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April is Financial Literacy Month, and this year we're encouraging you to share the wealth for a chance to win big!
One in four Americans has more credit card debt than emergency savings, according to a new poll by Bankrate.com.
Studies showthat 21 percent of Americans — 38 percent of those with incomes less than $25,000 — think that winning the lottery represents the most practical way for them to accumulate several hundred thousand dollars.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 64 percent of Americans would have to go into debt or sell off possessions to cover a $1,000 emergency, due to lack of savings.
It’s startling numbers like these that inspired America Saves Week, a national campaign aimed to encourage individuals and families to build wealth by saving money. Because most Americans today are not saving adequately for retirement, and most lower-income households do not have adequate emergency savings for unexpected expenditures, the message accompanying this national movement is needed now more than ever.
It’s no secret that tough economic times can make saving difficult, which is why America Saves Week 2012, running Feb. 19 to Feb. 26, is focused on a simple set of instructions that – if followed – can make anyone a successful saver. The instructions may sound basic, but they are the foundation for financial success: Set a goal. Make a plan. Save automatically.
Knowing what you want to save for, how to achieve it and then making the savings process automatic will allow you to reach your savings goal. Visit AmericaSaves.org to find more information about America Saves Week. There, you can find savings strategies and you can take the pledge to become an American Saver.
If you’re planning to throw a game-watching party Feb. 5, as the New York Giants face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, you’re not alone. According to Bloomberg News, an estimated 34.9 million Americans threw Super Bowl parties in 2011, and 61.2 million people attended a Super Bowl party.
So whether you’re hosting a large group of people or you’re having an intimate gathering of your closest friends and family, the following are a few tips to ensure you score big without spending big bucks.
Remember not to stress too much over the details. Sit back and enjoy yourself — it is a party afterall. And even if your team doesn't win, at least you'll know you've won big by pulling off a bash without breaking the bank. So start practicing your endzone dance now!
Since completing my debt management program I have found that I can breathe again. Before debt management, my husband and I were so stressed over our inability to pay our bills that it not only affected our credit it affected every part of our lives.
When it comes to weddings, you frequently hear how expensive it can be to have one, but no one ever discusses how much it costs to attend one.
Hosting a book swap is simple, fun, and frugal.
As Father’s Day approaches, we are reminded that dads are as often as not, charged with the task of teaching the children how to handle money responsibly.
Money Management International is a Member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) whose 2010 Financial Literacy Survey addressed the topic of where consumers learned the most about personal finance. The majority of respondents, 41 percent, said they learned their personal finance skills from their parents or at home. On the surface, that seems like a fine place for children to learn about money. However, another survey question allowed respondents to grade themselves on their own knowledge of financial literacy. Thirty-four percent, or nearly 77 million people, gave themselves a grade of C, D or F, leading to the conclusion that those in charge of the financial decisions at home may be in need of some additional financial education themselves.
A person can’t teach what he or she doesn’t know. We’re living in a time where an abundance of personal finance courses, books and other tools are available, meaning that dads (and moms) can take advantage of the opportunities to not only improve their grasp of financial literacy, but also positively impact their children.
It has long been known that children mimic their parents’ attitudes and habits. That means that adults need to not only teach, but also demonstrate sound personal finance habits through their lifestyle. Look at the following checklist to see if your behavior reflects what you want to be teaching your children about money.
Is there an emphasis on saving? Americans are really good spenders, but rotten savers. A robust savings account is a safety net that provides protection against the unplanned expense, the emergency, or a loss of income. Making saving an important element of your financial planning shows your children that you place a priority on preparing for the future.
Are you financially organized? Are you getting late notices not because you couldn’t afford to pay the bill, but because you forgot to pay it? Robbing Peter to pay Paul because due dates don’t coincide with paydays? Putting all of your financial papers in one place and reviewing them weekly will give you a sense of control over your finances and teach the children a valuable lesson.
Are there arguments in the home over money? Even if you try to hide it, if there’s tension in the home when money is discussed, the children will sense it. Money then becomes a scary subject to them, one to be avoided. They will likely carry this fear into adulthood, potentially causing problems when they have to deal with financial decisions within their own marriage.
Do you hide purchases? Remember, your children were probably with you when you made the purchase, as well as when you locked it in the trunk of the car so that your spouse wouldn’t see it. This is not teaching appropriate behavior on many levels.
Do you avoid answering the phone or opening the mail, fearing more communication with debt collectors? Your family will realize that something strange is going on, plus you won’t be able to dodge the collectors forever. It’s always better to deal with the problem rather than run from it, as delaying action only makes the situation harder to resolve.
Do you involve your family in financial decisions? Doing so provides ample opportunities to teach positive principles about money. Bring the children in on the decisions that affect them, things such as which cable package to buy, or how many pizzas should be ordered each month. Have a full discussion around the benefits of the decision, including what else could be done with the money saved.
Are you a generous giver? The children will observe you supporting the local little league team, charities, or the homeless. The gift of giving which starts at a young age will likely stay with the child for a lifetime.
The home is filled with teachable moments around money. Knowing that you children will likely follow the financial examples you’ve set is a strong encouragement to get your financial ducks in a row.
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