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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter
Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterAugust 1 2013 newsletter
When is consolidating your debt a bad idea?

women considers debt consolidation

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

You’ve got the big credit card due on the 7th, the little credit card on the 15th, and the emergency card that you use for more than emergencies because you get double points on groceries and everybody needs groceries on the 18th. Then there’s that special medical credit card they made you open when your cat needed dental surgery, your Target card, your gas card and the card you opened to get 15% off jeans at that place in the mall that you’re not allowed to go back to because you bought too many jeans that one time.

And all of that’s not including your mortgage, your car payment, your student loan payment, your electric bill, your gas bill, your internet, cable, phone, Netflix and on and on…

Debt consolidation exists because it’s beneficial to lenders and it's popular because it’s often beneficial to consumers.

But when is consolidation not in your best interests? There are a few circumstances where consolidating your bills can cause more harm than good, so see if you fall into any of these categories before signing off on that consolidation.

 Read More

Simple, savvy ways to save on groceries

savvy saving

This special guest post was written by Tommye White, Senior Director of Counseling Quality Assurance.

Even though I like to think of myself as a smart shopper, I am like others when I get to the check-out at the grocery store: shocked that my bill is so high for the small amount of groceries I have in my cart.

I feel like I do a pretty good job of purchasing the most for the least amount of money, but I have had even more success by following these three tips to really push the envelope 

Teaching children about money

teaching children about money

Children need to be taught the financial basics of earning, spending, saving, borrowing, and sharing. Learn how to introduce and reinforce these skills starting with the pre-school aged child and continuing on through the early adulthood years.

Join us on Tueday, August 6th for this free, hour-long, online seminar and learn how to help your children develop a healthy attitude toward money - right from the start!

register now


Financial Education learn more


Sharpen Your Financial Skills with Online Courses

The goal of our highly trained professionals is to arm you with the knowledge necessary to take control of your financial situation. Our online seminars stress the development of skills that can assure long-term success. Take the first step toward financial wellness by enrolling in a Web seminar today!

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In-Person Workshops Are Also Available In The Following Areas:

Alaska | Arizona | California | Connecticut | Colorado | Idaho | Illinois | Louisiana | Maine | Massachusetts | Mississippi | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Texas - Fort Worth Area | Texas - Houston Area | Virginia | Greater Washington D.C. | Washington State

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit



Budgeting & living with a roommate

Summer will be over sooner than you'd think and that means students will be heading off to college.  For many students that means learning how to live on a budget and adapting to life with a new roommate.

College is a time to exercise your independence, including your fiscal independence, since the decisions students make today can have long-term implications for their financial future. However, at the same time they are learning to live without the constant support of their parents, they're also learning live with a college roommate. Studies show that about three out of four first-time college students have never shared a room before coming to college.

College roommates may share space, but they should not share poor money habits. Following are some tips for managing money while living with a college roommate.

Create your personal budget. Hopefully, you and your roommate will have a lot of things in common; however, a budget shouldn’t be one of them. Create a personal budget by first tallying your sources of income including scholarships, grants, loans, family contributions, available savings, educational savings plans, and expected work income. Next, document your spending including fixed, variable, and periodic expenses with help from an online expense worksheet.

Consider individual leases. If you and your roommates want to live off-campus, consider an apartment that caters to students. Many of these apartments offer individual leases and will split the utility bills for you taking some of the burden off of you and your roommates.

Come to a consensus. If you are living with roommates, you should decide whether you are going to embrace a philosophy of “what’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine” or one that involves sharing. Some bills, like rent, electricity, and water can be easily divided. Other expenses, like groceries, cleaning supplies, or furnishings for common areas, are more of a gray area. Discuss responsibilities with your roommates and come to a group consensus. Put your agreement in writing in case there are disputes in the future.

Think long-term. According to a recent Sallie Mae study, college seniors graduate with an average credit card debt of more than $4,100. While it’s good to build a positive credit history, no one wants to start their post-graduation life in debt. If having a credit card is too much of a temptation for you, consider getting a prepaid or secured credit card instead.

Finally, make sure your home environment is conducive for studying. After all, the reason you are in college is to get an education. If your housing situation is hindering your performance in school, then money being spent on tuition and books is not netting you the benefits of an education.

MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
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