Category Archives: Quick Tip of the Day!

Happy National Financial Literacy Month!

Drum roll please…. April is National Financial Literacy Month! This means that April is the month you will see many events and activities around the country focused on financial education. Since 2003, the United States has recognized April as Financial Literacy Month in an effort to shine a spotlight on how important it is to educate everyone about the economy and how to better manage their finances. The Council for Economic Education (CEE) will have events this month concentrating on training teachers with professional development workshops, increasing free resources available to the public and lots of press coverage involved financial education.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit the CEE website here.

Twitter: #finlit #financialliteracy

Also, in honor of Financial Literacy Month, the experts at Money Management International (MMI) created the website, FinancialLiteracyMonth.com. They provide many resources to help folks learn more about their personal finances. According to Money Management International, Americans carry more than $2 trillion in consumer debt and 30 percent of consumers report having no extra cash; making it impossible to escape the burden of living paycheck to paycheck. This month, Money Management International will provide on FinancialLiteracyMonth.com free webinars, financial tracking worksheets such as income, expense, debt load forms you can easily print and work off from, an ebook full of savvy tips and a goals certificate you can personalize to help motivate you to reach your financial goals.

So please take advantage of all the resources available and get ahead in your financial journey starting today!

Donating your car?

If you are looking for an efficient way to donate your car where it will go towards a good cause and also give you a tax deduction, I asked Morris Franco from Kars4Kids Car Donation Program to give me a bit of background on this non-profit that helps children through education and mentorship by getting funds through car donations. http://www.kars4kids.org/about.asp

What is the best way to donate your car?

As long as basic info has been submitted online or by phone, the donation will count for 2014 and donor will get the tax deduction for this year. Form can be filled out on our home page http://www.kars4kids.org/

How do I know the facility taking my donated car will actually use proceeds to help children?

The best way to tell is to see how much information they disclose online about where the funds are being allocated. After that you can check out their 990 tax forms from previous years which is usually available online.

What is the process like (from beginning to end result? What happens when I donate my car to your organization?

We actually have a web page that addresses how the process works from beginning to end, you can check that out here http://www.kars4kids.org/how-to-donate-your-car.asp

Tracking your funds!

You’ve probably read the wise old advice of “use cash instead of credit, you’ll be able to budget your money better!” While this in part is true because once you run out of cash, that’s it, you’ve reach the amount you have to spend, how do you keep track of where the money went?

One great way is to use your credit card. At the end of the month, you’ll have a detailed history of where you’re money went and how much you spent on each item. Even better is the fact that after a few months, you’ll be able to find a pattern in your spending by sitting down and analyzing your credit card statements from the previous few months.

Another bonus to using this method is that it will help boost up your credit history. However, make sure you pay your credit card bill each month in full to avoid those pesky interest charges. Make a point to spend up to a certain amount on your credit card each month. Give yourself a limit just as you would if you were carrying cash. Once you’ve reached that limit, stop spending. As months pass by, you’ll be tracking your spending habits on your monthly credit statement and can view exactly what goes where. Ultimately, the goal here is to pinpoint what expenses you can minimize and possibly eliminate thus modifying and creating a stronger budget.

Good Luck!

Quick Tip of the Day: Don’t forget to shred your documents!

You’ve been through a lot, but when sifting and cleaning out your items don’t forget to shred everything with your name on it. Identity theft can still happen especially at this time when you are most vulnerable. There are scammers and fraudsters out there lurking to get what they can, so be careful. Cintas document management expert recommends people to look before they trash. Many personal documents and electronic devices such as computer hard drives may be damaged from flooding, but also likely contain sensitive personal data. While many consumers might be inclined to throw these items to the curb, it is critical to securely shred and destroy these materials so confidential information is not compromised.