials warn. The World Health Organization recently reported three confirmed cases of t...


Model year 2018 Honda Odysseys recalled

The third row center seat belt may not latch securely

American Honda Motor Co. is recalling 3,927 model year 2018 Honda Odyssey vehicles.The seat belt tongue for the third row center seating position may n...


Island getaways where there are no cars

These vacations could be the perfect way to slow down

There is something about island vacations. Surrounded by water, an island offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of modern life.On several island r...


Gasoline prices hit 2017 lows

Supplies are plentiful and consumers are using less

Driving is less costly for consumers this summer as the price of gasoline has hit a low for the year.The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national avera...


For seniors, a fall can be really bad news

Study finds that for half, one fall is followed by other adverse events

If you're 65 or older, it's very important for you to remain upright.Falls are a common danger facing people as they age, and a new study shows the imp...


A June pickup in job creation

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, ticked higher

June turned out to be a better month for those looking for work than May was.The Labor Department (DOL) reports the economy created 222,000 jobs last m...


A booming services sector

Just one non-manufacturing industry failed to report growth in June

June marked the 90th consecutive month of growth in the services, or non-manufacturing, sector of the U.S. economy.According to the nation's purchasing...


Model year 2016-2017 Audi Q3s recalled

The brake lights on the vehicle may malfunction

Volkswagen Group of America is recalling 24,754 model year 2016-2017 Audi Q3s.If the parking brake is used during emergency braking, the brake lights o...


Huge gap exists among children's probiotics

Researchers tested 11 of the most popular supplements and found mixed results

Foods and supplements that are rich in probiotics are becoming increasingly popular, so much so that some companies have even started making probiotic supp...


If you've bought a lemon, you'll know soon

Survey shows problems usually show up within the first month

Cars and trucks are built better than in the past, but consumers can still run the risk of getting stuck with a lemon.That's a vehicle with several man...


How much fruit juice should your child be allowed?

New AAP guidelines say no fruit juice at all during a child's first year of life

Its name may hint at the presence of a healthful component, but fruit juice is often anything but healthy -- and it shouldn’t be included in the diet of ch...


A rebound for mortgage applications

Contract interest rates were on the rise also

After falling last week for the first time in four weeks, mortgage applications are on the rise again.The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applicat...


Big Pharma once again lines docs' pockets

Drugmakers shelled out nearly $3 billion last year in payments to doctors

Journalists and consumer advocates like to think that when outrages are revealed, the glare of publicity will put a stop to them....


Swimming pools are great fun but be careful!

They are the single most dangerous thing you can add to your home

In summer, a homeowner's thoughts often turn to that expanse of grass, weeds and debris known as the back yard. What if all the sweaty toil associated with...


Supreme Court upholds Indiana robocall law

State can block robocalls, even from non-profit groups

Indiana has struck a blow against robocalls, even those carried out by non-profit organizations.The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court...


Volvo accelerating move to electric engines

The automaker says all of its cars will be electric or hybrid by 2019

With low gasoline prices, consumers have shown their preference for trucks and SUVs, while passing on the growing number of energy efficient hybrids and el...


Tips for getting your dog through a move

Sprinkling consistency throughout the process is crucial, experts say

Having a dog means having a sidekick to walk with you through each new experience -- even the stressful ones, such as moving.Packing, moving, and adjus...


Publix Tropical Medley Mix recalled

The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Publix Super Markets is recalling its Publix Tropical Medley Mix which may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.There are no reported cases of il...


How to save money on travel insurance

These policies are not one-size-fits-all

Summer travelers can encounter all sorts of obstacles. Nearly 20% of summertime flights get delayed or canceled, for example.That's why many consumers...


Sparkler safety tips to help keep kids safe

Safety is key when handling sparklers, which get five times hotter than cooking oil

Glittery handheld sparklers are a staple at many Fourth of July gatherings, but even the innocent backyard sparkler can cause eye injuries and burns, exper...


Two fires linked to charging fidget spinners

Popular toy is the latest lithium ion battery-powered device to overheat

After two separate reports of fidget spinners catching fire while charging, government safety officials are urging caution.In a statement to the techno...


Honest Co. settles 'all-natural' suits

Lawsuits claimed the company's products contain synthetic elements

Actress Jessica Alba's Honest Co. has agreed to pay $7.35 million to settle claims that its "all natural" toothpaste, floor cleaners, and so forth aren't a...


Auto loans reach record length in June finds the average term is approaching six years

More car buyers are making the mistake of stretching out their payments beyond the length that personal finance experts say is prudent.An analysis by a...


Maxi Canada recalls breaded chicken

The products may contain milk, an allergen not declared on the label

Maxi Canada of Quebec, Canada, is recalling an undetermined amount of breaded chicken products that may contain milk, an allergen not declared on the label...