Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if your parents need financial help. Also in the news: Why no new debt is the best holiday gift to your family, AmEx cardholders report account shutdowns, and why you should get a health insurance cost estimate even if you’re not buying coverage.

What to Do If Your Parents Need Financial Help
Balancing your needs with theirs.

The Best Holiday Gift to Your Family? No New Debt
The gift that won’t keep on taking.

AmEx Cardholders Report Account Shutdowns
Self-referrals appear to be the culprit.

Get a Health Insurance Cost Estimate Even If You’re Not Buying Coverage
You could be eligible for a subsidy.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 great all-inclusive trips you can book this winter with points. Also in the news: Black Friday strategies that actually work, how to make the most of your 401(k), and how to set boundaries when your family is bad with money.

6 Great All-Inclusives You Can Book This Winter With Points
Get out of the cold.

Shoppers Share Black Friday Strategies That Actually Work
Hit the sales with a plan.

How to make the most of your 401(k)
Mistakes to avoid.

How to Set Boundaries When Your Family Is Bad With Money
Putting yourself first.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 ways to take command of military discounts. Also in the news: The best credit cards to use when buying airfare, Black Friday strategies that actually work, and how to spend your retirement savings without triggering a tax penalty.

5 Ways to Take Command of Military Discounts
Thank you for your service.

Buying Airfare? Use These Cards to Maximize Your Points
Getting the most for your purchase.

Shoppers Share Black Friday Strategies That Actually Work
Tackling your holiday shopping.

How to spend your retirement savings without triggering a tax penalty
Draw down your money at the right time.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 signs an online loan is a debt trap. Also in the news: 6 surprising sales to shop on Black Friday, secrets of a Black Friday shopper, and 5 common financial fears and how to conquer them.

5 Signs an Online Loan Is a Debt Trap
Things to look out for.

6 Surprising Sales to Shop on Black Friday
Virtually everything is on sale.

Secrets of a Black Friday Shopper
Get in on the action.

5 common financial fears and how to conquer them
Ignorance isn’t bliss.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should you use miles to book holiday travel? Also in the news: How one woman paid off $51K of debt, 4 times it actually makes sense to buy miles, and what to do first when you get a raise.

Should You Use Miles to Book Holiday Travel?
Good idea? Or waste of rewards?

How I Ditched Debt: From ‘Extravagantly Broke’ to Comfortably Frugal
How one woman paid off $51K of debt in less than three years.

4 Times It Actually Makes Sense to Buy Miles
A few compelling reasons.

What to Do First When You Get a Raise
Don’t leave it to chance.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: You owe interest on a 0% APR credit card. How did that happen? Also in the news: How to choose the right health plan, how to win big on Black Friday, and how your travel plans affect which Medicare coverage you should choose.

You Owe Interest on a 0% APR Credit Card. How Did That Happen?
Could be several reasons.

How to Choose the Right Health Plan
Happy Open Enrollment season!

Win Big on Black Friday by Buying This — and Not That
Creating a Black Friday strategy.

How your travel plans affect which Medicare coverage you should choose
Yes, you read that correctly.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to choose the right health plan. Also in the news: Your data is out there: how to take action, 7 retirement savings mistakes financial advisors see too often, and what to do if you haven’t filed your taxes in years.

How to Choose the Right Health Plan
Open enrollment season is here.

Your Data Is Out There: Don’t Freak Out, Do Take Action
Taking preventative measures.

7 Retirement Savings Mistakes Financial Advisors See Too Often
How they help their clients recover.

What to Do If You Haven’t Filed Your Taxes in Years
Time to come clean.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Ditch the turkey – six ideas for a Thanksgiving getaway. Also in the news: How to get the most out of the Walmart Rewards Mastercard, the potential pros and cons of buying a post-scandal Volkswagen Diesel, and how to get a retention bonus by threatening to cancel your credit card.

Ditch the Turkey: 6 Ideas for a Thanksgiving Getaway
The turkey can wait.

How to Get the Most Out of the Walmart Rewards Mastercard
Maximizing your rewards this holiday season.

Should You Snap Up a Post-Scandal Volkswagen Diesel?
The pros and cons.

Threaten to Cancel Your Credit Card to Get a Retention Bonus
The bank wants to keep you as a customer.

How to choose the right health plan

When we’re given a choice about our health care plans, we often choose badly.

In one study, more than 80% of the employees at a Fortune 100 company picked the wrong plans, often choosing low-deductible options that ultimately cost them more. Another study found that inertia — sticking with the same plan, rather than evaluating the options each year and choosing a better one — cost workers an average $2,032 annually.

In my latest for the Associated Press, steps to help you pick a better plan.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to vanquish 5 common financial fears. Also in the news: Will you get what Social Security promises, how to save money online with these sneaky tricks, and 10 better money habits to start now.

Vanquish 5 Common Financial Fears
Time to put these fears to rest.

Will You Get What Social Security Promises?
Making smarter decisions about claiming your benefit.

Save Money Online Shopping With These Sneaky Tricks
Thinking beyond coupons.

10 Better Money Habits to Start Now
The right habits can boost your savings.