Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why tax refunds aren’t fun anymore. Also in the news: 12 first-time home buyer mistakes and how to avoid them, 9 easy ways to earn travel rewards you’ll actually use, and Equifax says hackers stole more info than previously reported.

Why Tax Refunds Aren’t Fun Anymore
No more splurging.

12 First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Avoiding the pitfalls.

9 Easy Ways to Earn Travel Rewards You’ll Actually Use
These rewards won’t collect dust.

Equifax says hackers stole more than previously reported
Roughly 2.4 million more.

When a tax refund is a lifeline, not a windfall

The typical advice about what people should do with their tax refunds — save for retirement! pay off debt! — ignores how little wiggle room many families have with their finances.

Tax refunds averaged $2,895 last year, and were the largest single cash infusion received all year by 40 percent of the checking account holders recently studied by the JPMorgan Chase Institute. In my latest for the Associated Press, a look at how Americans use their tax refunds.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 2018 US Olympians open up about their money struggles. Also in the news: Tax forms to know about before filing your return, how to keep your tax preparer from hating you, and 10 cities where taxpayers receive the fattest refund checks.

2018 US Olympians Open Up About Money Struggles
Star athletes paid very little.

Tax Forms to Know About Before Filing Your Return
The most popular forms, explained.

How to Keep Your Tax Preparer From Hating You
Come prepared.

10 cities where taxpayers receive the fattest refund checks
Did yours make the list?

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 ways to drive a car without owning one. Also in the news: Tax refund loans for early filers, the pros and cons of senior checking accounts, and the return of triple-digit interest rates on payday loans.

5 Ways to Drive a Car Without Owning One
Ditching the car doesn’t leave you without wheels.

Tax Refund Loans Give Cash Now to Early Filers
Interest free loans can get you your money sooner.

Checking Accounts for Seniors
The pros and cons of Senior Checking.

The Trump administration brings back triple-digit interest rates on payday loans.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: There’s still time to make an IRA contribution for 2016. Also in the news: FAFSA tool outage, 4 money lies you might be telling yourself, and when a tax refund means bankruptcy.

There’s Still Time to Make an IRA Contribution for 2016
You have a couple more weeks.

FAFSA Tool Outage: Students It Affects Most and How to Cope
Added stress.

4 Money Lies You Might Be Telling Yourself
Time for the truth.

When a tax refund means bankruptcy
The means to pay for going broke.

Tax refund predators are waiting

People who don’t have much money during the rest of the year can become big targets during tax refund season.

For those living paycheck to paycheck, tax refunds — which average around $3,000 — may be the largest chunk of unobligated cash they see all year. Retailers hope to get some of that money, but so do debt collectors, buy-here-pay-here car lots, and purveyors of interest-free loans that come with fat fees. People flush with cash need to proceed with caution.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to protect yourself from tax refund predators.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for February. Also in the news: How to cope with delayed tax refunds, brick and mortar stalwarts close as e-commerce thrives, and free online classes to improve your financial literacy.

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for February 2017
What cards will serve you best?

IRS Delays Some Tax Refunds: How to Cope
Security measures to slow things down.

As E-Commerce Thrives, Macy’s, Sears Stores Close
Brick-and-mortar stores turned to dust.

5 free online classes to improve your financial literacy
No excuses!

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Pile of Credit CardsToday’s top story: What yo look for in a credit card for bad credit. Also in the news: How to decide whether you should save, invest, or pay off student loans, how to spend less money in your 20s, and why next year’s tax refund might be late.

What to Look for in a Credit Card for Bad Credit
Pay close attention to fees.

Should I Save, Invest or Pay off Student Loans?
Using your money wisely.

10 Ways to Spend Less in Your 20s
The more you can save the better.

Adjust Your Withholding Now Because Next Year’s Tax Refund Might Be Late
Be prepared to wait.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Smart things to do with your tax refund. Also in the news: New options for payday loan borrowers, how to build an emergency fund on a low income, and how to decide when to claim Social Security.

Smart Things To Do With Your Tax Refund
Putting your refund to good use.

A New Option for Payday Loan Borrowers
Borrowers in California and Texas may have better options.

Build Your Emergency Fund On a Low Income With a Simple Bill Tweak
A slight tweak in how you pay your bills could save the day.

3 fast facts that can help you decide when to claim Social Security
Making the best decision for your retirement.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: What you can learn from your 2015 tax returns. Also in the news: Getting the most from mobile banking, using the 50/20/30 rule for your budget, and the number one thing Americans plan to do with their tax refunds.

What You Can Learn From Your 2015 Tax Return
Revealing info on your investments.

Mobile Check Deposits: Pro Tips to Ensure They Go Smoothly
Getting the most from a convenient way of banking.

This Is the No. 1 Thing Americans Do With Their Tax Refund
The answer may surprise you.

Use the 50/20/30 Rule to Outline Your Budget For Every Need
Proportioning your expenses.