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Financial Literacy

How to Stretch Income and Ease Financial Pressure

People work in diverse fields, plying countless trades to keep the economy moving and bring home steady income. But as dissimilar as their circumstances may appear, a vast sampling of consumers share similar financial goals. For most, key priorities include saving money and extending financial resources, as far as possible. Just as people make money in various ways, their approaches to personal financial management are also unique. Some successful money managers, for instance, lean on coupons, discounts, and retail bargains to stretch their budgets. Others sacrifice some of the comforts of daily life, to grow savings for the future. Still others build sweat equity, taking-on jobs most people hire-out. Each strategy bears fruit, so there is no single best approach. In practice, most people committed to making the most of their financial resources do so with a multi-faceted line of attack. As distinct as your financial concerns may seem – you are not alone juggling the monetary demands of modern living. Use the following tips to find further savings and maximize returns – regardless of your income level. Debt Adds a Budget Burden For many consumers, money spent paying back personal debt represents a substantial share of each month’s budget. ...

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Financial Literacy is Alive and Kicking

Arches National Park Hike

A wise man once said that a penny saved is a penny earned. Actually that wise man was Benjamin Franklin who was teaching financial literacy long before there was automated savings, online bill pay, and software to figure out how much money we need to retire. I was recently reacquainted with some of his other genius quotes by reading my daughter’s homework. Perfect Storm I will never claim to be more busy than anyone else. But this was one of those weeks where the perfect storm of after school activities, working late, having to make some difficult decisions, catching a cold, and an actual snow storm threatened to take me down. When the  time came to figure out a Friday post, my mind was blank. I decided to throw in the towel and skip today when I ran across a true gem from my third grader. Third Grade Entrepreneurs Believe it or not, financial literacy is being taught to some extend at my daughter’s school. Third grade is studying needs vs wants, budgets, and profits minus expenses. Their class even spent a half day running a restaurant using foods from the school garden that were made into brunch served to ...

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Getting Financially Real: Financially Literacy Awareness Carnival

Getting real with your money

Today I’m honored to be participating in the Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival hosted by the lovely Shannon Ryan at the Heavy Purse. I have shared my story of getting financially real in the past, and I can’t say enough about how financial literacy provides the keys to becoming debt free, building wealth, and financial independence. As a way to promote this most important topic, I’ve made up a bit of a quiz to test your financial literacy. While it’s meant to be all in good fun, hopefully if you get an F, you’ll read some of the other posts in the carnival today and start taking steps to get yourself financially real. What is Your Debt to Income Ratio? A) Under 35% B) Over 35%, but I’m working hard to lower it and have paid off loads of debt over the past few months. C) I just make my payment and don’t pay attention to stuff like that. It’s the 25th of the month. Which best describes you? A) The 25th is no different than any other day. I keep track of my expenses and know how much money I have left to spend before the end of the month. B) ...

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Four Myths About Bad Credit

Bad Credit Myths

Bad credit gets a bad rap — and for good reason. It only takes a few serious mistakes to destroy your credit score; and while a credit score can drop rapidly, it can take years to repair the damage. In the meantime, a low score can stop certain job opportunities and result in higher insurance premiums. It’s a bad situation to be in, but bad credit is not the end of the world. There are several untruths regarding bad credit, and it’s these myths that discourage some people from improving their credit history. They either feel that it’s too hard, or that their efforts won’t matter. However, by distinguishing truth from fiction, you might find the motivation to fix your credit. Here are four common myths about bad credit. 1. You can’t buy a house A good credit score can help you qualify for a mortgage loan and a good interest rate. However, a low credit score doesn’t always ruin the chances of finding a home loan. You might not qualify for conventional financing with a score under 680, but you may qualify for a home loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which only requires a minimum credit ...

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Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival-My Financial Aha Moment

financial literacy aha moment

I’m very happy to be participating with an excellent lineup of bloggers for this year’s Financial Literacy Awareness Carnival by sharing my Financial Aha Moment. You can head over to The Heavy Purse to see all the posts today. I bet you’ll learn lots! The American Dream If you have been reading for a while, you know that my family used to have some serious debt. At the beginning of 2011, we owed over $30,000 to credit card companies and had over $70,000 in student loans. We also were a family who traded our cars for new ones every three or four years and bought things whenever we felt the urge. We had good income, made our payments on time (even if they were often only the minimums), and almost always got approved for new credit whenever we wanted something. We were living the American dream, right? Well, if the dream includes constant worry about having no money at the end of the month and having to work all the time to make sure you can hit every payment, then I guess we were there. It actually sounds more like a nightmare that I’m afraid way too many people lose ...

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