Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Smart ways to rein in holiday spending. Also in the news: Budgeting before Black Friday to prevent costly regrets, why you should check travel prices before Black Friday, and 7 things not to buy on Cyber Monday.

Smart Ways to Rein In Holiday Spending
Keeping your expenses in check.

Budget Before Black Friday to Prevent Costly Regrets After
Don’t go in without a plan.

Check Travel Prices Before Black Friday
You could be missing out on deals.

7 things NOT to buy on Cyber Monday
Not all sales are created equal.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to plan a vacation without getting into debt. Also in the news: How to save money and drive safer by plugging into your car’s computer, 9 expenses to pack in your moving budget, and 3 people show how they got control of their college debt.

How to Plan a Vacation Without Getting Into Debt
Sticking to your budget.

Plug Into Your Car’s Computer to Save Money, Drive Safer
Using the onboard diagnostic panel.

9 Expenses to Pack in Your Moving Budget
Don’t forget the minor details.

3 people, 3 ways of getting control of college debt
What you can learn from their approaches.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 air-travel headaches and how to head them off. Also in the news: 5 survival strategies for camping on a budget, 5 steps to officiating at a friend’s wedding, and what 20-somethings need to know about getting their financial lives in order.

7 Air-Travel Headaches and How to Head Them Off
Leave the headaches at home.

5 Survival Strategies for Camping on a Budget
Skip the “glamping.”

5 Steps to Officiating at a Friend’s Wedding
You don’t have to be a professional.

What 20-Somethings Need to Know About Getting Their Financial Lives in Order
Prioritizing is key.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Straightforward answers to your Roth IRA questions. Also in the news: Disney vacation pros share budgeting tips for trips, how to jumpstart your financial plan by ditching this phrase, and what to ask yourself before dipping into your emergency fund.

7 Straightforward Answers to Your Roth IRA Questions
Everything you need to know.

Disney Vacation Pros Dish Up Budgeting Tips for Trips
More money for mouse ears.

Ditch This Phrase and Jump-Start Your Financial Plan
No more dwelling on the past.

What to Ask Yourself Before Dipping Into Your Emergency Fund
Is it really an emergency?

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How debt settlement can make a bad money situation worse. Also in the news: Using an IRA as a legal, last-minute way to lower your taxes, 4 reasons why it’s smart to buy a used cell phone, and how to budget as a freelancer.

Debt Settlement Can Make a Bad Money Situation Worse
Not the perfect solution.

An IRA Is a Legal, Last-Minute Way to Lower Your Taxes
There’s still time for 2017 taxes.

4 Reasons It’s Smart to Buy a Used Cell Phone
Saving on new-to-you tech.

How to Budget as a Freelancer
Budgeting when income isn’t reliable.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 tips to get back on budget after the holidays. Also in the news: Thinking twice about that in-flight credit card offer, how a Roth IRA works, and how paying your child an allowance can pay off in the long run.

5 Tips to Get Back on Budget After the Holidays
Reigning in the spending.

Think Twice About That In-Flight Credit Card Offer
Reading the fine print.

How Does a Roth IRA Work?
Know this important retirement tool.

Paying allowance can pay off, if you do it right
How much is enough?

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: How that new store card could torpedo your credit score. Also in the news: Insuring expensive gifts, the right mortgage to ask, and how to quickly figure out how much spending money you’ll have for the year.

That New Store Card Could Torpedo Your Credit Score
That immediate discount could cost you in the long run.

Splurged on an Expensive Gift? Don’t Forget to Insure It
Protect your purchase.

13 Mortgage Questions to Ask — and the Answers You Want
Everything you need to know.

How to Quickly Figure Out How Much Spending Money You’ll Have for the Year
Calculating discretionary income.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 reasons to be petrified of Bitcoin. Also in the news: A ‘Born Spender’ goes on a spending fast, how to stop your grown kids from ruining your retirement, and how to hide gifts from your partner when you share bank accounts.

3 Reasons to Be Petrified of Bitcoin
The cryptocurrency reaches an all-time high.

How I Ditched Debt: ‘Born Spender’ Goes on a Spending Fast
Changing their ways.

How To Stop Your Grown Kids From Ruining Your Retirement
Protecting your future.

How to Hide Gifts From Your Partner When You Share Bank Accounts
Tips for holiday giving.