Starting a savings account for your child is one of the best gifts you can give them. Financial literacy isn’t something that is mandatory to teach in schools, so it’s essential that parents and other loved ones make space for it at home.
Budgeting: You know you need to do it. You even want to do it, because you’re ready to pay off that debt or increase your savings. You’re prepared to take that grown-up step of being “good with money.” The problem? You have no idea where to start. It’s ok — you’re not alone. Budgeting has a pretty bad reputation. People hear the word “budget” and think it means “no more spending on fun things ever again.” And while budgeting apps and services are abundant out there, finding the right one for you can be a challenge. So let’s start at the beginning. How do you begin to build a budget, and how do you stick to it over the long term?
I get a check from my grandmother each year for my birthday. It’s a sweet gesture — enough money to have a birthday dinner out — as well as a blast from the past. Who besides grandparents are using checks on a regular basis anymore? The checkbook I received when I opened my bank account five years ago is still half full. In our digital world, most of us are using online payment methods like Venmo or PayPal or credit and debit cards to make our purchases. In a report released by the American Banking Association, there were 364 million open credit cards at the end of 2017. Considering there are a little more than 328 million American citizens, it’s safe to say that we’re a nation of credit card lovers. I know that I use Venmo and my credit card way more often than I find myself looking for my checkbook.
Retirement is coming. I don’t mean to sound like a Game of Thrones character, but it’s the truth. In order to be retired and living our best lives by 65, we have to be planning and saving now. And retirement planning is more than just saving the money. You have different options to maximize the effectiveness of your retirement accounts and really make your money work for you.
Credit unions and banks — what’s the difference, anyway? They’re both institutions where you can open accounts, and they both come with ATMs. That’s really what you need out of a financial institution, right?
Banks make billions each year in fees. That’s no exaggeration. In 2017, the average ATM out-of-network fee hit a record $4.69 per transaction. And U.S. consumers paid an estimated $34.3 billion in overdraft fees.
I am about to reveal something both cool and nerdy about myself: I’ve known about certificates of deposit (CDs) since I was around 10 years old.
We’ve all seen or heard the term “FDIC insured.” You can find it on your bank’s website or on practically every brochure your local branch hands out. You can hear it spoken really quickly at the end of finance-related commercials on the radio. It sounds like a good thing — after all, we have health insurance, car insurance, home insurance, etc. But we know what all of those things are and how they help protect us. So what is the FDIC and what does its insurance do when it comes to our money?
Whether you envision yourself sitting by the pool drinking Dom Perignon or jumping in piles of gold coins a la Uncle Scrooge, you can’t deny that the thought of being uber-wealthy makes for a good daydream. And some of us even think we can achieve those untold riches in no time through investing. So is there an investment that can get you rich quick?