Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Apps that encourage you to spend. Also in the news: Advice for weaning your grown kids off your credit cards, why some people don’t mind overpaying the IRS, and how to protect yourself from falling interest rates.

These Types of Apps Could Prompt Impromptu Spending
You don’t need extra help spending money.

Advice for weaning your grown kids off your credit cards
Time to cut them loose.

Here’s why these people don’t mind overpaying the IRS
Yes, you read that correctly.

How to Protect Your Savings From Falling Interest Rates
A few options.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Green Dot launches 3% cash back and savings account. Also in the news: Apps that could prompt impromptu spending, how to avoid lifestyle creep, and how to financially plan for having kids.

Green Dot Launches 3% Cash Back and Savings Account
A new offering from Green Dot.

These Types of Apps Could Prompt Impromptu Spending
You don’t need any help spending money.

Don’t Let Lifestyle Creep Sneak Up on You
Staying in your lifestyle lane.

How to Financially Plan for Having Kids
They’re both cute and costly.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How student loan default can gut your paycheck. Also in the news: Changing your screen habits from time-wasting to money-saving, 5 tips for cutting the cost of having your taxes done, and what to do about a surprise student loan bill.

How Student Loan Default Can Gut Your Paycheck
Avoiding wage garnishment.

Change Your Screen Habits From Time-Wasting to Money-Saving
Using your apps to be more productive.

5 Tips for Cutting the Cost of Having Your Taxes Done
Free help could be available.

What to Do About a Surprise Student Loan Bill
Don’t ignore the mail.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A look at the past three months of housing trends. Also in the news: A new app to help apply for financial aid, how to avoid magical thinking when it comes to retirement planning, and what to know about freezing and unfreezing your credit.

3 Months, 3 Housing Trends: Rates Rise, Prices Slow, Millennials Buy
What’s happening in housing.

Ready to Apply for College Aid? A New App’s on Tap
Financial aid at your fingertips.

Don’t Let Magical Thinking Jinx Retirement Planning
You’re not going to win the lottery.

What to Know About Freezing and Unfreezing Your Credit
Know the pros and cons.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to know before saying yes to an online wedding dress. Also in the news: Using your tax return to map out a better financial future, 8 ways to get cheap movie tickets, and how to take advantage of financial technology.

What to Know Before Saying ‘Yes’ to an Online Wedding Dress
There are bargains to be had but proceed with caution.

Use Your Tax Return to Map Out a Better Financial Future
Look for weak spots that could use improvement.

8 Ways to Get Cheap Movie Tickets
A great way to cool off this summer.

How to Take Advantage of Financial Technology
Apps to help make handling money easier.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t let technology bully you into tipping. Also in the news: 4 things that could make you the target of an audit, how lending a hand by co-signing a loan can backfire, and 7 smart ways to spend a $1,000 tax refund.

Don’t Let Technology Bully You Into Tipping
You decide how much.

4 Things That Could Make You a Target for a Tax Audit
Freelancers especially.

Lending a Hand by Co-Signing a Loan Can Backfire
Good intentions can lead to bad trouble.

7 Smart Ways to Spend a $1,000 Tax Refund
How to spend your windfall.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to live below your means without feeling deprived. Also in the news: How to dodge the drama of family loans, the launch of Apple Pay Cash, and using Social Security benefits to plan your retirement income.

How to Live Below Your Means Without Feeling Deprived
It doesn’t have to be a slog.

Family Loans: How to Dodge the Drama
Coping with one of the touchiest subjects.

Apple Pay Cash Launches: How It Stacks Up
A new money transfer app.

An almost perfect retirement income source
Using Social Security benefits to plan your retirement income

Q&A: Authentication apps can help thwart hackers

Dear Liz: I’ve heard that authentication apps are a better way to go than two-factor authentication that texts codes to your cell phone. Can you explain more?

Answer: Two-factor authentication adds an additional layer of security to financial, email, social media, cloud storage and other accounts. The first factor is something you know, which is a typically a password, and the second is something you have, such as a code that’s texted to you or generated by a device or authentication app.

The second factor is important, since passwords can be guessed or stolen in database breaches. Texted codes can be intercepted by hackers, so security experts recommend using an authenticator. Three popular apps are Google Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator.

To use an authenticator, you must first enable two-factor authentication on the account you want to protect. Unfortunately, not every account provider offers two-factor authentication, although they should. You can find whether yours does at twofactorauth.org.

If the account provider supports authentication, you’ll typically be asked to take a snapshot of a QR code using the authenticator app to establish a connection between your account and the app. When you later log in to those sites, you’ll be asked to type in the code randomly generated by the app.

Any security approach can be thwarted, but the idea behind two-factor authentication is making your accounts hard enough to crack that most hackers will move on to an easier target.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How 3 people conquered credit trouble and bought homes. Also in the news: Top 10 apps for buying the right car at the right time, biting on Whole Foods new prices, and 6 Equifax hack rumors fact-checked.

How 3 People Conquered Credit Trouble and Bought Homes
How to come back from credit trouble.

Top 10 Apps for Buying the Right Car at the Right Price
Get the car you want at the price you want.

Should You Bite On Whole Foods’ New Prices? Maybe Not
Are you really saving?

6 Equifax hack rumors fact-checked
Fact from fiction.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best bank accounts and credit unions of 2017. Also in the news: Tips for investing in your 30s, using apps to save money without thinking, and the five biggest tax breaks for the self-employed.

NerdWallet’s Best Bank Accounts and Credit Unions of 2017
Where you should do business.

5 Tips for Investing in Your 30s
Taking the long view.

Want to Save Money Without Thinking? Try These Apps
You won’t even notice.

5 biggest tax breaks for the self-employed
How to keep more of your money.