Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to know when it’s time to ditch your starter credit card. Also in the news: How to cover yourself against car theft, tips on paying for your wedding, and how to make a budget if you want to freelance full time.

How to Know When It’s Time to Ditch a Starter Credit Card
Don’t get too comfortable with your first card — once it’s done its job, it’s time to move on.

Car Theft Is Up in the U.S.: Here’s How to Cover Yourself
With the right kind of insurance, you could avoid paying out of pocket if your car or catalytic converter is stolen.

Weddings Are Marching Back: Here’s How to Pay for Yours
It’s best to pay for a wedding with savings, but if you need to finance, look for low-interest options with affordable payments.

How to Make a Budget If You Want to Freelance Full Time
Turning side hustles into main hustles.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How much car insurance do you really need? Also in the news: As major credit card issuers pull back amid COVID, startups stepped in, reboot your budget to prepare for reopening, and when to expect a refund for your $10,200 unemployment tax break.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Really Need?
Too little car insurance and you’re financially vulnerable. But too much, and you’ll overpay. Here’s what to know.

As Major Credit Card Issuers Pulled Back Amid COVID, Startups Stepped In
Some products that were launched or expanded in 2020 don’t bother with credit checks at all and instead look at your income and bank account. They also charge no interest.

Reboot Your Budget to Prepare for Reopening
As states ease COVID restrictions and vaccinations pick up, here’s why it’s time to take a look at your finances.

When To Expect a Refund for Your $10,200 Unemployment Tax Break
What will happen if you filed your taxes before the new stimulus.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to retire rich without following a budget. Also in the news: a new episode of the Smart Money podcast on how to buy a house in 2021, a look at President Biden’s housing plans, and how much a divorce will cost you.

You’ll Never Follow a Budget. Here’s How to Retire Rich Anyway
Calculate your net worth by taking what you own and subtracting what you owe to measure your financial progress.

Smart Money Podcast: How to Buy a House in 2021
And a discussion of NerdWallet’s Best-Of Awards.

The Property Line: Biden Housing Plans Include Down Payment Help
Joe Biden’s campaign included numerous proposals to expand housing opportunity. Here’s what some of them might look like.

How Much Will A Divorce Will Cost You?
Breaking down the cost.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A guide to PPP loan forgiveness. Also in the news: High car insurance rates could be because of bad credit, 4 signs your about to get a tax surprise, and how to budget when you hate to budget.

A Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness

High Car Insurance Rates? Bad Credit May Be to Blame
Not paying bills might hurt you more than you think. Drivers with poor credit pay over 75% more annually in some states.

4 Signs You’re About to Get a Tax Surprise
If any of these things have happened to you, a tax surprise may be coming.

How to Budget When You Hate to Budget
Automation, technology and some simple guidelines can help you budget without a huge amount of effort and stress.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Grace period over? Refinance these student loans ASAP. Also in the news: smart tactics for Millennials flocking to buy life insurance, how senior insulin users may benefit from Medicare savings model, and how to stay on track with a budget calendar.

Grace Period Over? Refinance These Student Loans ASAP
New graduates shouldn’t wait to see if they can refinance their private student loans.

Smart Tactics for Millennials Flocking to Buy Life Insurance
Millennials applying for life insurance can skip medical exams, simplify the process and pay less than they expect

Insulin Users May Benefit From Medicare Senior Savings Model
Seniors with diabetes may pay less for insulin with this program, which debuts in some Medicare drug plans in 2021.

Stay on Track With a Budget Calendar
One day at a time.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to plan and budget for DIY projects now. Also in the news: How to factor climate change into your air travel, why it’s probably better to lease a car than buy one right now, and new rules for medical and dependent care FSAs.

How to Plan and Budget for DIY Projects Now
Tailor do-it-yourself home projects to fit current circumstances by considering the size, type and cost of the work.

Ask a Points Nerd: How Can I Factor Climate Change Into My Air Travel?
Being intentional about the airlines you choose and how often you fly can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Why it’s probably better to lease a car than buy one right now
5 reasons why leasing is a smart choice during these chaotic times.

New Rules for Medical and Dependent Care FSAs
New rules bring more flexibility.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How “maximizers” can cut decision making angst. Also in the news: Know the options and risks of credit card relief, 7 smart spending strategies in a tough economy, and how to set up an 80/20 budget. ”

How ‘Maximizers’ Can Cut Decision-Making Angst
Avoid analysis paralysis and buyer’s remorse by focusing on the goals behind a money decision, not all the choices.

If You Need Credit Card Relief, Know the Options and Risks
Hardship programs can help people who don’t have good options for paying their bills, but they carry some risks.

7 Smart Spending Strategies in a Tough Economy
Tough times require smarter spending.

How to Set Up an 80/20 Budget
Paying yourself first.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 ways to skip your bank’s long phone lines. Also in the news: Keeping your credit in shape, even if you don’t have debt and don’t plan to borrow, 25 ways to save yourself from your debt disaster, and how to set up a 60/40 budget.

3 Ways to Skip Your Bank’s Long Phone Lines
When phone wait times are long, try to reach your bank via live chat, Twitter or message instead.

Keep your credit in shape, even if you don’t have debt and don’t plan to borrow
Good credit is important year-round.

25 Ways To Save Yourself From Your Debt Disaster
Climbing out of the debt hole.

How to Set Up a 60/40 Budget
Focus on two buckets.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 reasons it’s smart to lease a car right now. Also in the news: How to free up cash in your budget, how to decide what to leave your kids, and all the ways to get Amazon Prime for free.

5 Reasons It’s Smart to Lease a Car Right Now
Keeping your financial options open.

Can’t make money right now? Free up cash in your budget
Time to check every dollar you spend.

Should you be ‘fair’ with the inheritance you leave to your kids?
Think carefully about the message you’re sending.

All the Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
How to score that sweet free shipping.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Take control now with advance medical directives. Also in the news: How to transfer a credit card balance in 3 simple steps, how to set up a 50/20/30 budget, and tax filing tips for college students.

Take Control Now With Advance Medical Directives
Some of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

How to Transfer a Credit Card Balance in 3 Simple Steps
What to do when you find a better rate.

How to Set Up a 50/20/30 Budget
Based on three easy categories.

Tax-Filing Tips for College Students
Navigating the student loan maze.