Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 things college freshmen don’t need – and 10 they do. Also in the news: Stocking up for school can be eco-friendly and economical, what to do when back to school bites you in the budget, and how to get rid of your back taxes.

7 Things College Freshmen Don’t Need — and 10 They Do
Skip the giant television.

Stocking Up for School Can Be Eco-friendly — and Economical
Looking for freebies and bargains.

What to Do When Back to School Bites You in the Budget
Prioritize.

Tax Relief: How to Get Rid of Your Back Taxes
Getting your tax bill back under control.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Teach your teens about college costs long before they apply. Also in the news: Haggling for vacation souvenirs, getting cheap car insurance for new drivers, and what to do with unexpected money.

Teach Your Teens About College Costs Long Before They Apply
Prepare them for reality.

Save Money on Souvenirs: Learn to Haggle
Make a plan and stick to it.

Getting Cheap Car Insurance for New Drivers
Discounts can add up over time.

What to Do With Unexpected Money
Be methodical.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Chase brings back limits on Cardholders’ right to sue. Also in the news: 5 getaways within reach using Southwest’s latest sign-up bonus, how to save for retirement and pay your student loans at the same time, and 8 pieces of financial advice from college commencement speakers.

Chase Brings Back Limits on Cardholders’ Right to Sue
Binding arbitration has returned.

5 Getaways Within Reach Using Southwest’s Latest Sign-Up Bonus
Quick tickets for new customers.

How to save for retirement and pay your student loans at the same time
A budget that pays for the past and saves for the future.

8 Pieces of Financial Advice From College Commencement Speakers
Money lessons and career tips.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to extend your (working) life. Also in the news: Renaming your budget, growing your garden with only a little green, and why you should check your investment portfolio once a month.

How to Extend Your (Working) Life
Preparing to work past retirement age.

If ‘Budget’ Sounds Like a Bummer, Try Renaming It
Whatever helps you stay on track.

Grow Your Garden With Only a Little Green
It could save you money at the grocery store.

Check Your Investment Portfolio Once a Month
Ignorance isn’t bliss.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if you haven’t received your tax documents yet. Also in the news: Don’t let the great recession haunt your investing dreams, managing your money when your life brings change, and how to fix these IRA mistakes by April 15th.

Haven’t Got Your Tax Documents Yet? Here’s What to Do
Don’t get stalled on the road to April 15th.

Don’t Let the Great Recession Haunt Your Investing Dreams
Shake off that apprehension.

How to Manage Your Money When Life Brings Change
Adjusting your financial course.

Fix These IRA Mistakes by April 15
Avoid a penalty.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 money tasks you need to do right now. Also in the news: NerdWallet’s 2019 Best Banks, how one couple ditched holiday debt, and all the tax credits you can take for 2018.

3 Money Tasks You Need to Do Right Now
Make your life much easier.

NerdWallet’s 2019 Best-of Awards: The Best Banks
Check out the winners.

How I Ditched Debt: Holiday Bills Break a Couple’s Budget
Recovering from the holidays.

All the Tax Credits You Can Take for 2018
Start making a list.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Furloughed workers face potential damage to their credit scores. Also in the news: A bill could expand the financial literacy of students, 8 budget types for businesses, and 6 practical ways to pay off credit card debt.

A big problem looms for furloughed workers — preventing damage to their credit scores
Another impact of the government shutdown.

Bill Introduced to Expand Financial Literacy of Students
Teaching more than just the basics.

8 Budget Types for Businesses
Different budgets for different needs.

6 practical ways to pay off credit card debt
Climbing your way out of debt.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Shopping or skipping Black Friday. Also in the news: Notes from a disabled traveler, how to save money on a cross-country road trip, and how to locate the investment fees you’re paying.

Black Friday: Shop It or Skip It?
The pros and cons.

What I’ve Learned as a Disabled Traveler
Flexibility is key.

How We Saved Money on Our Cross-Country Road Trip
A look at the trip budget.

How to Locate the Investment Fees You’re Paying
Inside the fine print.

Q&A: How to cut back after spending a windfall

Dear Liz: I inherited a substantial amount of money when a relative died. I put most of it in retirement funds, but as a few stray accounts were found, sometimes I just deposited them in my bank account and lived comfortably on $1,000 to $2,000 over my normal income. I have no debt, but I’ve grown accustomed to this extra cash. What’s the best way to reel back into a lifestyle I can afford on my $62,000 annual salary?

Answer: Those windfalls represented a substantial increase to your regular income, so cutting back may be painful. It’s so much easier to ramp up our lifestyles than to crank them back.

Start by tracking your spending. Once you understand your patterns, you can figure out where to cut back.

Don’t automatically assume that the luxuries you were able to buy with the extra money are now off limits. If you traveled more and enjoyed it, for example, that should still have a place in your budget. You could cut elsewhere to make sure travel is part of your life. If some of your spending didn’t bring you much joy, though, pay attention to that as well. You may have started eating out more only to find your health suffered, or you didn’t enjoy it that much, and you’d be fine doing that less often.

Your goal with any spending plan should be identifying which expenditures are important to you and which aren’t — then reducing the latter so you can have more of the former.