Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 ways to save money on holiday travel. Also in the news: How to prepare for a natural disaster during your vacation, letting the “out-the-door” price drive your next car negotiations, and the best way to give money without giving cash.

6 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Travel
Leverage the perks and advantages provided by travel credit cards to cut costs this season.

How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster on Vacation
Don’t plan your trip around a worst-case scenario, but know the risks and take simple steps to be prepared.

Let the ‘Out-the-Door Price’ Drive Your Next Car Negotiation
Learn how to use the “out-the-door price” to negotiate the best deal when you purchase your next vehicle.

The Best Ways to Give Money Without Giving Cash
Cash may be king, but there are better ways to make a gift of money to loved ones.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to fortify your finances against natural disasters. Also in the news: What ‘Medicare For All’ could mean for your healthcare, 8 times to rethink asking for a credit card product change, and the risks of crypto loans.

4 Ways to Fortify Your Finances Against Natural Disaster
A “go bag” for your money.

What ‘Medicare for All’ Could Mean for Your Health Care
The much-discussed proposal calls for universal single-payer health care. If enacted, what would it mean for you?

8 Times to Rethink Asking for a Credit Card Product Change
Switching to a different credit card can make sense in many circumstances. But here are times when it’s not the best option.

Crypto Loans Unlock Cash, but They Carry Risks
Borrowing against your crypto is possible, but its unstable value makes it a risky option.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The FAFSA, your ticket to help pay for college, just opened. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on negotiating and volatile car valuations, what to buy and skip in October, and how car insurance works after a natural disaster.

The FAFSA, Your Ticket to Help Pay for College, Just Opened
The FAFSA opened Oct. 1. Apply as soon as possible to be considered for the most available free money for college.

Smart Money Podcast: Haggling Tips and What’s Driving Volatile Car Valuation
How to negotiate.

What to Buy (and Skip) in October 2021
Tricks and treats.

How Car Insurance Works After a Natural Disaster
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car from disasters like floods and wildfires, but other coverage options may offer peace of mind.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Where to turn when a natural disaster upends your finances. Also in the news: 5 ways women can combat investing disadvantages, Ask a Travel Nerd on when to book holiday travel, and why your rent is often more than a mortgage payment.

Where to Turn When a Natural Disaster Upends Your Finances
Act quickly to get free aid first, then turn to financial tasks like contacting insurers and creditors.

5 Ways Women Can Combat Investing Disadvantages
Here are some of the investing disadvantages Americans say women have, and advice on how to overcome them.

Ask a Travel Nerd: Is It Time to Book Holiday Travel Yet?
Despite ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it still makes sense to book your holiday travel early.

Why Your Rent Is Often More Than a Mortgage Payment
The extra costs baked into your monthly rent.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How an engineer digs out of $100,000 in loans. Also in the news: What to do if Hurricane Florence hits your home and/or mortgage, 3 low-stress ways to invest for retirement, and the pros and cons of identity monitoring.

Debt Diary: How an Engineer Digs Out of $100,000 in Loans
Accounting for every single expense.

What to Do If Hurricane Florence Hits Your Home, Mortgage
Recovering from disaster.

3 Low-Stress Ways to Invest for Retirement
How to get started.

The Pros and Cons of Identity Monitoring Services
Are they worth the expense?

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to rebound from natural disaster debt. Also in the news: Quitting your job without another lined up, a 5-step recipe for financial success, and how to get in the holiday spirit without going into debt.

How to Rebound From Natural Disaster Debt
Slow and steady recovery.

Ask Brianna: Should I Quit My Job Without Another Lined Up?
Escaping a job you hate.

Your 5-step recipe for financial success
Five simple steps.

How to get in the holiday spirit without going into debt
A budget is essential.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

downloadToday’s top story: Why more banks are turning to biometrics for security. Also in the news: How natural disasters can hurt your finances, how to get your late credit card payment waived, and 10 things that will cost you less this summer.

More Banks Turn to Biometrics to Keep an Eye on Security
Your eyes could hold the literal key to your account.

5 Surprising Ways Natural Disasters Can Hurt Your Finances
Incidentals alone can add up quickly.

How to get your late credit card payment waived
It can’t hurt to ask.

10 Things That Will Be Cheaper During the Summer of 2016
Where you can expect to save some cash.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Financial steps to take after a natural disaster. Also in the news: Money fears and how to tackle them, excuses that are keeping you from financial success, and how umbrella coverage can supercharge your car insurance policy.

4 Financial Steps to Take After a Natural Disaster
Finding financial calm after the storm.

Top five money fears and how to tackle them
Taking them on, one fear at a time.

8 Excuses That Are Keeping You From Financial Success
Time to make a change.

How Umbrella Coverage Can Supercharge Your Car Insurance Policy
How to determine how much insurance you need.

How to Sell an Ugly House
Even without a fancy makeover.

Are you ready?

Christchurch Earthquake - Avonside House CollapsesThe earthquake that rattled us out of bed Monday morning also served as a reminder: it’s time to check the emergency supplies. And it occurred to me that preparing for emergencies has a lot in common with preparing for retirement. Consider:

Most people are woefully unprepared. Not just “under-prepared” but not even being in the same room as prepared. When it comes to retirement savings, one-third of workers have less than $1,000 set aside and 60% have less than $25,000, according to the most recent survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates.

The solution: Use your imagination. Emergency preparedness experts recommend thinking, in detail, about how you would feed, shelter and tend to the hygiene needs of your family if you were without power, water or a roof for three days. Walking yourself through those days will get you motivated to make your life easier should something happen. A similar exercise can jumpstart your retirement planning: Go to the Social Security estimator, see what you’re scheduled to get at retirement, and imagine trying to live on that.

Many people are overwhelmed. The list of emergency supplies you’re supposed to keep in your home, car and office can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re on a budget. Likewise, the amounts of money people are supposed to save for retirement can seem unrealistically large.

The solution: Start small. Anything you scrape together will help. Getting a kit together can start with some canned goods and a few gallons of water stored in a plastic tote. Getting your retirement together can start with a 1% contribution to a 401(k) or an automatic transfer to an IRA. Build from there, as you can.

You can’t “set it and forget it.” Once you’ve assembled them, disaster supplies have to be regularly checked to see what’s expired or wandered off. (Somebody may have pilfered the batteries in an “emergency” for a game console, for example.) Likewise, once you start saving for retirement, you need to check in to make sure your investments are properly allocated and regularly rebalanced. Changes in your life or your plans can necessitate changes in your retirement savings, as well.

The solution: Put it on your calendar. Schedule checkups at least once a year.

By the way, you can find lists of emergency supplies at the Red Cross and FEMA’s Ready.gov sites. Or check out this great graphic from the LA Times, which shows how you can store what you need in a clean plastic trash can.

If you’re interested, here are some of the supplies we keep around the house (as well as my notes about what I need to replace/get):

Outside in storage bins:

  • Water [need more; we have about half of the two gallons per person per day recommended]
  • Food (we have canned food + can opener, peanut butter, crackers, energy bars; I need to add more pet food now that we have a cat]
  • Cat and dog crates
  • Tent, cookstove, fuel
  • Shovel, hatchet, crowbar, hacksaw
  • Plastic sheeting (to replace windows), duct tape [need to get: staple gun]
  • Plastic goggles, hard hats (protection for clearing debris) [need to find: the work gloves that wandered off]
  • Gas shut off tool (we had an automatic shutoff installed, but I like to be sure)
  • Rope
  • Flashlight, lantern, batteries [looks like I moved the portable radio to some other site; now I just have to remember where]
  • Emergency toilet (bucket with a snap-on seat, garbage bags and kitty litter), toilet paper, wipes
  • Bleach, castille soap, towels
  • Mylar blankets & rain ponchos
  • Need: Fire extinguisher, hygiene kit [toothbrushes, floss, hairbrush]

Car kit:

  • Bottled water
  • Energy bars
  • First-aid kit
  • Sneakers, socks, extra sweaters and coats
  • Multi-tool (oooo I love my Leatherman)
  • Wipes
  • Wind-up/solar-powered flashlight/radio/cell phone charger
  • Regular blanket, mylar blankets & rain ponchos