Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 tips to keep a landscaping project on time and under budget. Also in the news: The mortgage outlook for June, student loan interest rates to increase July 1st, and how to get Amazon Prime Day prices without a membership.

5 Tips to Keep a Landscaping Project on Time, Under Budget
DIY projects can give your yard a new look on a short timeline, even with a low budget.

Mortgage Outlook: June Rates Could Rise If Bond Market Acts Out
How things look for the month ahead.

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates to Increase July 1
Rates will rise to 3.73% for the 2021-22 academic year after the historic low of 2.75% for the past year.

How to Get Amazon Prime Day Deals Without Paying for a Membership
Prime Day is just around the corner.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How a mortgage nerd bought a house in a seller’s market. Also in the news: Why you should consider a second city trip in 2021, what changed while you were ignoring travel, and why travel is more expensive this summer.

How a Mortgage Nerd Bought a House in a Seller’s Market
Buying a house was super-hard, and I write about homebuying for a living. If you’re wondering how to pull it off, you’re not alone. Here’s what I did.

Why You Should Consider a ‘Second City’ Trip in 2021
Travelers are less interested in visiting big cities this summer. Here are some good alternatives.

What Changed While You Were Ignoring Travel?
Catch up on what happened in the travel industry while you were staying home.

7 Reasons Travel Is More Expensive This Summer
A look at the prices.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Federal student loan interest rates to increase July 1st. Also in the news: What it would take to solve the student debt crisis, 4 tips for small business owners paying down pandemic debt, and how to be a better long-distance caregiver.

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates to Increase July 1
Rates will rise to 3.73% for the 2021-22 academic year after the historic low of 2.75% for the past year.

What Would It Take to Solve the Student Debt Crisis?
It’ll take more than debt forgiveness.

4 Tips for Small-Business Owners Paying Down Pandemic Debt
Paying down pandemic debt can help business owners rebuild and reinvest in their companies.

How to Be a Better Long-Distance Caregiver
Get the most out of technology, local helpers and available benefits when caring for a loved one from afar.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to be a better long-distance caregiver. Also in the news: 4 tips for small-business owners paying down pandemic debt, how to buy an electric car, and how to avoid paying a penalty if you filed your taxes late.

How to Be a Better Long-Distance Caregiver
Get the most out of technology, local helpers and available benefits when caring for a loved one from afar.

4 Tips for Small-Business Owners Paying Down Pandemic Debt
Paying down pandemic debt can help business owners rebuild and reinvest in their companies.

How to Buy an Electric Car
Shopping for an EV takes a different strategy. Here’s what you need to know to get a good deal.

How to Avoid Paying a Penalty If You Filed Your Taxes Late
How the IRS’ late fees work

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Do eco-friendly credit cards deliver on their promises? Also in the news: How to choose between hotel loyalty programs, how to become a digital nomad abroad, and the status of student loan forgiveness.

Do Eco-Friendly Credit Cards Deliver on Their Promises?
They’re a start, but even recycled plastic has downsides. Metal cards, digital wallets and buying less help, too.

How to Choose Between Hotel Loyalty Programs
You’ll not only have to decide on a hotel brand, but also if the loyalty program’s elite status perks are worth it.

How to Become a Digital Nomad Abroad
These tips can help you make sure you have a plan to work, save money and build a community abroad.

Is Student Loan Forgiveness Dead?
Where loan forgiveness currently stands.

How to be a better long-distance caregiver

Long pandemic lockdowns forced many older adults to become comfortable with video calls to stay connected with family. That in turn means that long-distance caregivers have a better way to see how their loved ones are faring.

“You can’t tell on the phone that they’re wearing the same clothes every day, or they’re not bathing because they’re afraid they’ll fall in the shower,” says Amy Goyer, AARP’s national family and caregiving expert and the author of “Juggling Life, Work, and Caregiving.”

More than 1 in 10 caregivers look after family or friends from a distance, which can make the task much more difficult and expensive. A 2016 AARP survey found that caregivers in general incur an average of about $7,000 a year in out-of-pocket expenses. Long-distance caregivers — those who live at least an hour away from the care recipient — incur about $12,000 on average, according to the survey. Long-distance caregivers are more likely than local caregivers to hire help, take unpaid time off work and pay for travel, Goyer says.

In my latest for the Associated Press, tips on providing care from a long distance.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 ways to help small businesses recover from the pandemic. Also in the news: The pros and cons of paycheck advance apps, an update on the housing market, and 23 states that are ending the extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits.
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5 Ways to Help Small Businesses Recover From the Pandemic
As a consumer, there are steps you can take to support businesses in your community. Here are five tips from small-business owners.

Should You Use a Paycheck Advance App?
Paycheck advance apps with low fees seem like a good idea if you need extra cash. Here’s what to know about them.

The Property Line: Housing Shortage Hangs On; Price Crash Unlikely
The housing shortage is blamed on factors including regulations and lack of workers. No need to fear a crash, but fixes won’t be easy.

These 23 States Are Ending the Extra $300 Per Week in Unemployment Benefits
Eleven more states join the list.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How poor credit could raise your renters insurance rates. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on buy now/pay later loans and how to start building wealth, crypto-earning credit cards, and the retailers that offer the best employee discounts.

How Poor Credit Could Raise Your Renters Insurance Rates
Having poor credit could make your renters insurance nearly twice as expensive.

Smart Money Podcast: Buy Now, Pay Later Loans and How to Start Building Wealth
These offers are common when shopping online, but they aren’t always a good option.

Crypto-Earning Credit Cards Are All the Rage — But Should You Buy In?
The crypto curious might benefit, but most people will likely do better with a traditional rewards credit card.

These Retailers Offer the Best Employee Discounts
Something to consider if you’re job hunting.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Crypto-earning credit cards are all the rage – but should you buy in? Also in the news: As travel rebounds, credit cards can unlock perks from a bygone golden age, the pros and cons of becoming your own boss, and all the states offering vaccine rewards.

Crypto-Earning Credit Cards Are All the Rage — But Should You Buy In?
The crypto curious might benefit, but most people will likely do better with a traditional rewards credit card.

As Travel Rebounds, Credit Cards Can Unlock Perks From Bygone Golden Age
A flood of pent-up demand is about to hit airports and hotels. The right credit card can help you hark back to travel’s heyday by dodging some of the lines, the noise and the fees.

Should You Become Your Own Boss?
The pros and cons.

All the States Offering Vaccine Rewards (Including Cash)
See what your state is offering.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The checks that could change your financial life. Also in the news: Should you sign up for Medicare if you’re 65 and still working, 6 signs you’re about to overpay for life insurance, and 7 products being slammed by inflation.

The Checks That Could Change Your Financial Life
A temporary boost to the child tax credit can help fuel emergency savings, cut debt and build financial stability.

Should You Sign Up for Medicare If You’re 65 and Still Working?
Signing up for Medicare at 65 may make sense even if you have private insurance through your or your spouse’s job.

6 Signs You’re About to Overpay for Life Insurance
If you focus on convenience or a policy’s extra benefits, you might pay too much. Here’s what to look out for.

7 Products Being Slammed by Inflation (and How to Avoid Spending More)
From computer chips to steaks.