Friday’s need-to-know money news

o-CREDIT-REPORT-facebookToday’s top story: How to buy your kid a good credit score. Also in the news: What keeps us awake at night, what low-income families lose by not having bank accounts, and finance lessons Baby Boomers could learn from Millennials.

How to Buy Your Kid a Good Credit Score for $200
Starting them off on the right foot.

Money, Safety and Privacy Keep Us Awake at Night
What we worry about when we try to sleep.

Low-Income Families Are Most Likely to Skip the Bank Account — and Pay the Price
Losing interest and protection.

5 Finance Lessons Baby Boomers Could Learn From Millennials
Taking advice.

Your post-holiday financial recovery plan

best-credit-cards-for-holiday-shopping-2013Holiday overindulgence can lead to throbbing heads, expanded waistlines — and piles of credit card bills. In my latest for MoneyWatch, some suggestions for getting back on track if you overdid it on the holiday spending.

In my latest for Time, a look at what Baby Boomers should do with their finances as they approach 70.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

taxesToday’s top story: How to save money on your taxes by deducting work-related expenses. Also in the news: Learning about financial therapy, decreasing credit card limits, and financial advice for baby boomers.

How IRS Form 2106 Can Save You Money on Taxes
Deducting the work expenses your employer doesn’t cover.

What You Should Know About Financial Therapy
Getting to the deeper root of money issues.

The Average Credit Card Limit Is Dropping: What It Means for You
Lower limits across the board.

Five Easy Pieces of Financial Advice for Baby Boomers
Planning for the road ahead.

5 Reasons Every Boomer Should Stick to a Budget
More important now more than ever.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The right way to close a credit card. Also in the news: Financial tools you no longer need, determining how much college tuition you can afford, and how baby boomers can survive retirement.

What’s the Right Way to Close a Credit Card?
How you say goodbye matters.

5 Financial Tools You No Longer Need
Some of these may surprise you.

How Much Tuition Can You Really Afford?
Time for a reality check.

How Boomers Can Avoid Going Bust in Retirement
There’s still time to get your act together.

Why millennials aren’t saving

DrowningSavings rates for adults under 35 plunged from 5 percent in 2009 to a negative 2 percent, according to Moody’s Analytics, and the consequences are potentially huge. Here’s how a Wall Street Journal writer put it:

“A lack of savings increases the vulnerability of young workers in the postrecession economy, leaving many without a financial cushion for unexpected expenses, raising the difficulty of job transitions and leaving them further away from goals like eventual homeownership—let alone retirement….Those who don’t save are unlikely to be wealthy in the future, meaning American angst over wealth inequality seems poised to persist if most millennials are unable to save or choose not to.”

Unfortunately, the two “real people” quoted in the story both have college educations and decent jobs. The first has credit card debt (a synonym for “frivolous spending”) and would rather spend on “her social life and travel” while the second finds investments “too complicated.” These two reinforce the narrative that the only reason people don’t save is because they don’t want to.

In reality, most people under 35 don’t have a college degree. They have a higher unemployment rate than their elders and much smaller incomes–the median for households headed by someone under 35 was $35,300 in 2013, down from $37,600 in 2010. As the WSJ article notes, wages for those 35 and under have fallen 9 percent, in inflation-adjusted terms, since 1995.

(Millennials, by the way, also don’t have much credit card debt. In the 2010 survey, the latest for which age breakdowns are available, fewer than 40 percent of under-35 households carried credit card balances, and the median amount owed was $1,600.)

Saving on small incomes is, of course, possible–and essential if you ever hope to get ahead. But any discussion of savings among the young should acknowledge how much harder it is to do in an era of falling incomes. Today’s millennials have it tougher than Generation X did at their age, and way, way tougher than the Baby Boomers. It may comfort older, wealthier Americans to imagine the younger generation is just more frivolous. But that does a disservice to millennials, and to our understanding of the real causes of wealth inequality.

 

 

 

Friday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: How your kids can hurt your credit. Also in the news: How to find the best financing when purchasing a new car, why baby boomers need help paying down their debt, and five banking fees that are actually worth paying.

5 Ways Your Kid Can Hurt Your Credit
Intentionally and unintentionally.

Need a New Car? Here’s How to Find the Best Financing Deal
Don’t forget to skip the “undercarriage package.”

Boomer Retirees Need a Hand Paying Down Debt
How to prioritize payments while saving for retirement.

5 Banking Fees That Are Actually Worth Paying
Some fees have long-term benefits.

How to Prepare for a Mini-Retirement
Making the big retirement picture seem less far away.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

bills-smallToday’s top story: What you should do if you’re late with your credit card payments. Also in the news: How the homes of baby boomers could become liabilities, what 20% of tax payers are doing wrong, and why you should freeze your spending now to save for the holidays.

What to do if you’re late on credit card payment
Communication with your card company is essential.

How Baby Boomers’ Homes May Become Liabilities
A dramatic population shift could spell trouble for Boomers.

What 20% of Taxpayers Are Doing Wrong
Moving into the e-filing age.

How to Freeze Your Spending Now to Save for the Holidays
They’re right around the corner.

Apply All Your Bonuses to Principal When You Have High-Interest Debt
Getting out of debt quicker.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Tips for baby boomers on making out a will. Also in the news: Money moves you can make to start building a successful retirement, credit thieves target Neiman Marcus, and how to build your 401(k) without running out of spending money.

What Baby Boomers Need To Know About Making Out A Will
It’s time to get serious about long-term financial planning.

5 Money Moves to Create a Successful Retirement
Simplifying your accounts plays a major role.

Neiman Marcus Security Breach Puts One Million-Plus Payment Cards at Risk
Credit thieves find another Target.

How to Fund Your 401(k) and Still Have Spending Money
A few small changes could leave you with extra cash.

4 Ways to Keep Your Cellphone From Getting Hacked
Hackers are after more than just our computers.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The retirement moves baby boomers should consider this year. Also in the news: Predictions about the economy, avoiding money scams, and the hottest real estate markets in the country.

5 Retirement Moves Boomers Should Make in 2014
Start learning about Social Security benefits.

5 Predictions About Your Money and the Economy in 2014
Could the economy get back on track?

4 Outrageous Scams Consumers Fall For
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

10 hottest housing markets for 2014
Getting the most bang for your housing bucks.

Wait! Don’t make these common (and costly) tax mistakes
Filing close to the deadline could put you at risk for identity theft.