Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: 4 ways you can protect your credit score over the holidays. Also in the news: Giving Tuesday and beyond, why you should think twice before grabbing certain Black Friday deals, and the used cars with the best discounts on Black Friday.

4 Ways You Can Protect Your Credit Score Over the Holidays
Monitoring is key.

Giving Tuesday and Beyond: How Millennials Like to Contribute
Bucking against the self-centered stereotype.

Think twice before grabbing this Black Friday deal
It’s all in the wording.

The Used Cars With the Best Deals on Black Friday
Used car shopping on Black Friday? Why not!

Friday’s need-to-know money news

iStock_000087400741_SmallToday’s top story: Why to avoid financial planning over the holidays. Also in the news: What President Trump will mean for mortgage rates, things banks and credit unions do that you don’t know about, and how waiting for Black Friday deals can really pay off.

Why to Avoid Financial Planning Over the Holidays
Don’t add stress on top of stress.

What the Trump Effect Means for Mortgage Rates Next Year and 5 Years From Now
What will happen to your mortgage under President Trump.

4 Things Banks and Credit Unions Do You Might Not Know About
Be informed.

Turns Out, You Really Can Save Big on Black Friday
Some deals are worth waiting for.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

help-parents-manage-moneyToday’s top story: What retailers don’t want you to know about Black Friday. Also in the news: What to know about tax breaks for disabled individuals, how managing your money is like losing weight, and three retirement tips your not thinking about.

4 Things Retailers Don’t Want You to Know About Black Friday
You might not be getting the best deals.

What to Know About Tax Breaks for Disabled Individuals
Taking advantage of deductions.

How Managing Your Finances Is Like Losing Weight
One day at a time.

3 retirement tips you’re not thinking about
Tips that fly under the radar.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

best-credit-cards-for-holiday-shopping-2013Today’s top story: Smart ways to use credit cards over the holidays. Also in the news: Personal finance tips people wish they’d know when they were younger, how to survive Black Friday, and steps you should take before the next financial crash.

5 Smart Ways to Use Credit Cards During the Holidays
Protecting your money and your data.

5 Personal Finance Tips Most People Wish They’d Known When They Were Younger
It’s never too late.

Surviving Black Friday: How to set a budget and stick to it
Resisting temptation.

Steps You Must Take Before the Next Financial Crash
Trouble could be on the horizon.

Black Friday: Fun, hype–or class warfare?

business girl with shopping bagsAmerican shoppers seem to fall into two groups: those who are planning their early-morning raids on major retailers (starting as early as Thanksgiving morning!) and those who sneer at people who head out into the cold in search of bargains.

I used to belong to the latter group, until a friend pointed out I was being a snob. Here’s how Los Angeles Times reporter Shan Li puts it in today’s article “Black Friday highlights the contrast between rich and poor.”

“Increasingly, the seasonal shopping surge has become a window into America’s class divide, in which high earners have benefited from a booming stock market and rising home prices as many others still grapple with stagnant incomes and lingering financial anxiety.

“You have people who really need a bargain — they will sit out for two days to get that deal because that may be the only big thing they can afford for the whole family,” said Britt Beemer, founder of America’s Research Group. “Luxury retailers don’t do very well on Black Friday because their customers are not going to fight the crowds.”

Li quotes a PricewaterhouseCoopers report that says the ranks of strapped shoppers who earn less than $50,000 a year are growing from 63 percent of American shoppers two years ago to 67 percent today.

There are alternatives to fighting the crowds, of course. Check out this interesting post at the Nonconsumer Advocate: “10 ways for a zero-dollar Christmas.” Online retailers are offering plenty of good deals as well. Then there’s the whole Shop Small thing, although you need an American Express credit or Bluebird prepaid card to get money back.

If you are planning to venture out in search of deals, consider a good price comparison app such as RedLaser or PriceGrabber on your smart phone, if you have one. They’re good tools to help you figure out which Black Friday bargains are the real deal. A site to track is DealNews, which not only alerts you to deals but which keeps track of previous low prices. If you can’t check prices on the go, at least hang on to your receipts so you can exchange anything for which you find a better buy.

Those of us who will be sitting snug at home shouldn’t feel too self-satisfied, particularly if–like me–you order a lot from a certain online retailer. Read this Motley Fool article about which retailer treats its employees worse: WalMart or Amazon.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A massive customer data breach at Target. Also in the news: Six things to do with your money before the new year, combating the hidden holiday costs, and five things you probably didn’t know about identity theft.

Target Says Data Was Stolen From 40 Million Shoppers
If you shopped at Target after Black Friday, you should check your credit report.

6 Things to Do With Your Money Before 2014
The clock is ticking!

A Financial Advisor Explains How To Increase Your Credit Rating
Never. Pay. The. Minimum.

How to Combat the Hidden Cost of the Holidays
Put down the wrapping paper.

5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Identity Theft
Military members are at a huge risk.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Avoiding panic on Black Friday. Also in the news: Shopping strategies for Black Friday, how to earn the most credit card rewards during holiday shopping, and what to consider before applying for a medical credit card. Gift

How to Avoid Panic Buying on Black Friday
Keep Calm and Shop On.

How to Win Black Friday: Shopping Strategies
Getting your gameplan on.

5 Black Friday tricks to avoid
How not to fall for retail tricks.

Earn The Most Credit Card Rewards During Your Holiday Shopping 2013
Stocking up rewards as stuff the stockings.

What to Consider Before Applying for a Medical Credit Card
Pay close attention to interest rates and hidden fees.

Will you shop on Thanksgiving?

Mother and son outdoors at winterI once made a disparaging comment to a friend about people who rush the doors of their local retailers to snag Black Friday deals.

She told me I was being elitist. I had money to buy nice presents for my family. Many of those waiting in the cold, dark night for the Walmart doors to open didn’t, and Black Friday might be their only shot at getting something nice for their kids and spouses and parents.

She had a point. Maybe that characterization doesn’t apply to everybody caught up in the post-Thanksgiving frenzy, but it was true enough back then to make me shut my mouth about it.

Now they’re messing with Thanksgiving itself, which sucks for the employees forced to work and for the shoppers who are letting themselves be tricked into deals that usually aren’t. “The stuff on sale now will be even cheaper in a few weeks,” wrote New York Post columnist Nicole Gelinas who goes on to write:

There’s nothing wrong with marketing ploys. But there is something wrong with preying on people’s impulses to the extent that they are sacrificing time with their families for one day that shouldn’t be commercialized. Time is the real gift.

Because you know what’s next, right? After-Christmas sales…starting on Christmas morning.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to pick a credit card when your options are limited. Also in the news: Reducing your taxable income, rescuing your retirement plans, and why shopping from your couch on Black Friday could save you the most money.Credit card background

How to Pick a Credit Card When You Have Few Options
Pay close attention to astronomical fees.

2014 Tax Tips: 3 Ways to Cut Your Taxable Income
401(k) contributions could help come tax time.

How to rescue your retirement at 55
It’s not too late to save your retirement.

12 ways Black Friday 2013 will be different
The best deals could be found from the comfort of your sofa.

The Perfect Gift for the Kid Who Has Everything: A College Savings Account
While not as cool as a PS4, it’s a gift with huge rewards.