Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 tips for cutting the cost of having your taxes done. Also in the news: How to find the dirt on your tax preparer, making the most of a gig economy to pay down debt, and 11 smart ways to spend your tax refund.

5 Tips for Cutting the Cost of Having Your Taxes Done
How to rein in the costs.

How to Find the Dirt on Your Tax Preparer
Don’t give your info to just anyone.

How I Ditched Debt: Making the Most of a Gig Economy
A woman pays down over $25K in three years.

11 smart ways to spend your tax refund, according to personal finance experts
Don’t think of it as a windfall.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Hoping for a 529 tax deduction for K-12? Not so fast. Also in the news: 4 business credit card mistakes you can’t afford to make, the biggest financial mistakes women make, and one-size-fits-all financial advice.

Hoping for a 529 Tax Deduction for K-12? Not So Fast
The rules have changed.

4 Business Credit Card Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make
Take it easy with those cards.

The Biggest Financial Mistake Women Make
Narrowing the wage gap.

Follow This One-Size-Fits-All Financial Advice
Rules that everyone can follow.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 divorce mistakes that can cost you. Also in the news: How to achieve financial independence without retiring early, consolidated debt and how to do it right, and where to go when you have a travel insurance problem.

5 Divorce Mistakes That Can Cost You
Curb your social media.

How to Achieve Financial Independence Without Retiring Early
A worthwhile goal.

What Is Consolidated Debt and How to Do It Right in 2019
Don’t start charging again.

Where To Go When You Have A Travel Insurance Problem
Being your own best advocate.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to prepare for the next recession. Also in the news: How to grow your tax refund, everything you need to know to file your 2018 taxes, and how to wean grown kids off of your payroll.

There’s Always a Next Recession, so Be Prepared
Soften the blow of the next economic downturn.

If You’re Expecting a Tax Refund, Make a Plan to Grow It
Invest your refund instead of blowing it.

Everything You Need to Know to File Your 2018 Taxes
A handy list.

How to wean grown kids off your payroll, freeing up more retirement cash
Cutting the purse strings.

There’s always a next recession, so be prepared

Recessions are like natural disasters: They’re inevitable, but smart preparation may reduce the impact on you.

The U.S. economy has grown steadily since emerging from the “Great Recession” in June 2009, but expansions can’t continue forever, and this one is already the second-longest on record. Only the expansion from March 1991 to March 2001 lasted longer.

Recessions occur when growth stops and the economy starts to shrink. They vary in severity and length, but often jobs disappear, incomes decline and lenders make it harder to qualify for credit.

Knowing what may be coming can help you fortify your finances to withstand a possible slowdown. In my latest for the Associated Press, some steps to consider.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What the government shutdown means for home loans. Also in the news: How to stay afloat financially during the shutdown, how Medicare premiums could be the key to itemizing your taxes, and how to start investing right now.

What the Government Shutdown Means for Home Loans
Prepare for delays.

How to Stay Afloat Financially in a Federal Shutdown
Get ready to spend some time on the phone.

How Medicare premiums could be the key to itemizing your taxes — and saving money
Your premiums could be deductable.

How (and Why) to Start Investing Right Now
The sooner the better.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Quick ways to save more money in 2019. Also in the news: Medical bills plague millennials, 3 simple strategies to max out your 401(k), and the basics of Parent PLUS loan forgiveness.

Quick Ways to Save More Money in 2019
Focusing on the simple.

Medical Bills Plague Millennials; These Tips May Be the Cure
Making medical debt more managable.

3 Simple Strategies to Max Out Your 401(k)
Increasing your retirement savings at any income level.

The Basics of Parent PLUS Loan Forgiveness
Who’s responsible for repayment?

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Scrub these expenses from your budget in 2019. Also in the news: 3 simple strategies to max out your 401(k), how your slow cooker saves you money, and unnecessary fees to stop paying in the new year.

Scrub These Expenses From Your Budget in 2019
Hitting reset on your expenses.

3 Simple Strategies to Max Out Your 401(k)
It’s easier than you think.

How Your Slow Cooker Saves You Money
Set it and forget it.

Stop Paying Unnecessary Fees in the New Year
The most common fees and how to avoid them.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you may overspend on the holidays and how to stop. Also in the news: One woman’s way out of debt, why a late credit card payment may cost more in 2019, and how to get on the same page with your partner about money.

Why You May Overspend on the Holidays and How to Stop
Curbing your holiday spending.

How I Ditched Debt: Thrifty Living and Side Gigs
One woman’s story.

A Late Credit Card Payment May Cost You More in 2019
Late fees are on the rise.

How to Get on the Same Page With Your Partner About Money
Financial compatibility is essential.

4 tech tasks to keep your parents safer online

All of us are vulnerable to fraud. But the ways some older people use technology can put them at higher risk.

That’s where you come in. In my latest for the Associated Press, when you’re home for the holidays, or the next time you visit your folks, offer to help with a few tasks that can keep your parents safer online.