Why you should save for something fun

Financial planners tend to have firm ideas about the most important goals: You should save for retirement, pay off debt and build an emergency fund. Buying a pair of $200 sneakers or an ultra-high definition TV is probably not on that list.

But maybe saving for something you really, really want isn’t frivolous. It may be exactly what you need to get your financial life on track.

In my latest for the Associated Press, the financial benefits of saving for something fun.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 questions to ask before you hire a tax professional. Also in the news: The security of your hotel’s mobile room key, side hustles you can start with no money, and how to pay off student debt while still saving and investing.

7 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Tax Professional
Asking the important questions.

How Secure Is Your Hotel’s Mobile Room Key?
Risking safety for convenience?

Side Hustles You Can Start With No Money
No investment necessary.

How to Pay Off Student Loan Debt While Still Saving and Investing
Paying for the past, planning for the future.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to make a money resolution that succeeds. Also in the news: Cashless kids’ allowances, 3 things to know about Spotify’s IPO, and why you should prioritize your job’s 401(k) benefits over offers of student loan help.

Ask Brianna: How Do I Make a Money Resolution That Succeeds?
How to stick with it.

For Kids’ Allowance, No Cash Required
Preparing your kids for life in the digital world.

Spotify’s Oddball IPO: 3 Things to Know Before You Buy
The streaming service is going public.

Prioritize Your Job’s 401(k) Benefits Over Their Offers of Student Loan Help
Taking the long view.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Whittle down your debt while having bad credit. Also in the news: 6 secrets from flight crews to stave off jet lag, what to buy every month of the year in 2018, and 3 ways you can better save for retirement.

Bad Credit? You Still Have Tools to Whittle Down Debt
You must be proactive.

6 Secrets From Flight Crews to Stave Off Travel Exhaustion
Keeping jet lag away.

What to Buy Every Month of the Year in 2018
Plan your shopping accordingly.

3 ways you can save better for retirement
Every penny counts.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Is your driver’s license enough for domestic flights? Also in the news: How to have a proper parental fight over college costs, what will happen to your taxes under the new tax rules, and what will get more expensive in 2018.

Is Your Driver’s License Enough for Domestic Flights?
Big changes are coming on January 22nd.

How to Have a Proper Parental Fight Over College Costs
Facing tough decisions.

Will Your Taxes Go Up or Down Under the New Tax Rules?
It’s a whole new ballgame.

What’s getting more expensive in 2018? The gas for your car
Get ready to pay more at the pump.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Resolving to slim down your credit cards in the new year. Also in the news: Why you need a Roth IRA even if you have a 401(k), how to reach your 2018 travel goals with credit card rewards, and what to know about the major cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin.

This New Year, Resolve to Slim Down Your Credit Cards
Taking a look at balance transfer cards.

Why You Need a Roth IRA — Even If You Have a 401(k)
Unique benefits.

How to Reach 2018 Travel Goals With Credit Card Rewards
Maximizing your miles.

What to Know About the Major Cryptocurrencies Besides Bitcoin
Etherium, Litecoin and more.

Thursday’s need-to-know news

Today’s top story: 6 for-keeps New Year’s Resolutions for New Homeowners. Also in the news: Saving money by exercising outdoors this winter, learning the basics of the GOP Tax Plan, and the pros and cons of prepaying your 2018 property taxes in 2017.

6 For-Keeps New Year’s Resolutions for New Homeowners
Survival tips to keep your resolution.

Burn Calories, Not Cash, by Exercising Outdoors This Winter
Take your routine outside.

The basics of the GOP Tax Plan, explained
Learning the basics of a complicated deal.

Will you benefit from prepaying your 2018 property taxes in 2017?
Call your accountant.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Making your investing resolutions a reality in 2018. Also in the news: Free activities to get your family out of the house, learn the truth about overdraft fees, and 3-month Equifax fraud alerts are expiring.

Make Your Investing Resolutions Reality in 2018
A whole new outlook for a new year.

Get Your Family Out of the House With These Free Activities
Fun doesn’t have to cost money.

Learn the Truth About Overdraft Fees — and Save Money
Expensive mistakes.

Warning: Your 3-month Equifax fraud alert is expiring
Should you freeze your credit?

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you should hit the stores on the day after Christmas. Also in the news: Online colleges, tips to help you choose the right credit card, and how much you actually save when you write something off on your taxes.

Why You Should Hit the Store on the Day After Christmas
Putting those gift cards to good use.

Is Online College for You? Answer 5 Questions to Find Out
Weighing the pros and cons.

7 Tips That Will Help You Choose The Right Credit Card
Be selective.

How Much You Actually Save When You Write Something Off on Your Taxes
Calculating your savings.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Loan forgiveness scaled back for defrauded students. Also in the news: an NFL rookie hoping to avoid money mistakes, giving to charity when money is tight, and New Year’s financial resolutions for your money.

Loan Forgiveness Scaled Back for Defrauded Students
An effect of the new tax bill.

When It Comes to Money, He’s Looking to Avoid Rookie Mistakes
Arizona tight end Ricky Seal-Jones.

Ask Brianna: Can I Give to Charity If Money Is Tight?
Being generous on a budget.

Make some New Year’s resolutions for your money
Start 2018 off right.