Thursday’s need-to-know money

Today’s top story: 9 essential business tasks that take an hour or less. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on the cost of childcare, 6 mistakes to avoid when you open a new credit card account, and why managing your money starts with your emotions.

9 Essential Business Tasks That Take an Hour or Less
It only takes a few minutes to apply for an employer identification number, get a business insurance quote and more.

Smart Money Podcast: Nerdy Deep Dive: Why Is Child Care So Expensive?
This week’s episode is a Nerdy deep dive into the cost of child care.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When You Open a New Credit Card Account
Learning about a new card will help you optimize its benefits and avoid its gotchas.

Why Managing Your Money Starts With Your Emotions
Dealing with your feelings about money can clear away obstacles to making smart financial decisions.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Family travel insurance might save your 2022 trip budget. Also in the news: The case for flying on low-demand days, how an attorney in Seattle got their student loans forgiven, and a look at the antiquated dower rights.

Family Travel Insurance Might Save Your 2022 Trip Budget
Some travel insurance covers children and other travel companions.

The Case for Flying on Low-Demand Days
The rise of remote work hasn’t had much of an impact on when people fly, it turns out.

How I Got My Student Loans Forgiven: Attorney in Seattle
A fraught program gets temporary improvements.

‘Dower Rights’ Still Exist?
This antiquated law is a reminder to triple-check how marriage affects your property ownership.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money new

Today’s top story: Should you use a reverse mortgage to pay for long-term care? Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on giving family and friends money, a look at the Metro affordability report for first-time buyers, and the easiest ways to make your cell phone bill cheaper.

Should You Use a Reverse Mortgage to Pay for Long-Term Care?
A reverse mortgage can provide a crucial stream of income to pay for long-term care costs, but there are some limitations.

Smart Money Podcast: Giving Family Money, and What’s Happening With Inflation
This week’s episode starts with a discussion about when and how to give your family and friends money.

First-Time Home Buyer Metro Affordability Report – Q1 2022
Two years into the pandemic-era housing market, affordability falls again, making a bleak first quarter for first-time home buyers in 2022.

The Easiest Ways to Make Your Cell Phone Bill Cheaper
Your attention span is already prisoner to your phone; your wallet doesn’t have to be, too.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to make sure you’re insured for summer activities. Also in the news: Alternatives to business loans, making a home inventory for insurance claims, and the best credit cards for people with bad credit.

How to Make Sure You’re Insured for Summer Activities
Having the right insurance coverage can help you enjoy summer fun with peace of mind.

Can’t Get a Business Loan? Consider These Alternatives
Consider online lenders, business grants or raising equity if you can’t get a business loan from a traditional lender.

How to Make a Home Inventory for Insurance Claims
Doing an inventory while your home is safe and sound makes it easier to file insurance claims later.

These Are the Best Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit
If you have bad credit (or no credit history), here are the best options for you.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t let your first car be a $30K mistake. Also in the news: House Democrats push Treasury, IRS for repeal of rule blocking state and local taxes cap workaround, should you use a reverse mortgage to pay for long-term care, and the easiest way to make your cell phone bill cheaper.

Don’t Let Your First Car Be a $30K Mistake
Buying your first car right now isn’t easy, but with the right prep you can find a car that won’t become a burden.

House Democrats push Treasury, IRS for repeal of rule blocking state and local taxes cap workaround
Three House Democrats are still pushing for relief on the $10,000 limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT.

5 ways to get around high credit card interest rates
Credit card interest rates have started going up.

Should you use a reverse mortgage to pay for long-term care?
Someone turning 65 has nearly a 7-in-10 chance of needing long-term care in the future, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Easiest Ways to Make Your Cell Phone Bill Cheaper
Your attention span is already prisoner to your phone; your wallet doesn’t have to be, too.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Mortgage rates are in for a bumpy ride in June. Also in the news: Should you get a home equity line of credit, common myths about travel insurance, and what to do (and not do) if you’re ever fired or laid off.

Mortgage Rates Are In for a Bumpy Ride in June
Mortgage rates might be volatile in June.

Your New Home Has Grown in loan, Value. Should You Get a HELOC?
Some new homeowners have seen tremendous growth in their equity in a short period of time. If you meet lender requirements, a HELOC is one way to access it.

6 Common Myths About Travel Insurance and What It Covers
Travel insurance isn’t a magic Band-Aid on trip troubles. It’s important to know what coverage you need.

What to Do (and Not Do) If You Ever Get Fired or Laid Off
You might want to tell your boss exactly what you think of them—but let’s hold off on that.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 common myths about travel insurance and what it covers. Also in the news: Is Disney travel insurance worth the cost, 2022 is the year of all-inclusive travel and the best fast food apps for getting free stuff.

6 Common Myths About Travel Insurance and What It Covers
Travel insurance isn’t a magic Band-Aid on trip troubles. It’s important to know what coverage you need.

Is Disney Travel Insurance Worth the Cost?
Disney’s insurance is good for covering theme park tickets, but you’re likely better off with a different policy.

2022 Is the Year of All-Inclusive Travel, and Here’s Why
Hotel chains are expanding and entirely reimagining their all-inclusive portfolios.

The Best Fast Food Apps For Getting Free Stuff
Whoever said “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” clearly didn’t have a smartphone.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to avoid bad money advice. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on being creative with money, how to pay for summer fun, and 25% of Americans are delaying retirement due to inflation.

How to Avoid Bad Money Advice
We are surrounded by bad money advice, and it literally pays to be able to separate the useful from the ridiculous.

Smart Money Podcast: Get Creative About Money With Paco de Leon
This week’s episode is dedicated to a chat with Paco de Leon, author and creative.

How to Pay for Summer Fun: Financing Boats, RVs and More
Before deciding to finance a summer toy, consider your budget, what financing options make the most sense and any related costs.

25% of Americans are delaying retirement due to inflation, survey finds
Americans’ finances are being squeezed as inflation pushes up prices on things such as rent, groceries and gasoline.

Q&A: One big trip whacked this reader’s credit score. How is that possible?

Dear Liz: I normally use about 5% of my credit card lines and pay them off every month. I just made a major trip purchase that pushed my month’s usage to 31%. My score dropped from 820 to 708 in one day. I can’t believe that the score dropped so much. I have paid my accounts in full for decades. I immediately paid the current balance instead of waiting for the due date in hopes that the score will return. Hard for me to believe this is so sensitive. Comment please.

Answer: Credit scoring formulas are incredibly sensitive to how much of your available credit you’re using. It doesn’t matter whether you pay your balances in full. What matters is the size of your balance on the day that your credit card issuer reports to the credit bureaus. The balance is often, although not always, what you owe on the statement’s closing date.

The large drop you witnessed could indicate a bigger problem, however, such as a missed payment or a collection showing up on your credit reports.

Visit AnnualCreditReport.com and request free copies of your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. (Be careful here: You should type annualcreditreport.com into your browser’s address bar, because searching for AnnualCreditReport.com can turn up a bunch of look-alike sites that might try to charge you for credit monitoring or other services.)

All this assumes that you were looking at the same type of score from the same credit bureau. If you looked at a FICO 8 from Experian on Day 1 and a VantageScore 3.0 from TransUnion on Day 2, then any “movement” in the scores could be chalked up to a difference in the formulas or the underlying data at the credit bureaus.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 ways your small business can spend smarter. Also in the news: How to pay for summer fun, interest rates on new federal student loans going up for 2022-23, and why you shouldn’t wait to sell your used car.

7 Ways Your Small Business Can Spend Smarter
Small-business owners detail the money lessons they’ve learned over the years and especially during the pandemic.

How to Pay for Summer Fun: Financing Boats, RVs and More
Before deciding to finance a summer toy, consider your budget, what financing options make the most sense and any related costs.

Interest Rates on New Federal Student Loans Going Up for 2022-23
Federal student loan interest rates will increase over 1 percentage point; the changes go into effect July 1.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Sell Your Used Car
Thanks to inflation, prices for used cars are through the roof—but they won’t be forever.