Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Today’s definition of financial adulthood is more flexible than ever. Also in the news: Which airlines have handled COVID-19 the best, 3 ways to say no at a car dealership, and a beginner’s guide to filling out your W-4.

Today’s Definition of Financial Adulthood Is More Flexible Than Ever
Young adults are rethinking their financial plans.

Which Airlines Have Handled COVID-19 the Best?
Where does your favorite rank?

3 Ways to Say No at a Car Dealership
Staanding firm in the finance office.

A Beginner’s Guide to Filling Out Your W-4
The IRS makes it confusing.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to plan and budget for DIY projects now. Also in the news: How to factor climate change into your air travel, why it’s probably better to lease a car than buy one right now, and new rules for medical and dependent care FSAs.

How to Plan and Budget for DIY Projects Now
Tailor do-it-yourself home projects to fit current circumstances by considering the size, type and cost of the work.

Ask a Points Nerd: How Can I Factor Climate Change Into My Air Travel?
Being intentional about the airlines you choose and how often you fly can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Why it’s probably better to lease a car than buy one right now
5 reasons why leasing is a smart choice during these chaotic times.

New Rules for Medical and Dependent Care FSAs
New rules bring more flexibility.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why good credit matters even if you don’t plan to borrow. Also in the news: An expert weighs in on how to travel safely, 4 options if you’re undecided about college this fall, and how to amend a tax return online.

Why Good Credit Matters — Even if You Don’t Plan to Borrow
Good credit provides a safety net in a crisis, and it can reduce bills and make you look better on applications.

Ask an Expert: Is Any Travel Safe?
Can we safely beat our cabin fever?

Still Undecided About College This Fall? Know These 4 Options
Things will look a bit different.

How to Amend a Tax Return Online
You no longer need to mail in corrections.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can your credit card help you get a refund on a canceled trip? Also in the news: 9 alternatives to payday loans to consider during the COVID-19 crisis, what to do before adopting or buying a puppy, and how to earn more reward points on your next grocery run.

Can My Credit Card Help Me Get a Refund on Canceled Trips?
Your card may have travel protection.

9 Alternatives to Payday Loans to Consider During the COVID-19 Crisis
Other options to high interest loans.

Do This Before Adopting or Buying a Puppy
What to do before getting a quarantine buddy.

How to Earn More Rewards Points on Your Next Grocery Run
Cards are offering more practical rewards.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Can I buy or sell a house during the Coronavirus pandemic? Also in the news: How to manage your credit score during a crisis, Coronavirus cancellation and change policies for credit card travel portals, and how to get all your credit card payments deferred in one call.

Can I Buy or Sell a House During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
New regulations you’ll contend with.

How to Manage Your Credit Score During a Crisis
Looking at alternatives.

Coronavirus Cancellation and Change Policies for Credit Card Travel Portals
Everything you need to know.

Get All Your Credit Card Payments Deferred With One Call
A credit counselor can help you.

I travel-hacked a college tour and saved $3,000

Amtrak’s “buy one, get one” spring sale got me started.

My teenage daughter and I had used a similar two-for-one deal last year to take an overnight train trip from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon. This year, she wanted to use her spring break to check out colleges in Chicago as well as the Pacific Northwest. When Amtrak announced the return of its companion fare sale, I thought a couple of nights on a sleeper train might be a good way to start our college tour. She agreed.

At the same time, I noticed that we had travel rewards piling up all over the place: points, miles, free anniversary nights at hotels, even a Southwest companion pass that had yet to be used. At NerdWallet, we’re always telling people to spend rather than hoard their rewards, which get less valuable over time thanks to program devaluations.

So I decided to see how much I could save on one 10-day trip. In my latest for the Associated Press, find out what the grand total was and how we pulled it off.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to take charge of your credit this year. Also in the news: Several Chase cards will earn more rewards of Lyft rides, 6 inspired ideas for traveling smarter this year, and how much you need to save every month to earn $50K a year in interest for retirement.

How to Take Charge of Your Credit This Year
Take a crash course in credit.

Several Chase Cards Will Earn More Rewards on Lyft Rides
A boost for rideshare customers.

6 inspired ideas for traveling smarter this year
Rethinking old travel habits.

How much you need to save every month to earn $50,000 a year in interest alone for retirement
Crunching the numbers.

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.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The cheapest ways to fly to Hawaii using points and miles. Also in the news: 5 things to know about the Platinum Delta SkyMiles business credit cards, why you should use caution with buy-now, pay-later platforms, and see how the Democratic candidates tax plans would affect you.

The Cheapest Ways to Fly to Hawaii Using Points and Miles
Aloha!

5 Things to Know About the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
Especially handy for small business owners.

Use caution with buy-now, pay-later platformsInstant gratification can have long-term consequences.

See How the Democratic Candidates’ Tax Plans Would Affect You
A look into the political future.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: SmartMoney podcast on how to pay off debt faster. Also in the news: What to expect when requesting a credit limit increase, why you should always pay in local currency when traveling, and 10 money mistakes millennials should avoid.

SmartMoney podcast: ‘How Can I Pay Off My Debt Faster?’
Tips from the experts.

Requesting a Credit Limit Increase? Here’s What to Expect
Question and answerr

Why You Should Always Pay in Local Currency When Traveling
Avoid markups and fees.

10 Money Mistakes Millennials Should Avoid (No. 10’s a Shocker)
These mistakes could come back to haunt you.