Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if an ATM eats your deposit. Also in the news: Betterment adds a charitable giving option, 3 things you definitely shouldn’t finance, and the best Cyber Monday sales for 2017.

What to Do if an ATM Eats Your Deposit
Don’t panic.

Betterment Adds a Charitable Giving Option
Just in time for Giving Tuesday.

3 things you definitely shouldn’t finance
Don’t take out that credit card just yet.

Best Cyber Monday Sales for 2017
No need to fight the crowds.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Credit report with score on a desk

Credit report with score on a desk

Today’s top story: Debt collectors continue to defy requests to stop calling. Also in the news: How to map out a year’s worth of shopping, how stuck-in-the-middle parents can afford college, and why your free credit score might not be what you think it is.

3 in 4 Say Debt Collectors Defy Requests to Stop Calling
Consumers are still feeling threatened.

Map Out a Year’s Worth of Shopping Right Now
When to get the best deals.

How Stuck-in-the-Middle Parents Can Afford College
Looking at the options.

Your Free Credit Score Might Not Be What You Think It Is
Understanding the differences.

3 smart strategies to get the best deal on everything

Thanks to the ease of comparison shopping online, almost anyone can suss out a 10% discount these days, and 20% isn’t all that tough either. But if you’re looking for major-league savings—the kind that can reach 30% to 50% off or more—then you need a special weapon. You need intel.

In my latest for Money magazine, find out when is the best time to buy whatever you’ve had your eye on.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

smartphones_financeToday’s top story: How to get the best deal on a new cellphone. Also in the news: What happens to your debts after you die, when a loan beats a credit card, and how to decide if you need life insurance.

Buying a cellphone? Here’s how to get the best deal.
Read the fine print.

This Is What Happens to Your Debts After You Die
What debts will your estate be responsible for?

5 Times a Loan Beats a Credit Card
Credit cards may be easier, but they’re not always smarter.

Do You Need Life Insurance? How Much Is Enough?
Important calculations.

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.