Money Matters: 101 Consumer Finance Story Ideas

Education Resources, Finance 411,

April is Financial Literacy Month, and we want to close out the month by sharing some of the top personal finance and consumer story ideas we’ve shared as part of our weekly Money Matters feature, made possible by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

Six out of ten RTDNA members say they’ve reported a consumer story in the past year. If you haven’t, and you’d like to, but aren’t sure where to begin, start with these ideas.

If you have alerted your audience to a scam, helped them save money or explained how a new policy affects their wallets, share your best stories with us and we may fund your next one, then get an idea for what to cover next here.

From spending to debt, taxes to retirement, money matters affect everyone your reporting reaches. Helping your audience become more financially literate is one great way your reporting can help your community.

1. Experts debunk personal finance myths
2. Financial mistakes that can haunt you
3. Money mistakes freelancers make
4. Personal finance lessons to learn by 40
5. Handling financial hits without help
6. Is your financial adviser trustworthy?
7. Don't keep these things in your wallet
8. Things rich people know that you don't


9. Some home improvements offer tax breaks
10. Beware of tax scams
11. How to spend your tax refund
12. Don't wait until April to talk taxes
13. Time to get down to brass “tax”
14. Tax audit red flags
15. What does tax reform mean for you?
16. Prize winners pay taxes, even Olympians
17. Watch for tax errors on your paycheck


18. Hope for a Healthy Retirement
19. How to get a do-over with your IRA
20. How to retire rich
21. An HSA can help retirement savings
22. Give your 401k a checkup
23. Monthly pension payments or lump sum?
24. What your audience should know about IRAs
25. Working in retirement trims Social Security
26. Waiting to collect social security can pay off
27. Many Americans don't use 401k plans
28. Transfer your 401(k) when switching jobs
29. Know costs of assisted living
30. Will your retirement plan be enough?
31. Avoid these 401(k) mistakes
32. The two biggest expenses in retirement
33. How to retire early
34. Are fees eating up your retirement plan?

Debt, saving & credit

35. Should you drop your rewards card?
36. Smart strategies for buying CDs
37. Smart ways to use balance transfers
38. What not to put on your credit card
39. Tips for getting out of debt
40. Downsize to pay down debt
41. When to refinance your car loan
42. Get more out of your savings account
43. How small things can affect your credit score
44. Financial benefits of marriage 
45. Mortgages can make saving difficult
46. Battling zombie debt
47. Budgets help college students save
48. Should you pay off your mortgage early?
49. Shop around for car loans
50. Easy steps to winterize your home
51. When savings goals seem unrealistic
52. Store credit cards can carry high price tag
53. Subprime by any other name?
54. Things you should be saving for
55. Do you need an annuity?
56. Managing debt in a marriage
57. Make money off of your home
58. How to break up with your credit card 
59. Be a debt-free credit card user
60. Save money? There's an app for that
61. What nobody tells you about your credit score
62. Should you pay off your mortgage early?
63. The price of looking youthful
64. Is your state a retiree destination?
65. The best way to invest $5000


66. Wrapping up the World Economic Forum
67. Work out what job reports mean for workers
68. Making interest rates interesting
69. The nuts and bolts of new tariffs
70. In a volatile market, take a step back
71. What a government shutdown means for personal finance


72. Beware of hotel fees
73. A costly flu season
74. Couples spend record amounts on weddings
75. Worst mistakes when buying a used car
76. Should you buy flood insurance?
77. Smart ways to use a thousand bucks
78. Mistakes to avoid during open enrollment
79. Are wedding planners worth it?
80. The biggest reasons you can't sell your home
81. Benefits of downsizing your home
82. Tricks to save money at the grocery store
83. Save money at the gas pump
84. How to lower your car insurance costs
85. Spring break without breaking the bank 
86. Pets are a big business
87. Making sense of the biggest CES trends
88. Mistakes first-time homebuyers make
89. Benefits of living with less
90. Is 'staging' your house for sale worth the cost?
91. Hidden costs of moving
92. Milestones can affect car insurance rates
93. The importance of a monthly budget
94. How managing your money is like baseball


95. New Bureau of Consumer Protection fraud report released
96. Phone and online scams on the rise
97. Protect yourself from data breaches
98. When is a sale not a sale?
99. Utility bill phone scams on the rise
100. Beware of car sales tricks
101. ATM fraud grows

Weekly Money Matters personal finance content for your newsroom is sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial EducationSubmit your story idea.