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Money as you Grow. What should kids know about money?

Written by Super User · 31 May 2012

The following post comes from the Military Saves Blog. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

May 31, 2012

By Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator

Kids and money.  Kids and finance.  Kids and saving. Kids and spending. These are things we should all be talking about with our kids, but when? How?  When to talk to your kids about money and how to talk to them about it can be overwhelming and exhausting.  What should your 3 year-old really know about money?  How about your 12 year-old?  Your 18 year-old?  Now, there’s a big challenge.

Once kids are in elementary school, they learn how much coins are worth, how to count them, adding, subtracting, making change; these are all important skills.  While sitting down and counting money with my 1st grader, I wondered.  She is learning the great skill of counting money; does she actually know where the magical coins in the sandwich baggie come from?  If I would have actually asked, chances are her answer would have been, “they came from your purse, Mommy”.  That is not really the answer, unless I also had a magical money-making purse (which would, of course, be fantastic!)

I have to say when I first saw the Money as You Grow interactive webpage at the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability meeting a few months ago, I was instantly interested.  I spent the rest of the meeting leaning over and stretching my neck out to see the screens with the mock-up of the website.  I thought, “Now, this is something I can use.”   Just so you know, I am a financial counselor and I am always talking to my daughters about personal finance, but I often wondered, how much is too much?  What is enough?  What should they really know by ages seven and nine?  I don’t want to spend time trying to shove concepts down their throats that they can’t quite grasp.  How tiresome (and boring), for everyone.

Five Reasons You Should Consider Direct Deposit

Written by Super User · 30 May 2012

May 30, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager

Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. It’s the plan you need to save for whatever saving goal you have. But how do you save automatically? One of the ways to save automatically is to save a portion of your paycheck through direct deposit. Many employers allow you to automatically deposit your paycheck into different accounts. Visit your HR office to fill out the form to split your direct deposit into different accounts. Saving automatically makes it easier to save because your money is saved with each paycheck – you don’t have to think about how much to save or take any additional steps. Here are five more reasons you should consider setting up direct deposit today:

  1. Safety: You do not need to worry about theft or losing your check as it will be deposited directly in your bank account.
  2. Avoiding Spending: Many find that they are less likely to spend their money on unnecessary purchases if it has already been deposited at the bank.

Be Prepared: Over 125,000 Auto Accidents will Occur this Weekend

Written by Super User · 25 May 2012

May 25, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager

Take extra care if you are driving over this Memorial Day holiday weekend. AAA announced last week that approximately 34.8 million people will take a trip by automobile of at least 50 miles this weekend.  Based on driving records and claims history, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) estimates that, during the Holiday travel period, over 125,000 auto accidents will occur, resulting in 75,000 to 100,000 auto insurance claims filed with the nation’s auto insurance companies.

Do you know what to do if you get into an accident? CFA produced the guide, Navigating the Auto Claims’ Maze: Getting the Settlement You Deserve, which contains insiders’ advice on how drivers who get into accidents can file a successful auto insurance claim and collect a fair settlement.

The consumer guide contains a handy “checklist” that consumers can use to keep track of key information and to make sure they are treated fairly.  The guide and checklist provide crucial information that consumers often don’t hear about, including:

Requiring a 54.5 MPG Rule by 2025 Could Save You Money

Written by Super User · 24 May 2012

May 24, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager

Earlier this week, the Consumer Federation of America released the Top 10 Reasons Consumers Want 54.5 MPG by 2025. And not surprisingly, two of the reasons on that list are that the new rule will save consumers money.

“What’s not to like?” said Mark Cooper, Director of Research for CFA, of the 54.5 miles-per-gallon (mpg) by the year 2025 standard, which is expected to be adopted late this summer. “Better gas mileage means more money in Americans’ pockets. Last year household gasoline expenditures set a record, reaching an average of over $2,850. Consumers can’t stomach these prices and the new standards are the only way they’re going to get some relief.”

Below are the money saving reasons from that list:

  1. The standards lower the total cost of driving from the minute you drive off the lot. For the typical consumer who takes out a five-year auto loan, the monthly gas savings are greater than the increase in the monthly payment needed to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Over the life of a vehicle covered by the new standards, the average buyer will bank a net savings of $3,000.
  2. Consumers value fuel-economy -- it's a worthwhile improvement in quality. It’s expected that the new standards will increase auto prices by about $300 per year over the next 15 years. That is less than the increases the automakers have imposed on the public by voluntary increases in quality over the past 15 years and today.  Better fuel economy is priority #1 for enhancing quality.

Click here to read the entire Top 10 Reasons Consumers Want 54.5MPG by 2025 list.

What do you think about enacting a 54.5 MPG rule by 2025? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Murphy’s Law and Emergency Savings

Written by Guest Blogger · 23 May 2012

The following post comes from the Military Saves Blog. Follow then on Facebook and Twitter.

By Adrianna Domingos-Lupher, AFC®

Owner, Military Money Chica, Personal Finance Blog

I’m sure you’ve all met my friend, Mr. Murphy.  He’s a frequent visitor to our home and is notorious for showing up when we least expect it.  Mr. Murphy can be quite an expensive houseguest with little regards as to how his actions will impact your finances.

Murphy’s Law Hits Home

Mr. Murphy’s most infamous visit to our home took place just as we bought our brand new front-loading washer and dryer.  As we basked in the glow of our newly purchased and installed clean machines, Mr. Murphy dropped by.  Unannounced.  As usual.  And when he visited, he really settled in.  Within a month of our large-scale washer/dryer purchase our sprinkler system pump broke AND our air conditioning compressor bit the dust.  Thanks a lot, Murphy.  Thanks. A. Lot.

The total damage of the trifecta: $1200 washer and dryer (planned purchase), $600 water pump (unplanned), $600 A/C compressor (unplanned).  

How on earth were we going to pay for all of this?  Granted, we’d set aside money to cover our washer and dryer, but we still had a bit of sticker shock.  It was no small purchase.  When the water pump and AC went, it just felt like a bad dream.  

I don’t know about you, but I hate spending money I didn’t plan to spend.  It just hits me in the pit of my stomach.  

Fortunately, I was one step ahead of Mr. Murphy.

Emergency Savings: Your Best Defense Against Murphy’s Law

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Administrator2 | January 13, 2014

    Never purchase expensive items on impulse. Think over each expensive purchase for at least 24 hours. Acting on this principle will mean you have far fewer regrets about impulse purchases, and far more money for emergency savings. http://ow.ly/sj972

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