Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Inflation can spell disaster for some 40% of Americans. Also in the news: 5 reasons why ‘Shoulder Season’ is the best time to travel, a new episode of the Smart Money podcast on paying for college, and how a strong college application remains possible even with transcript gaps.

Inflation Can Spell Disaster for Some 40% of Americans
As of December, prices across all goods and services had risen more in a single year than they had in nearly 40 years.

5 Reasons Why ‘Shoulder Season’ Is the Best Time to Travel
Smaller crowds and better deals make the not-quite-offseason a great time to travel.

Smart Money Podcast: How Nerds Choose the Best, and Paying for College
NerdWallet’s Content team leader explains how Best-Of Award winners are chosen and why you can trust our picks.

Transcript Gaps? A Strong College Application Remains Possible
Show colleges the best version of yourself, but also know admissions officers have adapted their expectations.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Here’s which airline rewards program gives the most value. Also in the news: The most valuable hotel rewards program in 2022, 5 steps to strengthen your finances, and despite higher wages, inflation gave the average worker a 2.4% pay cut last year.

Here’s Which Airline Rewards Program Gives the Most Value
Alaska, Frontier and Southwest lead the way on cash value per mile.

The Most Valuable Hotel Rewards Programs in 2022
Radisson Rewards America and World of Hyatt lead the way on key measures of value.

5 Steps to Strengthen Your Finances in 2022
In 2022, setting grand financial goals may not be realistic for every budget, but there are still smart steps you can take to shore up your finances.

Despite higher wages, inflation gave the average worker a 2.4% pay cut last year
Inflation grew 7% in December from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A year-end checklist to make the most of retirement age. Also in the news: How the government’s next step to fight inflation could impact savers, myths about iBuyers, and why you shouldn’t spend a dollar to save a nickel on gas.

A Year-End Checklist to Make the Most of Retirement Savings
Age brings unique opportunities and obligations, including some important year-end tasks that can help you make the most of your money.

Inflation Keeps Surging: Government’s Next Step Could Impact Savers
Fed officials project as many as three 0.25 percentage point interest rate hikes in 2022.

The Property Line: Don’t Be Misled by These Myths About iBuyers
They aren’t responsible for runaway house prices and can lessen some seller pain points. So why all the hate for iBuyers?

Don’t Spend a Dollar to Save a Nickel on Gas
It’s about the worst time possible to buy any car unless you absolutely have to.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Cash advance apps can hurt more than help at the holidays. Also in the news: Lawsuit against Marriott makes hotel pricing math easier, Black Friday 2021 store hours and online hacks, and what to do when inflation cuts into your black Friday deals.

Cash Advance Apps Can Hurt More Than Help at the Holidays
Cash advance apps offer a boost at the holidays, but consumer advocates say they could lead to a cycle of debt.

Lawsuit Against Marriott Makes Hotel Pricing Math Easier
Marriott commits to a policy that would be transparent in the disclosure of mandatory fees like resort fees.

Black Friday 2021 Store Hours and Online Hacks
Many stores are closed for Thanksgiving as Black Friday discounts span weeks rather than just days.

What to Do When Inflation Cuts Into Your Black Friday Deals
Inflation will cut into Black Friday deals this year, but there are strategies you can use to soften the blow.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story:  Prices are skyrocketing, and how to lessen the impact. Also in the news: How to talk to your parents about estate planning, air fryer Black Friday 2021 deals, and why travel insurance is a great holiday gift to yourself.

Prices Are Skyrocketing: Here’s How to Lessen the Impact
Inflation reached a 30-year high in October, according to fresh CPI data from the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why (and How) to Talk to Your Parents About Estate Planning
Help ensure that everything plays out the way Mom and Dad would want.

Air Fryer Black Friday 2021 Deals: Are They Worth It?
Target is discounting a 5-quart air fryer by $60, and Macy’s has air fryers starting at $24.99.

Consider Gifting Yourself Travel Insurance Ahead of the Holidays
Buy yourself some peace of mind by getting travel insurance, either through your credit card or a full policy.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if Chime or other neobanks close your account. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on fighting inflation and the risks of small mortgage lenders, 6 essential terms to understand in your homeowners policy, and what millennial parents want their kids to know about money.

What to Do if Chime or Other Neobanks Close Your Account
Customers are being left with no way to access their accounts.

Smart Money Podcast: Fighting Inflation and Risks of Small Mortgage Lenders
Learns the ins and outs of inflation.

6 Essential Terms to Understand in Your Homeowners Policy
Words like “endorsements” and “exclusions” don’t need to be confusing.

What Will You Teach Your Kids About Money?
The money lessons five millennial parents around the country want their children to learn

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Smart strategies for fighting back against inflation. Also in the news: Easing into credit cards with a simple cash-back card, Medicare and dental implants, and these 6 psychological biases may be holding you back from building wealth.

Wary of Credit Cards? Ease In With a Simple Cash-Back Card
No-fee, flat-rate cash-back cards offer useful rewards and benefits as beginners learn about credit cards.

Smart Strategies for Fighting Back Against Inflation
Plan purchases carefully and trade variable-rate debt for fixed interest rates to help offset rising prices.

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants?
Original Medicare doesn’t cover dental implants, but you may be able to find coverage elsewhere.

These 6 psychological biases may be holding you back from building wealth
How to overcome them.

Smart strategies to fight back against inflation

Few economists predict we’ll return to the double-digit price increases of the late 1970s and early 1980s. But knowing some of the ways consumers coped back then — and how things are different now — can help you formulate a plan to deal with rising prices.

First, a primer: Inflation shrinks your purchasing power, so you need more money to buy the same goods and services. When inflation averages less than 2%, as it did from 2010 to 2020, it would take more than 35 years for prices to double. When inflation averages 5%, which was the annualized rate reported in May, prices would double in less than 15 years. That is a huge deal if you live on a fixed income or are trying to calculate how much you’ll need in retirement.

In my latest for the Associated Press, strategies that may prove helpful.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if you save too much for retirement. Also in the news: The ins and outs of starting a car, financial pros are hanging on to stocks, and why you need multiple savings accounts.

What to Do If You Save Too Much for Retirement
Saving too much for retirement can cause problems as well as saving too little. Beware of IRS rules and penalties.

So You Think You Know How to Start a Car
It’s become much more complicated

Selling Stocks on Inflation Fears? Financial Pros Wouldn’t
The inflation sirens are wailing, but financial pros say there’s no reason to panic.

Why You Need Multiple Savings Accounts
Multiple accounts make it easier to reach your savings goals.

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.