Bills, budgets, spending temptations, lines of credit -- across the country, newly minted co-eds are facing these adult money issues on their own for the very first time. This series will help your kids ace Money 101 -- and avoid graduating with a killer financial hangover (or bankrupting The Bank of Mom and Dad, for that matter).
Back in the day (as in last year around this time), credit cards were as easy as candy to get on campus. Sorry, kiddos, those card blanche days are over.
Free T-shirts, Frisbees, and unprotected exposure to plastic are gone (or at least harder to come by), thanks to new credit card laws. New provisions from the Credit CARD Act of 2009 keep credit card marketing on campuses at arm's length (or actually, 1,000 feet's lengths).
If you are under the age of credit consent (it's 21) the only way to qualify for a credit card on your own is if you can prove you have the means ("a job" or "a trust fund that spits out a handsome dividend") to pay the bill on your
Blog Posts by Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool
- Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool | Financially Fit – Mon, Aug 30, 2010 9:20 PM EDT
Bills, budgets, spending temptations, lines of credit -- across the country, newly minted co-eds are facing these adult money issues on their own for the very first time. This series will help your kids ace Money 101 -- and avoid graduating with a killer financial hangover (or bankrupting The Bank of Mom and Dad, for that matter).Read More »from Give Your Kid Access to Credit Without Ruining Your Own
Bills, budgets, spending temptations, lines of credit -- across the country, newly minted co-eds are facing these adult money issues on their own for the very first time. This series of articles will help your kids ace Money 101 -- and avoid graduating with a killer financial hangover (or bankrupting The Bank of Mom and Dad, for that matter).Read More »from How to Budget When Away at School
Staying clothed, fed, protected, and entertained ain't cheap. For those who are just starting out on their own, you're going to find out that sometimes it's hard to do all of those things at once and in the manner to which you've grown accustomed at home.
You're first going to have to get acquainted with what life on campus is really going to cost (this will likely be a work-in-progress for the first couple of months). Then run the essential numbers. The math is simple: What you have coming in minus what you spend equals either Spring Break at Padre with your pals or with Gram and Gramps cleaning out their garage.
To avoid great unpleasantness
Bills, budgets, spending temptations, lines of credit -- across the country, newly minted co-eds are facing these adult money issues on their own for the very first time. This series will help you ace Money 101 -- and avoid graduating with a killer financial hangover (or bankrupting The Bank of Mom and Dad, for that matter).Read More »from Help Your Kids Avoid a College Money Hangover
Across the country, an annual ritual is in full swing: Parents releasing their young into the real world -- the accredited, admission-based, loosely supervised, GPA-focused, all-nighter-pulling college version of the real world, that is.
For most teenagers (they are technically still teens), this is the first time they will face bonafide adult situations on their own.
So, parents of soon-to-be-minted co-eds, have you had "the talk"? You know, that awkward discussion about protection, safety, responsibility, and the long-term consequences of their young-adult actions?
You know we're talking about money stuff, right?
Personal Finances 101: Oof, that's gonna leave
Advances benefiting the fairer sex are many. (Foundation garment technology, unwanted hair-removal options, and the great strides made in the area of mid-priced comfort shoe design all come to mind.) But in matters of money, we've got a long way to go, ladies.
It's almost as if we're stuck in a Mad Men episode: We've worked our way into the boy's club -- with access to interesting work, a decent paycheck, and a standing invitation to happy hours. But while the guys march sure-footedly forward, women still teeter precariously on the precipice of financial stability.
Girls can't afford to have fun
There's good reason for our insecurities. Even if we leave out the issue of Jack versus Jill wage discrepancy (that's fodder for another day), women work in a financial house of cards:
- We spend more time out of the workforce caring for children, grandkids, and elderly parents. This time off for humanitarian endeavors takes its toll in other areas. When you're not in the office, you don't
- Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool | Work + Money – Wed, Jul 14, 2010 11:17 PM EDT
Thinkstock: What you need in your wallet when traveling overseas.You've put the time in to plan your perfect summer getaway. All the arrangements have been made -- an economic hotel, well-timed pit stops, and cultural oddities to keep the kids amused. But have you thought about the best way to pay the tab for meals, museum tickets, rental cars, and kitschy mementos?
You might be surprised by how much how you pay can push up the total price tag.
Paper or plastic?
There are many ways to pay when you're on the road. The key factors to consider are cost, convenience, and safety:
- Cash is cheap (you won't get charged extra to use it), but it's not necessarily safe to carry a wad of it around when cavorting in unfamiliar locales.
- Debit cards are relatively safe to use (as long as you keep your PIN private), but if you can't find one of your bank's ATMs, you'll have to pay for the privilege of using another bank's cash machine.
- Traveler's checks are another option if you can stomach the fees to buy them.
- Lastly is most
Getty ImagesYou change the oil in your car when the red light reminder comes on and get diligent about flossing when the dentist sends a postcard about your six-month checkup. So consider this your cue to get ready for the essential mid-year money review.
With six months of earning, saving, and spending under your belt, you've got plenty of data to project how 2010 is going to play out. So let's lift the hood on your finances and give everything a good once-over.
Your 7-step tune-up agenda
The goal of this six-month checkup is to identify potential trouble spots before they become big money gushers. Use this checklist to methodically review each area of your financial empire. Beneath each step note any lingering "to-dos" (e.g., "set aside $50 each week to cover future car repairs," "open a Roth IRA"). If you cannot complete those items during your financial physical, set a deadline for completion. For added incentive, come up with a reward to enjoy at completion.
Step 1 - Update your
Getty ImagesFinancial independence has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? It's what our founders fought for: the freedom to chart our own path to prosperity and achieve the American dream.
Right… the American dream. American pipe dream is more like it. With bills to pay, credit card debts to reconcile, shattered portfolios to rebuild, and looming orthodontia expenses to cover, it's easy to declare defeat and let outside forces (banks, brokerages, the Joneses) determine our financial fate.
Financial freedom is just six steps away
In the spirit of the holiday, let's not forget that this country was founded on the idea that we have the power to shape destiny far more than destiny ever shapes us. So what are you waiting for? Light that firecracker and take rightful control of your financial future starting now.
1. Plot your plan of attack.
Financial independence is not a set point or a single goal (although it is often most closely associated with retirement). It means having the
Who doesn't want to hear that they look great in those jeans, belt out a tune like a pro, and are looking A-OK to achieve their financial goals? We're probably better off believing that no one notices those few extra pounds and that we nailed every note on karaoke night.
In matters of money, on the other hand, no one's doing you any favors by fudging the truth about your financial situation. Little white lies lead to stupid money mistakes -- costly blunders because we were misinformed, misled, or simply didn't have the proper context:
- Would you buy a new car if you knew it would push your retirement date out five years?
- I bet you'd think twice about borrowing from your 401(k) if someone spelled out what doing so was really going to cost you in the long-run.
- If you hadn't been told by the real estate professionals that, sure, you could afford the bigger house, would you have stretched your budget to the brink to buy up?
So why are the people we pay for a
Has the bad economy ruined your vacation plans?Read More »from Economy Be Darned: Iâ€™m Taking a Vacation!
Tough times call for tough cuts - but when it comes to vacations, more than half of Americans have marked their calendars for a summer getaway.
We're not talking long weekends at the in-laws, either. According to a recent survey by American Express, Americans plan to spend an average of $1,000 per person for fun in the sun.
Doesn't anyone take "staycations" anymore?
Back in 2008, a survey from the Y Partnership found that roughly 40% of Americans intended to change their travel plans because of the worsening economy, with 36% of those saying they planned to cancel or postpone trips that were already planned.
That's the year the word "staycation," the stay-at-home-vacation, joined the popular lexicon.
Well, people must not be feeling as pinched as they were back then. Only 11% of respondents to American Express's May survey said they planned to spend their days off sightseeing locally. The majority of folks are packing up the kids
- Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool | Financially Fit – Wed, Jun 16, 2010 8:07 PM EDT
Getty ImagesRich or poor, young or old -- there's one thing one-third of all couples have in common: They fight about money.Read More »from The Leading Cause of Relationship Stress: Money, Duh!
Sniping about spending, saving, bills, budgets, and secret purchases causes more relationship stress than kids, in-laws, and -- you guessed it - s-e-x, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker survey .
Nearly half of overall survey respondents (45%) said that their money talks devolved into money arguments. Tiffs were most common among young professionals (under 30, college-educated, with household income of $50,000 or more), with 72% saying they squabbled about money. And, yes, even affluent couples (defined by American Express as those with more than $100,000 in household income) don't always see eye-to-eye on the family finances: 44% fessed-up to feuding about finances with their betrothed.
It's no wonder we're all fighting about finances and hiding our spending flaws: Fewer than half of Americans even remember having a conversation about