Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Finding your tax refund. Also in the news: How long you should keep your tax records, when to pay for ‘free’ shipping, and 7 steps towards financial literacy for your kids.

Where’s My Tax Refund?
Tracking down your refund.

How Long Should You Keep Your Tax Records?
What to keep and what to toss.

When to Pay for ‘Free’ Shipping
When “free” is worth the cost.

7 Steps Toward Financial Literacy For Your Children
It’s never too early for them to learn.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Only 1 in 10 Americans are at Peak Financial Health. Also in the news: How to dodge stock market scams, when a tax refund means bankruptcy, and millennial parents face the reality of baby costs.

Only 1 in 10 Americans at Peak Financial Health
Where Americans are falling short.

How to Dodge Stock Market Scams
Protecting your investments.

When a Tax Refund Means Bankruptcy
Using a refund as a budget tool or a chance at a fresh start.

Millennial parents face the reality of baby costs
Babies are both adorable and expensive.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What student loan borrowers need to know about the Navient lawsuit. Also in the news: 5 ways to avoid blowing your tax refund, how to prepare financially for a baby, and spreading your tax refund across multiple accounts.

Navient Lawsuit: What Student Loan Borrowers Need to Know
Navient is facing three lawsuits.

5 Ways to Avoid Blowing Your Tax Refund
Using it wisely.

Baby on the way? Here’s how to prepare financially
Preparing for parenthood.

The IRS Will Split Your Tax Refund for You
Spread your refund across multiple accounts.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: These 4 tax bills can surprise, but you can be ready. Also in news: Can’t pay your taxes? Here are 6 ways to cope. Why stay-at-home spouses should buy life insurance, and how to avoid blowing your tax refund.

These 4 Tax Bills Can Surprise, but You Can Be Ready
Be prepared.

Can’t Pay Your Taxes? Here Are 6 Ways to Cope
Don’t panic.

Why Stay-at-Home Spouses Should Buy Life Insurance
Guidlines for the right policy.

5 ways to avoid blowing your tax refund
Spending it wisely.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 essential investing moves for Millennials. Also in the news: Why your tax refund is ideal for paying credit card debt, how to make sure retirement isn’t a drag, and why you need to do your homework before meeting with a financial advisor.

5 Essential Investing Moves for Millennials
Planning for the future.

Why Your Tax Refund Is Ideal for Paying Credit Card Debt
Use it wisely.

Retirement Can Be a Drag. Here’s How to Fix That
Making the most of it.

Before You Meet With A Personal Financial Advisor, Do Your Homework
Know who you’re dealing with.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Using your tax refund to secure your future. Also in the news: Frequent overdrafters lose hundreds in fees, what to do before age 40 to retire comfortably, and how viewing your budget as a circle instead of a list can provide more flexibility.

5 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund to Secure Your Future
Protecting what you have, while still having a little fun.

Heaviest Overdrafters Pay a Week’s Wages in Fees, Study Finds
Creating a vicious circle.

10 Things to Do Before Age 40 to Retire Comfortably
Tick tock.

View Your Budget as a Circle Instead of a List to Be More Flexible
Giving yourself a little breathing room.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: How to talk to your kids about money. Also in the news: Shrewd ways to use your tax refund for your future, how to survive an IRS audit, and tips for cancer patients who are worried about the cost of their care.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Money
The sooner the better.

5 shrewd ways to use your tax refund for your future
Your retirement fund will thank you.

How to survive being audited by the IRS
Don’t panic.

7 tips for cancer patients worrying about the cost of their care
Minimizing the stress.

Is Your Tax Refund Safe?

file_161555_0_tax refundYour tax refund may take a few days longer to land in your bank account this year. That’s because criminals from around the world are determined to get to it first.

“Our systems are attacked about a million times a week,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says. “These are Russian syndicates, Chinese. … They’re coming from all over.”

I talked to Koskinen on the same day his agency revealed that last year’s attack on the IRS’ Get Transcript system was more than twice as bad as previous estimates. The hackers apparently accessed tax return information for more than 700,000 people, not 334,000 as was reported last summer.

In my latest for NerdWallet, what the hackers did with that information, and how it could affect this year’s refunds.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Investing your tax refund so it feels like splurging. Also in the news: IRS scams to avoid, financial mistakes to watch out for, and being frugal without wasting your time.

How to Invest Your Tax Refund So It Feels Like Splurging
Long term rewards.

Don’t Fall for These IRS Scams
With tax season comes scam season.

3 Big Financial Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make
Avoiding these pitfalls.

How to Be Frugal Without Wasting Your Time
Making the most of your time AND money.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

321562-data-breachesToday’s top story: The excuses that are keeping you from being debt-free. Also in the news: A major data breach at Time-Warner Cable, smart ways to spend your tax refund, and why most Americans couldn’t handle a surprise $500 bill.

5 Excuses Keeping You From Being Debt-Free
No more excuses.

If you’re a Time-Warner Cable customer, you should change your passwords immediately
The first big data breach of 2016.

9 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Some are unexpected.

Most Americans can’t handle a $500 surprise bill
Living on the financial edge.