Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

1381460521Today’s top story: How to stop your budget from leaking money. Also in the news: How to help your kid buy a home, how medical bills could sabotage your retirement, and how to get a friend to finally pay back the money you let them borrow.

How to Plug Leaks in Your Budget
Stopping the slow drip of money.

4 Ways to Help Your Kid Buy a Home
That’s one way to get them to move out.

4 Ways A Large Medical Bill Could Sabotage Your Retirement (And What To Do About It)
How to deal with the unexpected.

3 Reasons You’re Having Trouble Collecting an Insurance Payout
Working through the red tape.

8 Ways to Get Friends to Repay a Personal Loan
Without having to end the friendship.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: six steps to building a bullet proof retirement portfolio. Also in the news: what your everyday expenses actually cost you, what you shouldn’t buy at a dollar store, and how to use Pinterest to map out your budget.

6 steps to a bulletproof retirement portfolio
How to get the ball rolling.

Take Control of Your Spending: What Everyday Expenses Actually Cost
You’ll be surprised by what you’re really spending.

5 things not to buy at dollar stores
In honor of Dollar Tree purchasing Family Dollar, find out which products aren’t worth the low price.

5 Ways to Use Pinterest to Plan Your Budget
The social media time vacuum could help you save money.

5 Times Credit Card Rewards Aren’t Worth It

Monday’s need-to-know money news

crop380w_istock_000009258023xsmall-dbet-ball-and-chainToday’s top story: Becoming debt free and staying that way. Also in the news: How to find the leaks in your budget, six ways to become “rich”, and what to do if you need a credit increase.

How to Become Debt-Free — and Stay That Way
It’s not as impossible as it sounds.

How to Find & Fix Your Budget Leaks
Sealing the money drips.

6 ways to become rich without even trying
Well, maybe a little trying.

Need Some Flexibility? 6 Ways to Increase Your Credit Limit
Proceed with caution.

Disability Benefits: How Social Security Decides If You Deserve Them
Deciphering the formula.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: President Obama will take action to help those with student loan debt. Also in the news:images How not to get scammed on your summer vacation, being honest about your debt situation, and how to make sure you’re being paid what you’re worth.

President Obama to Take Executive Action on Student Debt Monday
“Pay As You Earn” will be widely expanded.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed on Your Summer Vacation
Protecting your mobile devices is key.

Are You in Denial About Your Debt?
Be honest with yourself.

3 Ways to Tell If You’re Being Paid What You’re Worth
Don’t shortchange yourself.

2 Things You Have To Teach Your Kids About Money
Budgets and credit cards.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: What can be learned financially during a parent’s last days. Also in the news: How to reduce your credit card debt through balance transfers, what new college grads should know about money, and should you buy life insurance for your kids.

5 financial lessons from a parent’s last days
What can be learned during a difficult time.

Save Thousands on Credit Card Debt with Balance Transfers
Playing the balance transfer shuffle.

What New College Grads Need To Know About Money
The “real world” is expensive.

Should You Buy Life Insurance for Your Kids?
Determining the best savings strategies.

Five Little Money Leaks That You Can Plug Right Now
Stopping the drips.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: What to do when you forget to pay your taxes. Also in the news: How to make sharing finances in your marriage less painful, 4 things you need to do before buying a home, and how writing out your budget could help you save money.

Help! I Forgot to Pay My Taxes
Waiting to pay will only make things worse.

Sharing Finances in a Marriage: 5 Stats You Should Know
How to make sharing your finances as stress-free as possible.

You Need to Do These 4 Things Before Buying a Home
Educate yourself.

5 Tips When Purchasing a Gift for a Teacher
It’s that time of the year again.

How Not Automating Your Budget Can Help You Spend Less
Write it out.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

1594411528_1512b1aad5_zToday’s top story: The pros and cons of becoming a landlord. Also in the news: The painless way to create a budget, which metro areas have the best cost of living, and why you need to change you eBay password immediately.

Is Becoming a Landlord Worth It?
Passive income is great, but it can come with some big headaches.

6 Ways to Ease the Pain of Crafting Your First Budget
It doesn’t have to be excruciating.

The Best Places To Live If You Want Extra Money At The End Of The Month
Places where the cost of living won’t swallow your paycheck.

EBay Asks Users to Change Passwords After Cyber-Attack
Another major site gets hacked.

17 tips for quickly paying down student loans, from someone who paid off $74,000 in 2 years
Two years!

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The pros and cons of couples keeping their finances separate. Also in the news: What you need to know about deducting mortgage interest, how paying old debt will affect your credit score, and when to have the retirement talk.

Should Couples Keep Their Financial Assets Separate?
The pros and cons.

Deducting Mortgage Interest: What You Need to Know
Getting the most from your mortgage deductions.

Will Paying an Old Debt Hurt My Credit Scores?
What you need to consider before writing a check.

Tips for couples: How to have the retirement talk
One of the most important conversations you’ll ever have.

Un-budgeting: When Your Household Budget Has Gone Too Far
You know what they say about too much of a good thing.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Improving your budget in 2014. Also in the news: The little things that are killing your budget, eliminating excuse making, and how to start digging out from under holiday bills. Credit card background

How to Budget Better in the New Year
Smart budgeting is essential to your financial health.

5 Small Things That Are Killing Your Budget
All those $5.00 subscription fees add up quickly.

11 Money Excuses to Stop Making in 2014
Cross these excuses off of your list.

How To Recover From Your Holiday Spending
Don’t let the holidays haunt you through the New Year.

4 Ways to Protect Your Money
Insurance, insurance, insurance.

Single mom’s expenses leave no money for food

Dear Liz: I’m a single mom with three kids. My mortgage is $1,700. My other monthly bills include $355 for a car loan, $755 for school tuition, $350 for utilities, $790 for credit cards, $200 for gas, $208 for braces and $235 for a 401(k) contribution. This leaves no money for food. I get no child support. How can I pay down my credit card debt? I don’t have any money for a baby sitter or I could get a second job.

Answer: The way you pay down credit card debt is by reducing expenses and increasing income to free up extra cash. If that’s not possible, you may need to consider bankruptcy, given the amount of debt you’re carrying.

If you’re paying only the minimums on your credit cards, that monthly bill indicates you have close to $40,000 in credit card debt. Since you can’t cover your basic expenses, you’re probably adding to that debt pile every month. That needs to stop.

You don’t say why you aren’t receiving child support, but if the father isn’t dead or disabled he should be helping to support his kids. Your state has an enforcement agency that can help you. Child support enforcement is often part of a state’s social services department, although it may also be offered by the state attorney general or its revenue (tax) department.

One obvious, if painful, place to trim is private school tuition. If the school can’t offer you financial aid, you should consider placing your kids in the best public school you can manage.

What you don’t want to do is trim your retirement plan contribution. You’re probably getting a company match, which is free money you’ll need to sustain yourself in retirement.

In general, your “must have” expenses — shelter, transportation, food, utilities, insurance and minimum loan payments — should equal no more than 50% of your after-tax income. If your must-haves exceed that level, it will be tough to make ends meet, particularly if you’re trying to pay off debt and save for the future.