Book Giveaway: Spring Cleaning Edition.

I’m clearing my shelves of some great personal finance books. Rather than stretch these giveaways out over several weeks, I’m going to be giving away these bundles all at once. All you need to do to enter is to leave a comment on my site specifying which bundle you’re MOST interested in, and which is your second choice.

When you leave your comment here on my blog (not my Facebook page), make sure to include your email address. It won’t show up with your comment, but I’ll be able to see it so I can contact you if you win. Comments are moderated, so it may take a little while for your comment to show up.

The deadline to enter is midnight Pacific time on Friday. Over the weekend, please check your email (including your spam filter). If I don’t hear from a winner by noon Pacific time on Monday, his or her prize will be forfeited and I’ll pick another winner.

And the bundles are:

The Millennial Bundle. These are great books for people in their 20s and 30s, whether they’re just setting up their finances or starting to make big decisions, like buying homes. The books include “Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry, “Get a Financial Life” by Beth Kobliner and “The Couple’s Guide to Financial Compatibility” by Jeff Motske.

The Kids & Money Bundle.
Want to set your kids on the right financial path? These books can help. They include “Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not)” by Beth Kobliner and “The Teen Money Manual” by Kara McGuire.

The College-Bound Bundle. A college degree has never been more important, or more expensive. These books can help families prepare. They include “The Perfect Score Project” by Debbie Stier, “The Thinking Student’s Guide to College” by Andrew Roberts, “Colleges that Change Lives” by Loren Pope and Hilary Masell Oswald and “Twisdoms about Paying for College” by Mark Kantrowitz.

The Money and Meaning Bundle. These authors dive deeper into how we find purpose and meaning in life, through the filter of money. The books include “Mindful Money” by Jonathan K. DeYoe, “End Financial Stress Now” by Emily Guy Birken, “Leap” by Tess Vigeland and “You Only Live Once” by Jason Vitug.

The Closing-in-on-Retirement Bundle. Someday sooner than you think, retirement will morph from a distant possibility to a looming certainty. These books can help you navigate to the retirement you want. They include “How to Make Your Money Last” by Jane Bryant Quinn, “Unretirement” by Chris Farrell and “Choose Your Retirement” by Emily Guy Birken.

The Big Thinker Bundle. These books are ideal for those who have mastered the basics and want to know more about how finances and the economy work. They include: “The New Rules of Real Estate” by Spencer Rascoff and Stan Humphries, “The Economics Book” by DK Publishing and “Retirement Heist” by Ellen Schultz.

Your mother’s maiden name is not a secret

Your mother’s maiden name is probably not a secret. Neither, necessarily, is your high school mascot or the size of your car payment. But some banks and brokerages still pretend this is information only you would know, and that could be putting your money at risk.

So-called security questions long ago outlived their usefulness, since they can be hard for the right people to remember and easy for the wrong people to guess or steal.

In my latest for the Associated Press, why security questions are no longer the most secure way to protect your information.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

130709154122-overdue-bill-debt-collection-620xaToday’s top story: Learn how to fight back against debt collectors. Also in the news: Finding the perfect retirement location, protecting your 401(k) from a market drop, and the best American cities to raise your family in.

How One Man Learned to Fight Back Against Debt Collectors
Don’t be afraid to push back.

How to pick the perfect retirement location
Getting the most for your retirement savings.

Here’s How to Protect Your 401(k) from the Next Big Market Drop
Avoiding damage from the next big downturn.

The Best Cities For Working Parents
Choosing the best place to raise your family.

Which States Give You More for Your Money?
A hundred dollars isn’t always worth a hundred dollars.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to avoid charity scams. Also in the news: Money lessons from retirees, money-saving tips for travelers, and how a grandparents’ gift for college could ruin a student’s financial aid.

4 Ways to Avoid Charity Scams
Protecting your empathy from being preyed upon.

5 Financial Lessons from Retirees
Voices of experience.

3 Smart Money-Saving Tips For Your Travels
More money for souvenirs!

Grandparents’ 529 College Distributions Can Be a Ticking Time Bomb
A loving gesture which could ruin a student’s financial aid.

Laid Off? 5 Tips To Get Back On Your Feet
How not to become complacent during a layoff.