Financially Literacy Doesn’t
Need To Make You Fried!


As Financial Literacy Month comes to a close, we hope you have enjoyed all our posts.

If you read through them, you already know the answer to this question:

Why should you be Financially Literate?

A study by the financial services company TIAA-CREF show that people with high financial literacy skills have double the wealth of those who do not. Also, those with low financial literacy skills pay a lot more for things.

So which would you rather be? The person who has more $$$ in their pocket, or the one who does not!

Financial Literacy doesn’t need to make you fried! It just takes a little effort to really understand what you need to know!

Want to keep up with your financial literacy skills? Visit our website, where we post financial literacy tips regularly. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

You’re A Millionaire!

Did you know that YOU are a MILLIONAIRE!

No really, you are. And so is most everyone you know?

How you ask? Well this Talkin’ Money video explains it!

Through your lifetime, you will most likely earn a million dollars, and probably much more! Here’s a chart showing the Median Lifetime Earnings by College Majors. Just look at the return of a high school degree, versus an Associate’s College Degree and All Majors – it’s pretty amazing!


How are you gonna manage your money? It takes responsibility, and, being financially literate!

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! There’s just a few days left, but you can always revisit our website to review all the financial literacy tips we’ve posted – and more!

What’s The REAL Cost
Of Owning A Car?

OK, you need to get around. A car is in order right? Well ask yourself – What is the real cost of owning an automobile?

This Talkin’ Money video tells the story of one millennial who realized after the fact how much a car costs.

This is an example of the look and feel all the videos in our financial literacy series.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! There’s just a few days left, but you can always revisit our website to review all the financial literacy tips we’ve posted – and more!

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Student Loan Debt = Game of Loans

Student loan debt is a big issue for Millennials. It is the most common way of funding your college and graduate school education – but doing so has become a ‘Game of Loans’.2016_0424-GameOfLoans

But before you start to think that getting a student loan is like an alliance with the House of Lannister, understanding what you are getting into is an important first step.

In the U.S., the total outstanding student loan debt is around $1.2 trillion dollars with the average student debt for a grad being around $33.000 (2014 figures).

Come off of graduation day with $33,000 in debt that begins to require monthly payments shortly thereafter can definitely take the wind out of your sails – and prevent you from being able to purchase other things you might want, like a car or home.

Perhaps the biggest question you need to ask yourself is what is the return on my investment for the education you are financing. Will the degree you earned, ‘pay off’ in giving you enough income over your working life to afford paying off the loan  it required -and- prove you with enough remaining $$$ to actually live the life you want.

As a general rule – try to avoid student loans as much as possible. Look for other monies, some of which is available for little cost to you in scholarships.

It’s sometimes daunting to understand all the facets of the ‘Game of Loans’ – but taking steps to understand the rules of the game will prevent you from ending up with the dragons.

Dealing With Excessive Debt

2016_0423-ExcessiveDebtIf you have excessive debt, you should take a deep breath and realize you do have options.

Millennials in general have the lowest credit score and most problems managing their debt, compared to prior generations. But the good news is you have the lowest number of credit cards and lowest debt total compared to other generations.

However, the bad news is that you use credit cards a lot, and make a lot of late payments. Late payments mean lower credit scores.

Additionally, millennials tend to use costly alternative financial services, such as auto title loans, payday loans, pawnshops, rent-to-own loans and tax-refund advances.

Here are some steps you can do to help you get control of excessive debt:
1 – For credit cards, get a lower credit card interest rate as soon as you can – Call up your credit card company and ask for a lower rate.

2 – If you can’t make the minimum payments on time, call your credit card company and work out a payment plan.

3 – Allocate a larger portion of your income to reduce debt. This will be painful, but over time it will work.

4 – Limit your spending. If you don;t have a budget plan in place, now is the time. Limit your spending to only the essentials, and make paying off your debt the number one priority.

5 – Motivate yourself. Reach out to friends or relatives who have been through similar problems. This is a process, and it helps to have support during those low times.

Need more help? Then why not reach out to the NFCC (National  Foundation for Credit Counseling – the nations largest and longest-serving non-profit financial counseling organization.

So don’t fret the debt – take some steps to help yourself and sleep easier.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Apply Good Consumer Skills To Purchases

2016_0422-ConsumerSkillsYou really should apply good consumer skills to your purchase decisions. How so you say?

Well think about it, do you really want to go through life spending more than you have to for things you buy? Or what about paying higher fees for things people get for a lot less, or even for free?

It really just takes an analytical, systematic approach to decision making. In fact, you can apply this to lots of things in life.

Here’s a step-by-step approach that really helps:

1 – Consider the item, thing or service you want.
2 – Look at several options for each – Let’s say three different ones.
3 – Consider to alternatives and consequences of each option.
4 – Make your decision…go ahead, pick one!
5 – Analyze the results of your choice. Did it turn out the way you wanted? What could your of done differently for a better result?

Congratulations! Now that’s applying good consumer skills. It applies to buying a car, renting a house, purchasing a smart phone, even buying an ice cream cone! In the end, if you think carefully about each purchase, you could save yourself big bucks!

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

Let’s Play Budget Mania!

2016_0421-BudgetManiaTalkin’ Money presents the ever-popular financial literacy game but is really not a game at all! It’s time for Budget-Mania! Where millennials learn about keeping a budget for their spending and saving. After all, if you don’t have a plan then good-bye budget and hello chaos!

Click here and download this PDF form to be on your way to your first budget!

As you can see by this form it’s really quite simple, but like everything else in life, you got to stick with it in order to succeed. It’s a game of pluses and minuses. Income, such as your take home pay from your job, is a plus. Your parents give you money for your birthday, plus. As for the minus, that’s all of your expenses from car repairs to your monthly rent, from paying your health insurance to shopping for groceries.

Add up all of your expenses and subtract it from your income and you are well on your way to winning at Budget-Mania! That’s because you have a plan and that information will help keep you out of spiraling debt.
As my old friend Ben Franklin always said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”


The Costs & Benefits of Different Kinds Of Credit

2016_0420-Credit-FrankAll right all you spenders, there’s a subject near and dear to me and that’s on the subject of credit. Now you may be thinking to yourself that poor old Frank Money has no life. That may be true but I’m not poor and I’m not in debt, but thinking about the different kinds of debt can really knock me off my feet.

There are costs and benefits for carrying different types of debt. Some credit accounts are viewed more favorably by lenders than others but all require the ability to repay your debts in a timely manner. For example, there’s non-revolving credit like taking out a mortgage that’s paid in installments. Revolving credit deals with credit cards and fluctuate how much you pay each month.

Believe it or not carrying debt and paying it off monthly can raise your credit scores because it clearly shows how you manage your finances. Just remember the higher your credit score the better you can negotiate lower credit rates.

What Are The Factors Affecting Your Paycheck?

2016_0419-TakeHomePayIt’s just a hunch but I’m willing to bet that a lot of you earning a paycheck don’t fully understand all the deductions that are taken from your gross amount. First of all, these deductions are actually called taxes. That’s right, you’re now in that exclusive club that helps run our country as smooth as it can.

Depending on what state you live in determines how much in taxes you pay. The basic taxes we all pay are Federal Income Tax, Social Security and Medicare. Federal is just how it sounds. It pays for what’s needed throughout our country including National Defense. Social Security is there to assist you financial when you reach retirement age. Trust me, you’re going to need that. As you will with Medicare, that’s also for retirement age to assist with basic health care.

All states are not created equal when it comes to taxes. A number of states have a State Tax and could also have a City Tax. There lots of other taxes out there but I think you get the idea. Death and taxes…I’ll take taxes!

We’re Halfway, Plus 3 Days,
Thru Financial Literacy Month

2016_0401-FinLitMonthIt’s Tax Day! Normally, Tax Day is April 15th, but this year it’s April 18th! Why the change to April 18th? Well, in typical Washington-DC fashion…it’s complicated…here’s the reason why –

If you have filed your taxes and signed on the dotted line, then good for you! If this is your first time it’s not that far-fetched that you have joined society; contributed to keeping the wheels oiled and turning so our country can keep moving forward. Okay, sometimes I can get carried away.

With your return due today, we thought we would share another date with you – Tax Freedom Day – This is the day of the year where everything made up to that date goes to Uncle Sam, and after that date, everything you make is yours. In the United States, it is annually calculated by the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based tax research organization. In the U.S., Tax Freedom Day for 2015 is April 24, for a total average effective tax rate of 31 percent of the nation’s income. The latest that Tax Freedom Day has occurred was May 1 in 2000. In 1900, Tax Freedom Day arrived January 22, for an effective average total tax rate of 5.9 percent of the nation’s income.

Tax Freedom Day for 2016 is April 27th! Woo Hoo!

April is National Financial Literacy Month, Talkin’ Money’s favorite month! To celebrate the importance of being financially literate, we’re going to post financial literacy tips every day.

As for the second half of the month of April, each day we’re be covering more financial literacy information such as, just what are the taxes taken out of you paycheck, your credit and the benefits of keeping it at a high number, keeping on track using a budget and a lot more.

No peeking! April 19th is tomorrow, and you have just 361 days till your income tax return is due again!