Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to get the most home insurance help after a winter storm. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on filing your taxes early and tapping into your home equity, 8 ways to take your credit card rewards to the next level in 2021, and how to get relief with your federally backed mortgages.

How to Get the Most Home Insurance Help After a Winter Storm
Talking to your insurer and documenting everything will help you manage and recover from serious storm damage.

Smart Money Podcast: Filing Taxes Early and Tapping Home Equity
Why you probably want to file your taxes sooner rather than later.

8 Ways to Take Your Credit Card Rewards to the Next Level in 2021
With some extra steps — like an inventory of your wallet, a chat with your issuer, and a willingness to track and stack — you can squeeze more value from points and miles.

How to Get Relief With Your Federally Backed Mortgages
There’s a new extension.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why buying life insurance for your parents can make financial sense. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on the 50/30/20 budget, one person’s no-spending month results, and when to hire a tax professional.

Why Buying Life Insurance for Your Parents Can Make Financial Sense
Life insurance can help offset the costs of your parents getting older, but you’ll need their help to get it.

Smart Money Podcast: Money News You Missed and the 50/30/20 Budget
Breaking down the budget numbers.

I Stopped Spending for a Month, and You Can Too
One person’s success story.

When to Hire Someone to Do Your Taxes
When it’s time to call in the pros.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Discriminatory practices leave Black Americans with less life insurance. Also in the news: How to keep your student loan payment at $0, a new episode of the Smart Money podcast on the lessons learned from Gamestop, and how to protect yourself from gas pump skimmers.

Discriminatory Practices Leave Black Americans With Less Life Insurance
Years of discrimination have led to a life insurance coverage gap between Black and white Americans.

How to Keep Your Student Loan Payment at $0
Take a look at income-driven repayment.

Smart Money Podcast: GameStop Lessons and Talking About Money With Your Partner
Understanding what the heck happened with Gamestop.

How to Protect Yourself From Gas Pump Skimmers
Scammers never rest.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How insurance fraud costs you money. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on lottery winners and what to do with extra COVID cash, how to decide if your first house should be a condo, and how to choose your ACA plan.

How Insurance Fraud Costs You Money
Insurance fraud adds an extra $400 to $700 to your premiums every year and costs about $80 billion overall.

Smart Money Podcast: Jackpot Windfall and Extra COVID Cash

Should Your First House Be a Condo?
A condo can make a great starter home, but weigh the pros and cons of buying a condo vs. a house to decide whether it’s right for you.

How to Choose Your Obamacare Plan
Finding the right amount of coverage.

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.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Unpacking the myths of investing in the stock market. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on buying cryptocurrency and tackling debt, life insurance companies are becoming more marijuana-friendly, and asking for reconsideration after being denied a credit card.

Unpacking the Myths of Investing in the Stock Market
These stock market myths have no place in your portfolio.

Smart Money Podcast: Buying Crypto and Dealing With Debt
Understanding cryptocurrency and how to tackle your debt head on.

Smoke Weed and Need Life Insurance? Some Companies Are Cool With Marijuana
Not every life insurer is willing to cover marijuana users, but some don’t mind — provided it isn’t a daily habit.

Call a Reconsideration Line for a Second Chance at a Credit Card
Taking a second look.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Jump start your credit with a free credit score. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on COVID scams and small money goals, why you shouldn’t bank on student loan forgiveness, and how to apply for the second round of PPP loans for small businesses.

Jump-Start Your Credit: Begin With a Free Credit Score

Smart Money Podcast: COVID Scams and Small Goals

Why You Shouldn’t Bank on Student Loan Forgiveness

How to apply for the second round of PPP loans for small businesses
Who qualifies, how much you can get, and which loans will be forgiven

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: To raise financially savvy kids, give money lessons a reboot. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on 2021 money goals, how to discuss family finances in a crisis, and giving your wallet a good cleaning.

To Raise Financially Savvy Kids, Give Money Lessons a Reboot
Going beyond the piggy bank.

Smart Money Podcast: How You Can Achieve Money Goals in 2021
Starting off on the right foot.

How to Discuss Family Finances in a Crisis
Honesty is key.

Take These Cards Out of Your Wallet Right Now
Give your wallet some breathing room.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 holiday disasters that are covered by home insurance. Also in the news: How to get started on a post-pandemic budget recovery plan, a new episode of the Smart Money podcast on lessons listeners learned during the pandemic, and 3 mistakes to avoid when you buy a recreational vehicle.

5 Holiday Disasters That Are Covered by Home Insurance
Here’s how home insurance pays for fires, stolen gifts and other seasonal disasters.

How to Get Started on a Post-Pandemic Budget Recovery Plan
Rebuilding emergency funds, paying off debt and planning for the next crisis are top strategies for 2021.

Smart Money Podcast: Listeners Share Money Lessons From the Pandemic
Insights from our listeners.

Three mistakes to avoid when you buy a recreational vehicle

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How the pandemic disrupts holiday travel. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on charitable giving and using your savings to pay student loans, how to insure an expensive present, and how to plan for the end of student loan forbearance.

Change of Plans: How the Pandemic Disrupts Holiday Travel
More than two-thirds of Americans who had December holiday travel plans (68%) say these plans have been affected by the pandemic, according to a new NerdWallet survey.

Smart Money Podcast: Charitable Giving, and Using Savings to Pay Student Loans
Is using savings a good idea?

Bought a Pricey Present? Here’s How to Insure It
If you’re splurging on an amazing gift this year, it makes sense to protect your purchase.

How to Plan for the End of Student Loan Forbearance
January 31st is the new cutoff.