Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 10 tax forms you need to know before you file. Also in the news: How Blacks took banking into their own hands, understanding collision and comprehensive insurance, and why you shouldn’t take financial advice from commercials.

10 Tax Forms You Need to Know Before You File
Understanding the 1099s and the W2s.

How Blacks Took Banking Into Their Own Hands
More than 18% of African Americans don’t have traditional bank accounts.

Understanding Collision and Comprehensive Insurance
The important differences.

Don’t Take Financial Advice from Commercials
Don’t forget – they’re trying to sell you something.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to prepare financially for your death regardless of your age. Also in the news: The best industries for starting a business in 2017, how insurance companies use your driving record as a crystal ball, and 5 practical steps for creating a retirement backup plan.

How to Prepare Financially for Your Death (No Matter How Young You Are)
Making important decisions.

5 Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2017
Time to start working for yourself.

Your Driving Record: Insurance Companies’ Crystal Ball
Analyzing your behavior.

5 practical steps for creating a retirement backup plan
Always have a Plan B.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

payday-loansToday’s top story: Financial aid tips for procrastinators. Also in the news: Auto insurance in the driverless car era, payday alternative loans, and six ways your teen driver will affect your wallet.

4 Financial Aid Tips for College Procrastinators
Don’t waste any more time.

If You Hate Auto Insurance, You’ll Love Driverless Cars
A change in who’s to blame for accidents.

What Is a Payday Alternative Loan?
Avoiding the traditional payday loan trap.

6 Ways Your Teen Driver Will Affect Your Wallet
It’s more expensive than you’d think.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Student-LoansToday’s top story: Avoiding a costly student loan mistake. Also in the news: How a marijuana DUI could raise your insurance rates, why the new “good” payday loans are still awful, and how to resell a canceled event or trip.

Don’t Make This Student Loan Mistake
It could be quite costly.

A Few Hundred Good Reasons to Avoid a Marijuana DUI
You could see a big insurance hike.

‘Good’ Payday Loans Still Very, Very Expensive
Don’t fall the “kinder and gentler” approach.

How to Resell a Canceled Event or Trip
Your money may not be a lost cause.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

money-saving-militaryToday’s top story: Controlling your finances by ignoring short-term frenzies. Also in the news: A new definition of affordable auto insurance, how military members can save money while moving, and how to estimate the value of your travel rewards.

Control Your Finances by Ignoring the Short-Term Frenzy
Resist being reactionary.

What’s ‘Affordable’ Auto Insurance? Now There’s an Answer
Defining the parameters.

7 Ways Military Members Can Save Money When Moving
Making the costs more bearable.

A Rule of Thumb to Estimate the Value of Your Travel Rewards Miles
What are your miles worth?

Friday’s need-to-know money news

bankruptcyToday’s top story: Dispelling bankruptcy myths. Also in the news: The dangers of credit card checks, the fine print of your car and home insurance, and why many Americans still struggle with credit.

5 Bankruptcy Myths Dispelled
Bankruptcy mythbusting.

Don’t Cash That Credit Card Check Until You Read This
Proceed with caution.

Is it covered? Check your car/home insurance IQ
Examining the fine print.

Many Americans Continue To Struggle With Credit
Access remains a problem.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Wills-in-TexasToday’s top story: Ranking the cheapest cars to insure. Also in the news: Why you need to have a will, the financial perks of downsizing, and how much money you need to save monthly to reach your retirement goal.

Ranking the Cheapest Cars to Insure
Being a smart shopper.

Prince Had No Will, Reports Say — But You Should
Don’t let the government inherit your estate.

The Financial Perks of Downsizing
Going small can mean a bigger bank balance.

This Retirement Calculator Tells You How Much to Save Monthly to Reach Your Goal
How close are you?

Wonder Why You’re Broke? Look in the Driveway

Rockhead126's_1951_Mercury_CustomIf you’re struggling to make ends meet, your problem may not be too many lattes or dinners out. It may be sitting in your driveway.

Your monthly car payment is the tip of the iceberg.

Counting gas, registration and taxes, depreciation, tires, insurance and finance charges, Americans spend $8,700 a year on average — $725 a month — for the privilege of owning a typical midsize sedan, according to AAA, and more than $10,600 a year for an SUV. If you’re struggling with bad credit, the increased cost of financing and insurance will push those numbers even higher.

In my latest for NerdWallet, how to determine if you have too much car in your driveway.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The pros and cons of e-gift cards. Also in the news: Why you’re likely to pay more for auto insurance in 2016, why couples should tackle estate planning now, and a guide to holiday tipping.

Are E-Gift Cards Safe? Here’s What to Know
Making holiday shopping easier.

Here’s Why Your Auto Insurance Will Likely Cost More Next Year
Get ready for higher rates.

5 Ways Couples Can Tackle Estate Planning Now
Don’t put it off.

How Big a Tip to Give for the Holidays
Who should get what.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

8.6.13.CheckupToday’s top story: It’s time for your midyear financial checkup! Also in the news: Credit card vows for newlyweds, how your credit score could affect your auto insurance rates, and the surprising affects of credit card debt.

A Guide to Your Mid-Year Financial Checkup
How’s your year going so far?

6 Credit Card Vows Every Newlywed Couple Should Make
Saying “I Do” to a budget.

Study: Credit scores impact auto insurance
A low score could mean higher premiums.

5 Weird Ways Credit Card Debt Can Hurt You
Where you’d least expect it.