Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Equifax messed up – who pays? You do. Also in the news: 5 foolproof ways to build wealth without a lottery ticket, 3 ways to score after iPhone 8 and iPhone X release, and your ‘money personality’ is first step to financial freedom.

Equifax Messed Up — Who Pays? You Do

5 Foolproof Ways to Build Wealth — No Lotto Ticket Needed

3 Ways to Score After iPhone 8, iPhone X Release

Your ‘money personality’ is first step to financial health

The recipe for building wealth hasn’t changed

Building wealth has gotten harder for most people in recent years. But the habits that can make you rich haven’t changed.

It boils down to this: putting aside money, regularly and consistently, that can be invested for your future. You have to leave that money alone to grow, which means you also need an emergency fund. And you must be careful with debt, because the wrong kinds can erode your wealth rather than build it.

It’s a simple formula but one that’s become increasingly hard to implement as incomes stagnate and prices rise. A shocking number of American households — nearly half, by the Federal Reserve’s last count — don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected $400 expense. Our inability to save has contributed to a 21 percent decline in household median net worth between 1998, the year median incomes peaked in America, and 2013, the last year for which Fed stats are available.

Hardest-hit are households in the lower middle class, which in 2013 meant incomes from $23,300 to $40,499. Their net worth fell by half.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to use the habits of wealthy people to build for your future.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

847_interestrates1Today’s top story: Why the Fed’s rate changes won’t immediately impact your loans. Also in the news:Why all credit checks aren’t created equal, how to avoid an IRS audit, and the four pillars of building wealth.

Why Fed Moves Won’t Hugely Affect Your Loans Anytime Soon
A slow creep instead of a dramatic jump.

Do All Credit Checks Hurt My Credit?
Not all credit checks are created equal.

How to avoid an IRS tax audit
Avoiding an unpleasant experience.

No Matter What, Building Wealth Always Comes Down to These Four Pillars
The four constants.

Target to Settle Data Breach for $10 Million
One of the largest breaches in retail history.