Friday, March 30, 2012

Financial Literacy Webinars

April is National Financial Literacy Month. There are tips to take each day of the month to get your financial life in order.

As part of Financial Literacy Month, there are 100 free webinars being presented on a variety of topics. The webinars are presented at various time during the day and evenings so if you can’t make it at a certain time you may be able to catch it at another time.

The webinars cover topics ranging from Student Loans, foreclosure, retirement and many other topics.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your Kids are Watching You

Recently I saw two blog posts about teaching kids about money. One was about an upcoming webinar about teaching kids about money. The other was how Kids Inherit Bad Money Habits.

Besides listening to what you say, your children also watch your actions. As with other parts of your life, they will also imitate how you deal with money and finances. Three of the habits mentioned in the article are maxing out credit cards, accepting store credit cards and ignoring bills. I feel it is important to teach children how to use credit cards and how easy it is to get into trouble with them. It may seem easy to swipe the credit cards but they need to understand the money needs to be paid back and how interest and finance charges can add up. Also, that store credit cards may be easier to obtain but they can have an affect on your credit scores.

The free webinar by Nathan Dungan, founder and President of Share, Save, Spend will be on Wednesday, April 18 from 12 pm to 1 pm. Some of the topics covered will be how to recognize your own dominant money characteristics and how they can impact your family’s well being. Nathan Dungan will provide simple tips to help your family develop critical life skills about money and values. You will leave the webinar equipped to change the way your approach conversations with your family about money.

When you are shopping and using credit cards, it may be a good time to explain how they work. Recently, when I was volunteering for Junior Achievement the subject of credit and debit cards came up. One of the 3rd graders asked what the difference was. I told them that with credit cards you receive a bill each month of what you owe them and if you don’t pay the amount in full they will charge you interest each month until it is paid. I also explained that debit cards are tied to your checking or savings account and the money will be withdrawn from your account just like if you were writing a check. It is important to keep track of the checks you write and purchases you make with your debit card so you know how much money is left in your account.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Charging Student Loan Debt

One of the callers on the Suze Orman Show the other night was calling about his student loan debt. He had put part of his student loan debt on a interest free credit card and was wondering what she thought about it. He was planning on having it paid off before the zero interest period was over.

Suze thought it was the right thing to do. Since credit card debt is unsecured debt, if something happens that you can't make your payments it is more difficult for them to come after you for it. In some cases they may sue you for the balance but not in all cases. On the other hand, student loan debt is nearly impossible to get out of. It is one of the few debts that is not dischargeable upon bankruptcy.

So even though it is the right thing to pay off the debt, in some cases circumstances come up that make it impossible to meet all of your obligations.

So her suggestion was if you have student loan debt and can get a credit card with a lower interest rate, it may be helpful to transfer the debt to the credit card.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Shopping Bags

With the wide range of items in the stores it may be difficult to know which is the best for your money. Anna Wallner & Kristina Matistic, the The Shopping Bags have spent the last few years testing and reviewing items. They have a Canadian television show and also wrote a book with tips from their research and reviews. It gives you tips for things to look for when you are looking at purchasing items. They have personally tested many of the items and also received advice from reputable experts.

The book contains tips on purchasing items such as clothes, skin care items, furniture & home décor, electronics & appliances, food, and kids stuff. There is also product information and reviews on their website.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Personal finances relating to the Circus

With the Shrine Circus coming to town, I thought of some similarities between the circus and personal finances. Just as it takes training and practice to do the circus acts and train the animals it takes education and practice to budget and handle your finances.

It is important for trapeze artists to have a safety net in case of a fall and with your personal finances it is important to have an emergency fund as a safety net.

Bills may seem scary like the animals but once you get them tamed and under control they aren’t as scary.

When shopping it is important to determine the difference between wants and needs. Like the trinkets you can find at the circus, decide if it something you really want and will use or if it will soon start gathering dust in the closet. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything, but to think about what you are buying. Also, consider if it something you really want or if you could use the money to buy something you want more.

Also, as clowns can hide behind their makeup and costumes, some people think fancy clothes, cars and other things will make their lives better. But if you go into debt for these items, the stress of the debt may make your life more difficult.

The El Zagal Shrine Circus will be at The FargoDome this weekend Friday thru Sunday.

March 23, 2012 7:00 PM 6:00 PM
March 24, 2012 10:00 AM 9:00 AM
March 24, 2012 2:00 PM 1:00 PM
March 24, 2012 6:00 PM 5:00 PM
March 25, 2012 12:00 PM 11:00 AM
March 25, 2012 4:00 PM 3:00 PM

Tickets in advance are $11.00 for General Admission and $14.00 for Reserved Tickets. On the Day of the show General Admission tickets are $13.00 and Reserved tickets are $16.00.

General Admission tickets are available at the FargoDome, Hornbachers, Sun-Mart, CashWise, StopNGo Stores and State Bank & Trust Locations. Reserved tickets are only available at the FargoDome.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guest Post on Money Saving Mom

I have the honor of having one of my posts published on today. It is about Saving by cooking as a single person.

Although the website is called moneysavingmom, I follow it daily and get numerous ideas and tips that I can use in my life. Crystal also posts many sales and deals that I have taken advantage of.

Even by saving a dollar or two here and there makes a difference.

For readers of Money Saving Mom, recently I have been keeping my other blog more up to date than this one.

Thank you for visiting my blogs.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review of The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

I have read quite a few books by Cindy Woodsmall recently and also enjoyed reading The Scent of Cherry Blossoms. It is a story of Annie, an Old Order Mennonite girl who leaves the trials of her home for awhile to spend time with her grandfather. While gone she reunites with an old friend, Aden who is an Old Order Amish. The two orders forbid members of each from having relationships together.

Aden’s brother, Roman and his brother were in an accident a number of years ago. His father recovered but Roman lost the use of his legs. Since the accident Aden has become Roman’s legs and since Aden has a stutter, many times Roman acts as Aden’s lips. Annie is surprised to learn that Aden doesn’t stutter as much when he sings to her.

Along with their relationship being forbidden by their elders it could also ruin Aden’s family café business. The story continues with them hiding their relationship and finding a way for them to be together.

It was a quick and entertaining read.

I received a copy of the book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paperback Swap

If you either have books you are looking at getting rid of or if you are looking for books, one source is Once you set up an account you can list post books you have to swap or start a wishlist of books you are looking for. You receive a credit for each of your books once the other party has received the book. You only pay for the shipping of the book, which is media mail so the books I have mailed have been between $2.50 and $3.00.

I have been using the website for the past couple of months. You may be able to find books cheaper at other sources such as thrift stores, but there may be more variety at the site. You can also start a wishlist of books you are looking for and then you will receive an email when someone posts the book. I have been using it for books that I am interested in keeping for reference or that I would want to keep longer than the 3 week checkout period of the library.

Even though the website is called paperbackswap, you can post and receive paperbacks, hardcover books and audio books. They also have new books available that you can purchase for 1 credit and an additional fee.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Comic Book to Teach Money Skills

Practical Money Skills is a website with a number of resources for both parents and teachers to teach kids about money. There are a number of games and activities such as Financial Football and Financial Soccer. The latest addition is a Marvel Comic book that teaches money skills. The comic book can be accessed on their website.