Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Five mid-year tax moves you should make right now. Also in the news: Why you should consider signing up later for social security, getting a late start on retirement savings, and why you should open a savings account.

5 Smart Mid-Year Tax Moves for Right Now
Don’t wait until next year.

Why Workers Sign Up for Social Security at Age 62
Waiting could bring you more money.

5 keys to a successful late-start retirement plan
There’s still time to catch up.

5 Reasons to Start a Savings Account Today
The easiest way to start building wealth.

Here’s What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Buy in July
Hold off on that new TV.

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.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Preparing your home for the winter. Also in the news: Understanding the “kiddie tax”, why your chances of retiring early could be determined by your personality, and how to defeat the urge to binge shop.Education savings

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter
Don’t let your money go up in chimney smoke.

Understanding the ‘Kiddie Tax’
Those generous gifts could be generating taxable income.

Retiring Early May Come Down to Your “Financial Personality”
Are you a “protector” or a “pleaser”?

How to Defeat the Urge to Binge Shop
You might want to star by leaving your wallet at home.

Is Saving the Key to Happiness?
Money can’t buy you love, but saving it might just make you happy.

The problem with bargain hunting

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERADeal sites. Garage sales. Thrift stores. All can be a part of a frugal lifestyle. Or they can just be substitutes for a more expensive shopping habit. The question to ask: Are these thrifty alternatives really thrifty for you? Or are they just feeding that lust for acquisition that leads to too much stuff and too little money?

In a terrific article for LearnVest titled “How I maxed out my retirement savings while making $28,000 a year,” writer Leah Manderson puts her finger on the problem:

I tried a stint at being frugal; shopping the sales and searching out deals on food, entertainment and other activities. What I discovered was that a lot of deal-hunting activities are attempts at “keeping up with the Joneses on less,” and, not surprisingly, they made me feel like a lesser version of the Joneses.

That feeling did not make me want to save money for my future—it made me want to spend more money on “deals”!

Manderson found more peace, and more savings, by unsubscribing from deal sites and making do with what she had: “I let my hair grow out, I made new outfits with clothes already in my closet, I rearranged my home decor to change my surroundings, I reread old books that I loved, and I got comfortable with living on less.”

Most of us have more than enough. Recognizing that can help tame the beast within that insists we “need” the new shiny thing that just captured our attention.

Or you can just remember something my grandmother said while laughing at retailer signs that promised big savings. “You’re not saving,” she said. “You’re spending!”