Personal Finance Daily: How much kids made in allowance this year and what the shutdown means for your student loans

Personal Finance Daily: How much kids made in allowance this year  and what the shutdown means for your student loans

Happy Wednesday, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top personal finance stories today.


Americans divided on Trump’s immigration policy, but less concerned about national security

More than half of U.S. adults said they disapproved of Trump’s actions on immigration in a recent survey.


The average kid’s allowance rose faster than American workers’ salaries in 2018

Some children also save money at higher rates than adults do, though they obviously have lower overhead.


His wife surprised him with $220,000 in student loans — here’s how they tackled $480,000 in debt

This happily married dad felt like an ‘economic slave’ after financial revelations by his wife. Their first move? An Excel spreadsheet.


Want to learn the details of the Bezos split? Maybe look for SEC filings

The ways the Bezos divorce is different.


The new year is prime time for divorces and personal-injury lawsuits

The night before Thanksgiving through Super Bowl Sunday fuels the busy season for some attorneys.


Yes, you still need to pay your student loans during the shutdown — but you could hit some snags

The Department of Education is fully funded, so it should be (mostly) business as usual for borrowers and students.


This woman put $9,000 on credit cards for medical bills and later required open-heart surgery — here’s how she got through it

Did her sibling bail her out? Or tell her to declare bankruptcy? Finally, an answer.


Hungry U.S. college students are going without food stamps amid confusion over eligibility

The GAO recommends the federal government does more to make clear which college students are eligible for food stamps


The link between alumni donations and college rankings

The relationship is well understood in the higher education universe, but little discussed in the mainstream.


Smoking costs you more than $27,000 a year. Here’s your no B.S. guide to quitting for good.

And Connecticut is the most expensive state to light up in, WalletHub reports, with users burning through almost $56,000.


Elsewhere on MarketWatch

Fed chatter confirms interest rates on hold until May at earliest

Recent Fed speeches and minutes of the Fed’s last meeting confirm that interest-rate policy is likely on pause for a while, analysts said.


Trump Today: President walks out of border meeting after clash as he keeps emergency declaration as option

President Donald Trump left a border-wall meeting after clashing with Democrats on Wednesday, and said he may still declare a national emergency as the partial government shutdown marked its 19th day.


The facts and public opinion work against Trump on his wall

If it was really an emergency on the southern border, Trump and his allies could just rely on facts, argues Paul Brandus


Newcomers? Congress is still all about long-timers — and Democrats have more of them than Republicans

The new Congress that kicked off this month features plenty of firsts and newcomers, but it also isn’t short on lawmakers who have spent decades on the job. Democrats in the House and Senate show longer tenures on average.


Fed minutes show ‘many’ officials think they can be ‘patient’ on interest rates going forward

‘Many’ Fed officials tought the central bank could afford to be patient about further policy firming, minutes of the December meeting show


The government shutdown is not hurting the economy much, but it still comes with a cost

The partial government shutdown is putting a squeeze on 800,000 federal workers and their families, but the U.S. economy has largely escaped unscathed for now. There are other costs to worry about, though.


Study: High volatility significantly limits cryptocurrencies usefulness for portfolio diversification

Cryptocurrencies aren’t really a traditional asset class since returns and market volume don’t correlate to stocks, bonds or other traditional portfolio choices, research says


3 outside-the-box alternatives for home buyers looking to succeed in this tough market

For less typical ways to beat the housing shortage, look at manufactured homes, community land trusts and fixer uppers.


‘Smartass!’ Kellyanne Conway slams Jim Acosta for questioning Trump’s honesty

CNN’s Jim Acosta and the White House are at it again. Ahead of the president’s televised speech on border security Tuesday night, Acosta asked Kellyanne Conway if she’d guarantee Trump would tell the truth. She didn’t like the question.


Get a daily roundup of the top reads in personal finance delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to MarketWatch's free Personal Finance Daily newsletter. Sign up here.