Personal Finance Focus: Back-to-School Savings, Credit Scores and More

Among the best personal finance and retirement stories from TheStreet this week: school shopping in uncertain times, keys to a better credit score, and retirement advice
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In a normal year, many people would be right in the middle of back-to-school preparations — sales, planning, shopping. But what if you don’t know where or how your kids will be going back to school, let alone what supplies they’ll need?

Two-fifths (40%) of parents with children in K-12 or college anticipate their children will be attending classes in a hybrid environment (both in-person and remote) in the fall of 2020, according to a new NerdWallet survey. Planning for multiple scenarios could result in the need for increased back-to-school spending, but many may not have the extra money this year.

For tips on how to get what you need and stay in your budget, read How to Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping in Uncertain Times.

Check out some other stories on TheStreet’s Personal Finance section about safety and mobile payment apps, tricks to maximize your credit score, and things investors need to remember about gold’s amazing run.

Are Mobile Payment Apps Really Safe?

They are convenient, but if you don't use them right, they can put your finances at risk. Here's what you need to know about apps like Venmo and PayPal.

Can Theme Parks Recover?

Amusement parks did great last year. Then 2020 happened. Take a look at the most popular amusement parks in the U.S. and the challenges they face.

Why 1% Could Be the Magic Number for Your Credit Score

Credit utilization is one of the biggest levers you can pull to affect your score; aiming for just above zero hits the mark.

5 Reminders About Gold's Record Run

When things get dicey, gold goes up. But not every retail investor needs to buy gold as a hedge against economic uncertainty.

And on Retirement Daily

This week, in Robert Powell’s Retirement Daily on TheStreet:

2020 an Optimal Year for Roth Conversions

Guest contributor Jim Blankenship explains how 2020, extraordinary in many ways, appears to be an optimal year for Roth conversions. There is a “perfect storm” of factors that have come together in 2020, making a Roth conversion an excellent move for many savers. These factors include: The recent passage of the SECURE Act, with its changes to beneficiary distributions; the waiver of required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020 with the CARES Act; plus the fact that we’re living with the lowest tax rates in recent history. Add in the possibility of reduced valuations in IRA and 401(k) accounts due to market losses, and the scene is set for some significant activity in the Roth conversion arena.

Should You Give Financial Support to Family?

Financial planners offer words of wisdom to those who plan to offer financial support to their family.