Friday’s need-to-know money news

Student-LoansToday’s top story: What to buy for every month of the year. Also in the news: Why you should think twice before borrowing for your kid’s college, why you need to stop hoarding your credit card rewards, and why banks are starting to look more like cafes.

What to Buy Every Month of the Year in 2017
Shopping smart.

Think Twice Before Borrowing for Your Kid’s College
You could spend decades paying it back.

Credit Card Rewards Are for Spending, Not Hoarding
Use ’em before you lose ’em.

Decaf with your deposit, ma’am? Reinventing the bank branch
Get a latte with your loan.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Credit score companies ordered to pay millions in refunds. Also in the news: How the Trump presidency will impact housing, how to refresh your finances in the new year, and how to become an extreme saver in 2017.

Credit Score Companies Must Refund $17.7 Million to Customers
Could you have a refund on the way?

How the Trump Presidency Will Impact Housing in 2017
A glimpse into the future.

Ask Brianna: How Can I Refresh My Finances for the New Year?

How to Become an Extreme Saver in 2017
Every penny counts.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Pile of Credit CardsToday’s top story: The best credit card tips for January. Also in the news: Less than one month left to shop for Obamacare, how to spend more mindfully in the new year, and what research says about erasing credit card debt.

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for January 2017
How you can make 2017 better than 2016.

Less Than One Month Left for ‘Obamacare’ Shoppers
The deadline is Jan. 31st.

How to Spend More Mindfully in the New Year
Paying closer attention.

What research says about erasing credit card debt
Following the best path.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

hidden-fees1Today’s top story: Credit card late fees are expected to rise in 2017. Also in the news: 10 New Year’s resolutions for your wallet, will Millennials be ready for retirement, and 3 signs you should switch banks.

Look for Credit Card Late Fees to Rise in 2017
More incentive to pay on time.

Sean Talks Money: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Wallet
Starting the news year off on the right foot.

Only 30 Years to Go. Will Millennials Be Ready for Retirement?
The clock is ticking.

3 Signs You Should Switch Banks in 2017
Knowing when it’s time to switch.

How 3 People Changed Their Financial Lives

Lauren Greutman’s moment of truth dawned when she sneaked $600 worth of clothes into her closet. She didn’t want her husband to see what she had bought — or to know that they were $40,000 in debt.

J.D. Roth hit bottom after buying a home he thought he could afford

Zina Kumok’s epiphany came when she saw her student loan payment eating 20 percent of her paychecks.

The catalysts were different, but the reactions of these three people in different parts of the U.S. were the same. Years of incurring debt made them realize that they couldn’t continue to spend like before.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how these three people changed their financial lives.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

teen-creditToday’s top story: How to safely shop online. Also in the news: The top financial complaints by state, how to lower your tax bill before the end of the year, and 5 ways car ads lie to you.

How to Safely Shop Online
Protect yourself from cyber theft.

Study: The Top Financial Complaints by State in 2016
What’s going on in yours?

How to Lower Your Tax Bill Before Year’s End
There’s still time!

5 ways that car ads lie to you
Don’t get duped.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Advice from people who paid off student loans. Also in the news: How to turn a bad day into a tax break, why Austin, Texas is the best city for job seekers, and the bank account score agencies you’ve never heard of.

Advice From 3 People Who Paid Off Student Loan DebtTips from the experts.

How to Turn a Bad Day Into a Tax Break
Looking for the silver lining.

Study: Austin, Texas, Is the Best City for Job Seekers in 2017
Head to the Lone Star State.

The bank account scoring agencies you’ve never heard of
ChexSystem and Early Warning Services.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

interest-rates-300x225Today’s top story: 7 questions and answers about the fed rate hike. Also in the news: How to avoid the Social Security tax bubble, how the fed rate hike could affect your student loans, and how not to be tricked by retailers’ “regular prices.”

Fed Rate Hike: 7 Questions (and Answers)
What you need to know.

How to Avoid the Social Security ‘Tax Bubble’
Know how and when Social Security benefits are taxed.

Fed Rate Hike: What It Means for Student Loans
How your loans might be affected.

Don’t Be Tricked by Retailers’ Unreal Regular Prices
Don’t fall for the bait-and-switch.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

refinancingToday’s top story: How to find and finance bank-owned properties. Also in the news: Tips for handling holiday financial stress, how to have the money talk with your parents, and what to do when financial aid and scholarships don’t fully cover course fees.

How to find and finance bank-owned properties
It’s easier than you might think.

5 tips for handling holiday financial stress
Don’t let stress ruin the holidays.

How to have the ‘money talk’ with your parents
Tackling a difficult subject.

Financial Aid and Scholarships Don’t Always Cover Course Fees
Making sure you can cover your costs.

Times when money isn’t real

Money is money, whether it’s cash in our hands, plastic cards at checkout counters or encrypted bits of data coursing between computers on the internet.

But our brains don’t view all money as equal, thanks to what behavioral economists call “cognitive biases”:

—We spend cash more carefully than plastic.

—We regard tax refunds as a windfall rather than a return of what we earned.

—We’d rather have money now than more money later.

Sometimes our illusions about money can be harnessed for good. The “Save More Tomorrow” program, created by economists Richard H. Thaler and Shlomo Benartzi, has people commit to increasing their retirement contributions starting one year in the future. In the economists’ initial study , workers who agreed to save future dollars nearly quadrupled their savings rate in four years.

In my latest for the Associated Press, why our money illusions usually work against us.