Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can I deduct Medicare costs on my income tax? Also in the news: Is a personal loan or home equity loan right for your reno, the high price of money shame, and steps to take before you go to a car dealership if your credit score isn’t great.

Can I Deduct Medicare Costs on My Income Tax?
If you itemize, premiums, copayments, and certain other expenses may be deductible.

Is a Personal Loan or Home Equity Loan Right for Your Reno?
The best financing depends on your financial situation, including your income, credit and how much equity you have.

The High Price of Money Shame
Simply naming the emotions you feel about financial mistakes is a step toward breaking the cycle and taking control.

If Your Credit Score Isn’t Great, Take These Steps Before You Go To A Dealership
Walk in fully prepared.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to pick the right credit card for a major purchase. Also in the news: How to adjust your credit card strategy for 2021 travel, three factors to consider (and one to ignore) when choosing investment funds, and how you can deduct masks as a medical expense on your taxes.

How to Pick the Right Credit Card for a Major Purchase
That big-ticket item could earn you loads of rewards, or you could snag a lengthy no-interest period to pay off the purchase.

How to Adjust Your Credit Card Strategy for 2021 Travel
A new survey finds many Americans are planning trips this year. Credit card spending rewards can help cover costs.
When Choosing Investment Funds, Look at 3 Factors, Ignore 1
Forget about word of mouth.

How You Can Deduct Masks as a Medical Expense on Your Taxes
Find out how to qualify.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: These are probably your best options for travel this summer. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on how the pandemic is changing our financial lives, how your state may let you deduct the costs of working from home during the pandemic, and 10 steps to avoiding tax-return identity theft.

These are probably your best options for travel this summer
It’s going to be weird.

SmartMoney Podcast: The Pandemic Is Changing Our Financial Lives, and What to Know About Refinancing Now
Things have changed dramatically.

Your State May Let You Deduct The Costs of Working From Home During the Pandemic
Covering the costs of your upgrades.

10 Steps to Avoiding Tax-Return Identity Theft
Protecting your Social Security number.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: When and how to say no to extended car warranties. Also in the news: How to save money with used baby items, medical expenses you can deduct on your taxes, and why you really need to set up automatic credit card payments.

Extended Car Warranties: When and How to Say No
Don’t pay for something you may never use.

New Baby? Save Money With These Used Items
You’ll only use them for a brief time.

Which medical expenses can you deduct on your taxes?
No, you can’t deduct your medical weed.

You Really Need to Set Up Automatic Credit Card Payments
Never miss a due date again.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should your student loans and your spouse’s get hitched? Also in the news: Investing vs paying student loans, the blunt truth about medical expenses, marijuana, and your tax returns, and how to figure out your finances when you’re single.

Should Your Student Loans and Your Spouse’s Get Hitched?
A look at the pros and cons.

SmartMoney Podcast: ‘Should I Invest or Pay Down My Student Loans?’
Where should your money go?

Blunt Truths About Medical Expenses, Marijuana and Your Tax Return
The IRS needs to chill.

How to Figure Out Your Finances When You’re Single
Making the budget that works solely for you.

Your 401(k) just got more valuable

If your tax refund this year was disappointing, you may be able to do something about it: Contribute more to a retirement fund.

Tax-deductible contributions to 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement accounts are among the few remaining ways to reduce taxable income if you don’t itemize deductions. And few of us do these days: Only about 1 in 10 taxpayers is expected to itemize now that Congress has nearly doubled the standard deduction, tax experts say. That’s down from about 1 in 3 before the law changed.

As a result, many of the traditional tips and tricks for reducing tax bills either no longer work or are of limited help.  In my latest for the Associated Press, how to use your 401(k) to reduce your taxable income.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 12 African-American financial gurus to follow in 2019. Also in the news: How minimalism can declutter your finances, 11 Presidents Day sales to shop this weekend, and 6 small business tax deductions.

12 African-American Financial Gurus to Follow in 2019
Personal finance experts share their best advice.

Minimalism Can Declutter Your Finances, Too
Debt does not spark joy.

11 Presidents Day Sales to Shop This Weekend
Good time to buy a new mattress.

6 Small Business Tax Deductions
Don’t skip these deductions.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to manage student loan debt without making it worse. Also in the news: How to get credit when you have none, why it may be time to stop itemizing your tax deductions, and the state most burdened by credit card debt.

How to Manage Student Loan Debt Without Making It Worse
Don’t let interest get out of hand.

How to Get Credit When You Have None
Starting from scratch.

It May Be Time to Stop Itemizing Your Tax Deductions
The standard deduction could be enough.

This state is the most burdened by credit-card debt
Is it yours?

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How bad credit can increase your car costs. Also in the news: Owning Bitcoin creates a complex tax situation, 13 last-ditch ways to avoid the poorhouse in retirement, and the top 7 tax deductions and credits people forget.

Good Driver, Bad Credit: What Makes Your Car Costs So High
It’s not just the monthly payment.

Owning Bitcoin Creates a Complex Tax Situation
Taxing cryptocurrency.

13 Last-Ditch Ways to Avoid the Poorhouse in Retirement
Before it’s too late.

Top 7 Tax Deductions And Credits That People Forget
Leave no deduction behind.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 signs you’ve gone from frugal to cheap. Also in the news: 7 ways to avoid becoming a scary student loan statistic, following the lead of Millennials to save more for retirement, and retirement community fees that can be deducted as medical expenses.

7 Signs You’ve Gone From Frugal to Cheap
A slippery slope.

7 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Scary Student Loan Stat
Don’t become a statistic.

To Save More for Retirement, Follow These Millennials’ Lead

You can deduct these retirement community fees as medical expenses
Unexpected savings.