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Michelle Singletary


I was working for a Baltimore newspaper when the savings and loan crisis hit my town.The city editor sent me out to interview depositors of one failed thrift. I arrived to find angry, sullen and teary-eyed customers waiting in lines that stretched for blocks. Those people -- like many of us, I would imagine -- just couldn't fathom that their money wasn't safe.Only some of …

How does a family live on one paycheck when two don't seem to stretch far enough?I found myself asking that question while contemplating a Census Bureau report noting that a growing number of women are leaving the work force to stay home to care for their infants. The Census Bureau, which has been tracking working mothers every year since 1976, said the number had peaked i…

Millions of us contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan through our place of work. What many of us don't do is contribute the maximum allowed by law.If this is you, you're missing out on a great benefit. Even if your 401(k) investments have declined during this time of economic uncertainty, the program is designed for the long haul. Putting as much in as possible will still …

The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that the rate of homeownership for all Americans is 67 percent. But among African Americans, it is only 47 percent.For many families, their biggest asset is their home. Borrowing against the equity in that home can send children to college, pay off credit card bills or weather a financial crisis. Not owning a home puts many blacks at a finan…

Last Christmas season, my husband and I had decided to join a movement called "Hundred Dollar Holiday."We just about made it. Our total Christmas spending came to $137.80, including gifts for our three small children. This year we are cutting back again and I hope many others will join us. Bill McKibben, author of "Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christm…

I sat on a wall inside the Kremlin watching as hundreds of people filed past. After a few minutes, however, I noticed that, as a black American woman, I had become almost as great a curiosity as the Kremlin's magnificent 15th century cathedrals.School children whispered and pointed, and the adults seemed as fascinated by me as by the ancient Cathedral of the Assumption.So…