Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t get taken by government grant scams. Also in the news: When you should and shouldn’t tap your Roth IRA, using your credit cards to pay for child care, and a report that finds many American teens lack basic financial skills.

Don’t Get Taken by Government Grant Scams
The government doesn’t want to give you money.

When You Should — and Shouldn’t — Tap Your Roth IRA
Let your interest rate be your guide.

Should You Use Credit Cards to Pay for Child Care?
Depends on the card.

Report finds many American teens lack basic financial skills
Not a good sign.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

The hackerThe best way to invest your first $1000, the pros and cons of living on cash, and what’s covered by identity theft insurance.

How to Invest Your First $1,000
The road to investment success has to begin somewhere.

4 Tips Before Buying Your Teenager a Car
Laying down the rules of the road before they get behind the wheel.

What I Learned From Living on Cash
Could you survive the Cash Challenge?

Will ID Theft Insurance Shield You From Fraud?
What is and isn’t covered by identity theft insurance.

Trick Yourself Into Boosting 401(k) Contributions
The simple trick that could increase your 401(k) contribution.

20 best cars for teens

My good buddy Des Toups has a nice piece at CarInsurance.com about the best cars for teens. He started with the 65 cars that made the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s 2008 Top Safety Picks list, then whittled them down to those with likely price tags of $15,000 or less, average or better reliability, and gas mileage of 20 mpg or higher. He also has some good suggestions for how to keep somewhat of a lid on insurance costs–although make no mistake: you are going to feel it deep in the wallet when you insure a teen driver.

The #1 car? An Audi. For the rest of the list, click here.