Columnist | Your Money

Chris Farrell is economics editor for American Public Media's weekly "Marketplace Money" show and author of "The New Frugality." He answers reader questions on most Sundays. Send questions to cfarrell@mpr.org and put "Your Money" in the subject line.


Don't be one of many Americans without 'rainy day fund' for emergencies

A Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis survey showed as of October 2023, just more than half of U.S. adults had enough savings to cover three months of expenses if they lost their primary source of income, down slightly from a year before and substantially below the pandemic high.


The housing market is leveling: Buyers, time to put your finances in order

Since you can't predict the future course of home prices, potential homebuyers should focus on what they can control: Their money.


Congratulations, graduates. Now it's time to come up with a financial plan.

You should start saving with your first paycheck, especially with today's work life of multiple jobs.


The clock is running on finding a fix for the Social Security system

Social Security's trust fund can pay benefits in full only until 2033, according to the 2024 Trustees Report. Once that date of funding depletion comes, Social Security will pay only 79% of promised benefits.


Making a living as an artisan is hard but not impossible with financial planning

Becoming a furniture-maker or blacksmith can be a passion pursuit as well as a lucrative career if you keep money matters in mind.


Keeping personal finances simple can improve your well-being

Practical steps include automating the movement of money from checking into savings accounts, similar to automatic withdrawals from your earnings into retirement savings at work.


Biden's new income-driven repayment plan could be boon for those with student loans

SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education) changes the definition of discretionary income to increase the number of low-income borrowers eligible for $0 payments and subsidizes any unpaid interest that remains after a borrower makes a payment.


These three simple reminders can help you avoid a scam

The Federal Trade Commission said people lost more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, up from $3.5 billion in 2020.


Chris Farrell: Ageism shouldn't prevent retirement-age people from working

Whether and how to earn an income is critical to retirement planning, and for employers, older workers are a valuable asset to keep and to hire.


Farrell: Having traditional and Roth savings gives you tax-savvy options in retirement

If your income will be lower in retirement than when you were working, you'd favor traditional retirement savings. Roth is better for the reverse. Since you don't know, the advantage of having both is flexibility.