Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to pay for a home remodel without tapping your equity. Also in the news: U.S. unemployment shrinks, but recovery varies across race, sex, and age, how to avoid last-minute tax surprises when closing your business, and is COVID-specific travel insurance worth buying.

How to Pay for a Home Remodel Without Tapping Your Equity
Paying for a renovation equity-free can help you expedite the funding process and even start the project sooner.

U.S. Unemployment Shrinks, but Recovery Varies Across Race, Sex and Age
The recovery isn’t universal.

Thinking of closing your business? Avoid these last-minute tax surprises
Your state may also have requirements for dissolving your business, including canceling registrations and licenses.

Is COVID-Specific Travel Insurance Worth Buying?
What to consider before your next trip.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: If doing less means saving more, try these 5 money moves. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on 401(k)s and struggling renters, how to diversify investing, and refinance your mortgage now to avoid a new fee.

If Doing Less Means Saving More, Try These 5 Money Moves
If the economic effects of the pandemic have cut your spending, you may have extra savings. Here’s what to do with them.

Smart Money Podcast: Renters Are Struggling, and What to Do With an Old 401(k)
Renters are

How to Diversify Investing in Stocks, Bonds and a Bit Beyond
Looking at alternative investments.

Refinance Your Mortgage Now to Avoid a New Fee
The new fee begins Dec. 1st.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The 2 costs that can make or break your nest egg. Also in the news: Buying stocks in a year of uncertainty, getting paid for family caregiving, and how people spent their stimulus checks.

The 2 Costs That Can Make or Break Your Nest Egg
Spending less on housing and transportation could help you save more for retirement.

In a Year of Uncertainty, Should You Still Buy Stocks?
Wading into the market.

Yes, It’s Possible to Get Paid for Family Caregiving
But there’s a lot to consider.

How People Spent Their Stimulus Checks – and What You Can Learn From Them
Use your stimulus check, or any extra money, to improve your financial situation during these uncertain times.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to boost your chances of getting another credit card. Also in the news: 6 great recession rules that still apply, using your 529 plan to pay your student loans, and how to save money on Medicare open enrollment.

Here’s what you need to do to boost your chances of getting another credit card
Ways to access more credit.

6 great recession rules that still apply
Valuable lessons.

You Can Use Your 529 Plan to Pay Your Student Loans
Paying down your balance.

Medicare open enrollment is coming up. Three steps to save money this fall
Making smart choices.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Money moves to help you feel more in control. Also in the news: How to renegotiate your bills to save money, ways for renters to cope in the financial crisis, and how to protect yourself before your federal student loan servicer changes.

Feeling Out of Control? These Money Moves Could Help
Regain control by revising spending, boosting savings and focusing on daily actions instead of long-term outcomes.

How to Renegotiate Your Bills to Save Money

Renters at Risk: Ways to Cope in the Financial Crisis

Protect Yourself Before Your Federal Student Loan Servicer Changes

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What a payroll tax deferral may mean for your paycheck and taxes. Also in the news: 4 ways to end your car lease early, what to do if losing your job means losing life insurance, and don’t skip these estate planning moves during the pandemic.

What a Payroll Tax Deferral May Mean for Your Paycheck and Taxes
Things to keep in mind.

4 Ways to End Your Car Lease Early
You can transfer your lease, sell to a dealer or take out a loan to buy the car and then sell it yourself.

What to do if losing your job means losing life insurance
Consider your needs.

Don’t Skip These Estate Planning Moves During Coronavirus
Important moves to consider right now.

Feel out of control? These money moves can help

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely and his colleagues at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight have a pact. Every week, the group of 50 people picks one small business in Durham, North Carolina, and each person spends $100 there.

A one-time $5,000 infusion wouldn’t make a difference to Amazon, Costco or any other large retailer, but it could be enough to keep a local business afloat, Ariely says. Taking this action helps the group feel that they’re making a difference when so much of the world seems out of control.

“This is, to a large degree, a crisis of Main Street,” says Ariely, the bestselling author of books including “Predictably Irrational.” “We’re taking a retailer and we’re saying, ‘We’re giving you a little bit of breathing room.’”

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to wrest back control from the unpredictability of the pandemic.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can you have too much credit? Also in the news: How to safely move during a pandemic, what personal finance apps should be doing to better serve older people, and how to avoid paying a penalty if you missed the tax filing deadline.

Can You Have Too Much Credit?
Credit scoring formulas don’t punish people for having too many credit accounts, but too much debt can hurt scores.

How to Move Safely During a Pandemic
Keeping yourself and your stuff safe.

This is what personal finance apps should be doing to better serve older people
What a survey revealed about the apps.

How to Avoid Paying a Penalty If You Missed the Tax Filing Deadline
You could qualify for a first-time penalty abatement.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to increase your chances of credit card approval. Also in the news: How to transition from work-at-home novice to pro, why the weak dollar is good for your investments, and why champagne sales have gone flat.

How to Increase Your Chances of Credit Card Approval
Boost your odds by focusing on your credit scores.

Transition From Work-at-Home Novice to Pro
A check-in can help you get productivity, health and balance dialed in for the long run.

Why the Weak Dollar Is Good for Your Investments
The pandemic and low interest rates have weakened the dollar.

Champagne sales flattened by social distancing amid global pandemic
Not much to celebrate.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to save on back-to-school shopping amid uncertainty. Also in the news: 5 things to know about gold’s record-breaking run, experts say new investors should quit stock-picking, and how this week’s fed meetings may impact your wallet.

Back-to-School Shopping in 2020: How to Save Amid Uncertainty
Whether your kids are learning in the classroom or living room, here’s how to save on back-to-school shopping.

5 Things to Know About Gold’s Record-Breaking Run
As COVID-19 concerns continue to rattle markets, investors are turning to one of the world’s oldest currencies.

New Investors: Quit Stock-Picking and Do This, Expert Says
Recent market turmoil has new investors chasing company stock picks

How This Week’s Fed Meetings May Impact Your Wallet
Expect interest rates to stay low.