For students and young adults, living away from home means a lot of independence.

With back-to-school shopping in full swing in September, parents wanting to pare their budget for kids’ clothes turn to “gently used” clothes from online and walk-in consignment stores.

As Napa Valley residents and business owners clean up and tally damages from last Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake, many are coming to grips with their earthquake insurance coverage – or lack thereof.

It’s August, and millions of college students are heading off to campus. For many, it’s their first time juggling finances on their own. Some are equipped to handle their money, others … not so much.

This year, hundreds of thousands of Californians got health care coverage under the state’s new Covered California program.

Credit reports are free; credit scores will cost you. That used to be the mantra, but it’s changing. A number of banks, credit card companies and consumer sites are now providing consumers with free access to their credit scores, the three-digit number that determines what you’ll pay on loans, mortgages and credit cards.

For years, it was “the Wild West” of real estate scams.

Something was odd when the IRS letter arrived in the mail.

Earthquake. Fire. Flood. It could be any natural disaster that could unexpectedly overtake your home or work in minutes. With California’s wildfire season warming up, we look at how to be prepared – financially and physically – to handle any kind of emergency or evacuation.

Since May, California officials have been trying to locate more than 95,000 military veterans who have more than $36 million in cash and unclaimed property sitting in state coffers. The unclaimed property includes dozens of pieces of wartime memorabilia, such as Purple Heart and POW medals, letters written from Pearl Harbor survivors, U.S. Army caps and other mementos.

Losing a parent is an inevitable hurdle in life. And for baby boomers, whose aging parents are often in their 80s and 90s, it’s an imminent one. Aside from coping with the emotional burden, there’s also the burden of dealing with all the “stuff.” It can be overwhelming.

He’s the grandfather of index mutual funds: Jack Bogle, 85, the outspoken founder of The Vanguard Group Inc., the Pennsylvania-based mutual fund that oversees more than $2 trillion in assets. For Father’s Day, we talked with Bogle about fathers and sons, mutual funds and his connection to California’s Bogle winery.

It’s part of a small, but nationwide movement to get more young families to start saving for their kids’ college. Known unofficially as K2C (Kindergarten to College), accounts, they were pioneered in San Francisco and recently offered on a limited basis at several Sacramento public elementary schools,

Got questions on retirement planning? On Thursday, consumers can get free advice in an online chat sponsored by Kiplinger personal finance magazine and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Concierge services are common at hotels. But for insurance? A look at the extra perks of “concierge-style” insurance policies.

Whether it’s high school or college, here are some money-smart ideas from financial experts.

U.S. passports are now embedded with a tiny plastic chip. And many more U.S. credit cards are becoming microchipped as well. With all those plastic identifiers in our wallets, how safe is our personal info when traveling? Here’s what experts say.

Moms: Do you want your daughters to grow up to be CFPs? Alarmed by the lack of women in the certified financial planner profession, the national board is asking why so few women – only 23 percent of the country’s 69,500 licensed CFPs – are attracted to the male-dominated industry. Locally, a new CSUS major and women financial planners hope to recruit more college graduates and career-changing women into the field.

As the summer travel season warms up, we share a few expert tips on how best to save money and save yourself from unpleasant surprises when using your credit cards.

What's for dinner? With the drought crimping the supply of beef and California-grown fruits and vegetables, consumers can expect to pay more every time they sit down to a family meal this summer. Even a bowl of guacamole could become a splurge, given crop shortages that could push a single avocado's price tag to $1.60, according to some experts.

It’s spring break time, which means thousands of high school seniors are contemplating their college choices for next fall. For college-bound kids and their families, here’s a look at some helpful tools to compare schools in dollar terms.

Recent events are a reminder to shore up your personal computer, change your passwords and be wary of attempts to fleece you.

For state and federal taxes, the April 15 deadline is just days away. Some last-minute filing tips for those who’ve procrastinated – and what to do if you can’t pay what you owe.

When New York financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced to life in prison for masterminding one of the biggest investor Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, it was an unnerving reminder that entrusting your money to a professional can be risky. Last week, five former employees of Madoff’s investing firm were found guilty of helping him execute fake trades and phony documents, which contributed to the estimated $18 billion fraud.

The massive Target data breach rocked the retail world and shook up consumers’ confidence. The deadline to sign up for the company’s offer of free credit monitoring is coming up soon.

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