Money mistakes even smart people make

Certified financial planner Jill Schlesinger has seen smart people make some pretty spectacular money mistakes.

One client who repeatedly refused to buy disability insurance later developed multiple sclerosis. A doctor she knew put off writing a will and left behind a six-figure tax bill. A technology company engineer balked at her suggestion to sell some of his stock options, only to watch their value and his retirement plans evaporate when the market plunged.

In my latest for the Associated Press, a look at how behavioral economics tries to pinpoint where our brains and emotions lead us wrong, as well as what we can do about it.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to resist online ads and keep your money. Also in the news: Avoiding a common student loan scam, a NerdWallet special report on home buyers, and why you should schedule an extra student loan payment on the day the interest is lowest.

How to Resist Online Ads and Keep Your Money
Fighting temptation.

She Fell for a Common Student Loan Scam. You Don’t Have To
Don’t get duped.

Recent Home Buyers Stretched, Future Hunters Optimistic
A NerdWallet special report.

Schedule an Extra Student Loan Payment on the Day the Interest Is Lowest
Make sure the payment is applied correctly.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to cut your tax bill by April 15th. Also in the news: How banking apps can motivate you to save, what to do in a bank outage like Wells Fargo’s, and how to make extra money online.

4 Ways to Cut Your Tax Bill by April 15 (Yes, There’s Still Time)
But you’ll need to act fast.

How Banking Apps Can Motivate You to Save
Following through on wanting to save.

In a Bank Outage Like Wells Fargo’s, Here’s What You Can Do
Don’t panic.

How to Make Extra Money Online
A little extra pocket cash is always a good thing.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 tips for cutting the cost of having your taxes done. Also in the news: How to find the dirt on your tax preparer, making the most of a gig economy to pay down debt, and 11 smart ways to spend your tax refund.

5 Tips for Cutting the Cost of Having Your Taxes Done
How to rein in the costs.

How to Find the Dirt on Your Tax Preparer
Don’t give your info to just anyone.

How I Ditched Debt: Making the Most of a Gig Economy
A woman pays down over $25K in three years.

11 smart ways to spend your tax refund, according to personal finance experts
Don’t think of it as a windfall.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Hoping for a 529 tax deduction for K-12? Not so fast. Also in the news: 4 business credit card mistakes you can’t afford to make, the biggest financial mistakes women make, and one-size-fits-all financial advice.

Hoping for a 529 Tax Deduction for K-12? Not So Fast
The rules have changed.

4 Business Credit Card Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make
Take it easy with those cards.

The Biggest Financial Mistake Women Make
Narrowing the wage gap.

Follow This One-Size-Fits-All Financial Advice
Rules that everyone can follow.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 divorce mistakes that can cost you. Also in the news: How to achieve financial independence without retiring early, consolidated debt and how to do it right, and where to go when you have a travel insurance problem.

5 Divorce Mistakes That Can Cost You
Curb your social media.

How to Achieve Financial Independence Without Retiring Early
A worthwhile goal.

What Is Consolidated Debt and How to Do It Right in 2019
Don’t start charging again.

Where To Go When You Have A Travel Insurance Problem
Being your own best advocate.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to prepare for the next recession. Also in the news: How to grow your tax refund, everything you need to know to file your 2018 taxes, and how to wean grown kids off of your payroll.

There’s Always a Next Recession, so Be Prepared
Soften the blow of the next economic downturn.

If You’re Expecting a Tax Refund, Make a Plan to Grow It
Invest your refund instead of blowing it.

Everything You Need to Know to File Your 2018 Taxes
A handy list.

How to wean grown kids off your payroll, freeing up more retirement cash
Cutting the purse strings.

There’s always a next recession, so be prepared

Recessions are like natural disasters: They’re inevitable, but smart preparation may reduce the impact on you.

The U.S. economy has grown steadily since emerging from the “Great Recession” in June 2009, but expansions can’t continue forever, and this one is already the second-longest on record. Only the expansion from March 1991 to March 2001 lasted longer.

Recessions occur when growth stops and the economy starts to shrink. They vary in severity and length, but often jobs disappear, incomes decline and lenders make it harder to qualify for credit.

Knowing what may be coming can help you fortify your finances to withstand a possible slowdown. In my latest for the Associated Press, some steps to consider.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What the government shutdown means for home loans. Also in the news: How to stay afloat financially during the shutdown, how Medicare premiums could be the key to itemizing your taxes, and how to start investing right now.

What the Government Shutdown Means for Home Loans
Prepare for delays.

How to Stay Afloat Financially in a Federal Shutdown
Get ready to spend some time on the phone.

How Medicare premiums could be the key to itemizing your taxes — and saving money
Your premiums could be deductable.

How (and Why) to Start Investing Right Now
The sooner the better.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Quick ways to save more money in 2019. Also in the news: Medical bills plague millennials, 3 simple strategies to max out your 401(k), and the basics of Parent PLUS loan forgiveness.

Quick Ways to Save More Money in 2019
Focusing on the simple.

Medical Bills Plague Millennials; These Tips May Be the Cure
Making medical debt more managable.

3 Simple Strategies to Max Out Your 401(k)
Increasing your retirement savings at any income level.

The Basics of Parent PLUS Loan Forgiveness
Who’s responsible for repayment?