Life Kit: Money-logo

Life Kit: Money


Being in control of your money leads to great things. From dealing with debt or student loans, to how to buy a house, NPR wants to help. Subscribe to get episodes from Life Kit on money and personal finance.


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Being in control of your money leads to great things. From dealing with debt or student loans, to how to buy a house, NPR wants to help. Subscribe to get episodes from Life Kit on money and personal finance.




Prenups aren't just for the rich and famous. Here's when to consider one

Prenuptial agreements lay out how couples deal with money both during marriage and after divorce. That includes whether you'll have a joint bank account or pay off your loans together. Here's what you should know — and how to start the conversation with your partner.


Student loan repayment is resuming. Here's what you need to know

The three-year federal pause on student loans is expiring soon. If your financial circumstances have changed, or you just need an explanation of the many payment plans out there, here's a refresher course on how to pay off your student debt.


Start a financial self-care routine

There are things we're supposed to do routinely for our health — brush our teeth, shower and exercise. There's a version of that for financial health, too. We'll talk about what those tasks are — and also go beyond the number crunching to talk about mental health and finances.


Let's have some cheap fun

You don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun. Have you done a chocolate bar taste test? Hosted a themed hangout? Gone to a surprise movie night? Here are some ideas to help you save money and maximize entertainment.


Start your own business

It's time to get your MBA — the easy way. We're sharing an episode from Planet Money's Summer School. In this lesson: Everyone has a million dollar business idea (e.g., "Shazam but for movies"), but not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. You'll hear two case studies with founders who learned the hard way what goes into starting a small business and a biz school professor who chimes in to explain the fundamentals.


How to buy a car with confidence

Buying a car can be intimidating. This episode will help you strategize to avoid all the potential pitfalls, so you can drive away with a good deal. This episode originally published February 18, 2020.


How to choose a bank

It's easy to feel stuck with the bank account you've had forever, even if it's inconvenient or racking up fees. But there are lots of options out there. We walk through four types of financial institutions and companies for a checking or savings account: big banks, credit unions, community banks and newer financial technology apps.


How to prepare for the return of student loan payments

The Supreme Court has decided to strike down the Biden administration's plan to discharge some or all federal student loan debt. The decision impacts tens of millions of Americans – so what can student loan borrowers do to prepare now that the plan is over? NPR's education correspondent Cory Turner gives context and advice for borrowers.


Renting? Learn to be your own best housing advocate

Does your landlord have to fix that? Should you be worried about that clause in your lease? If you're one of the 35% of Americans renting your home, there's a lot you should know to protect yourself best. We'll discuss rental red flags, learn how to speak the language of landlords and how to decode a lease.


Save money on groceries

Groceries aren't cheap but there are ways beyond just looking for sales to make budget meals. To help cut down your grocery bill, we have practical tips for saving money on the food you cook at home.


Tricks to boost your credit score

A strong credit score can make major purchases and financial transactions much easier. Here's how to make yours better and keep it high. (This episode originally ran in November 2020.)


Can I afford to quit my job?

Longing to quit your job and follow your passion? Or perhaps take a break to travel? Or move to a new place? First, you'll need to look at your finances. In this episode, Jill Schlesinger, a certified financial planner and business analyst for CBS News, walks through her five steps for assessing your financial situation before a possible life change.


How to prepare for tax season

The time to file your taxes is approaching. For something that's legally required, taxes can be confusing to actually do. This guide explains when and how to hire a tax preparer, covers the latest credits and deductions — and helps you plan ahead for next year.


Budgeting for dating

How much should you spend on a date? Who should pick up the bill? Can you talk money on the first date? Kristin Myers, editor-in-chief of The Balance, shares the results of a recent survey on finances and dating.


Helpful financial advice for creative types

Got a side hustle and not sure how to handle your money? Financial coach Paco de Leon, author of 'Finance for the People: Getting a Grip on Your Finances,' explains why you should put your freelance funds into a separate bank account and how to prepare yourself for tax season.


Stressed about talking about finances with a new partner? This framework can help

It can be awkward to discuss money when you're in a new relationship. Financial therapist Amanda Clayman suggests following what she calls the "five components of financial intimacy" to get the conversation started.


How much money is enough to become parents? An episode from This Is Uncomfortable

A couple clashes about how much money they need to save before having children. This episode is from our friends This Is Uncomfortable's podcast series on fights about money.


Life Kit answers your pressing questions about inflation

The prices of goods and services have gone up. How much of that is due to Ukraine or the pandemic? What can our elected officials do to lower prices? And how does inflation slow down? NPR's Marielle Segarra and Stacey Vanek Smith tackle listener queries.


Credit card points are for everyone. Here's how to get into them

The idea that you can use your credit card to earn points for airfare, hotels and car rentals or offset grocery or gas bills might seem too good to be true. But people are doing it — and so can you.


Student loan forgiveness Q&A

Life Kit teams up with NPR Education to answer some common questions about student loan relief, including: What's the application process like? What loans qualify for debt relief? What if you have multiple loans?