Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What the new COVID relief package means for you and your money. Also in the news: Second relief bill and vaccine rollout attract fraudsters, taking advantage of student loan breaks before 2020 ends, and why a down payment is just the beginning of buying a new home.

What the New COVID Relief Package Means For Your Money
It includes $600 checks for millions of Americans and revives federal unemployment aid and loans for small businesses.

Scam Alert: Second Relief Bill, Vaccine Rollout Attract Fraudsters
Staying skeptical and reading up on common schemes can help you keep your money and personal financial info safe.

Take Advantage of Student Loan Breaks Before 2020 Ends
Consider making a lump-sum payment, addressing defaulted loans or refinancing private loans before the year ends.

Want to buy a home? A down payment is just the beginning
What can go wrong, will go wrong, and you’ll need cash to pay for repairs and everything else for your new home

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 holiday disasters that are covered by home insurance. Also in the news: How to get started on a post-pandemic budget recovery plan, a new episode of the Smart Money podcast on lessons listeners learned during the pandemic, and 3 mistakes to avoid when you buy a recreational vehicle.

5 Holiday Disasters That Are Covered by Home Insurance
Here’s how home insurance pays for fires, stolen gifts and other seasonal disasters.

How to Get Started on a Post-Pandemic Budget Recovery Plan
Rebuilding emergency funds, paying off debt and planning for the next crisis are top strategies for 2021.

Smart Money Podcast: Listeners Share Money Lessons From the Pandemic
Insights from our listeners.

Three mistakes to avoid when you buy a recreational vehicle

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Got life insurance? You may not have enough. Also in the news: An investing workaround for possible higher taxes post-election, get ahead of holiday debt by setting a payoff plan, and teens are calling for more personal finance education to bridge the economic opportunity gap in America.

Got Life Insurance? You May Not Have Enough
Your workplace life insurance policy may not be enough if anyone relies on your income or the care you provide.

Expecting Higher Taxes Post-Election? Consider This Investing Workaround

Get Ahead of Holiday Debt by Setting a Payoff Plan

Teens call for more personal finance education to bridge economic opportunity gap in America
Making a more equitable future.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet travel writers offer their 2021 resolution. Also in the news: More Millennials are using up end-of-year vacation time, second stimulus checks could be less than $1200 per person, and 8 great financial gifts for kids.

NerdWallet Travel Writers Offer Their 2021 Resolutions
These travelers plan to be more thoughtful in their choices and embrace the journey.

More Millennials Are Using Up End-of-Year Vacation Time
But it’s not necessarily to squeeze in a final trip before the end of 2020.

Second stimulus checks could be less than $1,200 per person. Here’s what we know
Congress continues to move slowly.

8 Great Financial Gifts for Kids
These gifts can help your kids, grandkids or friends get a head start on their financial futures.

Got life insurance? You may not have enough

You probably need life insurance if your death would cause financial hardship to someone else. If the only coverage you have is through your job, though, you may not have enough.

In my latest for the Associated Press, find out why the pandemic has made buying life insurance somewhat easier and why it may be cheaper than you think.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Calibrate your emergency fund to a crisis-prone world. Also in the news: How to give stock as a gift, what you need to know about Joe Biden’s student loan plan, and the pros and cons of Buy Now, Pay Later retail loans.

Calibrate Your Emergency Fund to a Crisis-Prone World
Financial advisors are urging clients to consider expanding their emergency funds.

How to Give Stock as a Gift (And Why Tax Pros Like The Idea)
Is it better to give than to receive? Certainly. But giving while receiving a tax benefit is pretty good, too.

Will student loans be forgiven in 2021? Here’s what you should know
What you need to know about Joe Biden’s student loan plan.

Are ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Retail Loans a Good Deal?
The pros and cons.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How the pandemic disrupts holiday travel. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on charitable giving and using your savings to pay student loans, how to insure an expensive present, and how to plan for the end of student loan forbearance.

Change of Plans: How the Pandemic Disrupts Holiday Travel
More than two-thirds of Americans who had December holiday travel plans (68%) say these plans have been affected by the pandemic, according to a new NerdWallet survey.

Smart Money Podcast: Charitable Giving, and Using Savings to Pay Student Loans
Is using savings a good idea?

Bought a Pricey Present? Here’s How to Insure It
If you’re splurging on an amazing gift this year, it makes sense to protect your purchase.

How to Plan for the End of Student Loan Forbearance
January 31st is the new cutoff.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Tonight’s top story: 3 ways minority-owned banks make a difference in America. Also in the news: How much interest you can earn on $100, $1000, or $10,000, 10 money insights from 25 years of financial writing, and get guaranteed price matching at these retailers for your holiday shopping.

3 Ways Minority-Owned Banks Make a Difference in America
Equal opportunities matter.

How Much Interest Can I Earn on $100, $1K or $10K?
A look at the options.

10 Money Insights From 25 Years of Financial Writing
How we use and think about money — not simply accumulating lots of it — literally can determine our happiness while we’re alive.

Get Guaranteed Price Matching at These Retailers for Your Holiday Shopping
Make your shopping a little easier.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Life and money lessons from the pandemic. Also in the news: Life insurance shoppers lose interest when COVID-19 cases drop, how to save the holidays, and how to spend your extra FSA money.

Life and Money Lessons From the Pandemic
We’ve taken stock of procrastination’s costs, embraced virtual work and play, and are growing our emergency funds.

Life Insurance Shoppers Lose Interest When COVID-19 Cases Drop
Some Americans say they skipped life insurance as cases fell in their area, a survey finds — but the need may still exist.

How to Save the Holidays: More Joy, Less Cash
If your gift list exceeds your budget, try these tips for discounts, rewards, cash back, creativity and delight.

How to Spend Your Extra FSA Money
You have more spending options.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 DIY home improvement projects to avoid. Also in the news: How to make use of the points and miles from a deceased family member, 10 tips for winter RV road trips, and how to make money by putting ads on your car.

4 DIY Home Improvement Projects to Avoid
For these tasks, you’ll want to hire a professional to make sure everything’s done safely and correctly.

How to Make Use of the Points and Miles From a Deceased Family Member’s Account
You might be able to transfer or use the points that your relative has left behind.

10 Tips for Winter RV Road Trips
This is the advice you need for taking an RV out on a road trip with snow in the forecast.

Make Money by Putting Ads on Your Car
No, really.