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The Conversation Everyone Avoids, That Almost Everyone Should Have

It’s Financial Literacy Month.  Do You Know Your Money?

 

Know Your Money
Tuesday – April 5, 2017

The Conversation Everyone Avoids, That Almost Everyone Should Have
By Donell Edwards  

 

According to research conducted by ValuePenguin, an organization that provides objective analysis to help consumers, 38% of American households carry month-to-month credit card debt. The ValuePenguin study also discovered that “Households with the lowest net worth (zero or negative) hold an average of $10,308 in credit card debt.” ( Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Federal Reserve, 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances)

A 2016 GoBankingRates.com survey found that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, while 34% say they have no savings at all. The survey cites two factors as major contributors to this problem: (1.) “One of the big reasons people aren’t saving more is likely because they are living beyond their means.” And (2.) “… credit cards and other cashless payment options such as Apple Pay have made it even easier to spend.”

Another very enlightening fact was revealed in a 2013 Gallup Poll, which found that “only 32% of American households were sticking to a monthly budget.” Which means that 68% of the population either does not have a budget or fails to stick to a monthly budget.

Alarming statistics like these demonstrate a need for personal finance management skills that many Americans are missing.

 

 

 

Personal finance management affects a variety of areas including a person’s income, family security, standard of living, and savings. Financial planning helps people determine both short and long-term goals in order to create a balanced plan to meet those goals.

As a result of my own personal experience with money management, what I have learned from those experiences, conversations with others knowledgeable about this subject, and research that I have conducted, it has become obvious to me that many people need help with personal money management. That is why I founded this blog, Know Your Money Global (KYM), in 2013 to promote financial literacy and encourage effective money management.

This blog, KnowYourMoneyGlobal.net, was designed to promote financial literacy, provide valuable news and information about personal money management, personal finance, credit, debt management, tax savings and wealth building. The blog encourages readers to create their own dynamic personal cash economy, rather than using the credit-driven economy that so many are accustomed to.

We are dedicated to fostering the concept of a community of individuals, groups and organizations that share our mission of improving financial literacy and effective money management. Because of this, our Know Your Money Global Blog features posts that combine personal experiences with the expertise of industry professionals in order to give readers well-rounded information to take away.

Additionally, we provide periodic check-ups so that readers may evaluate their progress and identify areas where they may need to focus more attention. We also provide information about valuable tools and resources that readers may use in their effort to maintain or improve their money management skills.

Beginning Monday – April 17, 2017, Know Your Money Global will introduce the free 13 week KYM Money Success Strategies Institute. The Institute will provide step-by-step instructions on how to improve money management skills, how to use credit wisely, how to get out of debt, and how to build wealth.

If improving your personal money management skills is important to you, register today for our KYM Money Success Strategies Institute, or if someone you care about needs this information, encourage them to register. To register, go to our Sign-Up Form tab and provide the required information.

There is no better time to start making knowing your money your way of life than now, during Financial Literacy Month.  The KYM Money Success Strategies Institute begins Monday – April 17th.  So sign up right now!

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?  If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to comments@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Donell Edwards
Publisher, Writer, Speaker

About Donell Edwards:  Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media Group which includes CWR World News Talk Radio Show and CWR World News & Information Service, a daily online newspaper.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.  

To book Mr. Edwards to speak at your next event, contact:

Donell Edwards Enterprises
13111 W. Markham St.
Suite 116
Little Rock, AR 72211
DLEdwards@DonellEdwardsEnterprises.com

 

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more information about personal money management.

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Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial planner. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

Copyright © 2017 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

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Know Thyself

KYM Money Management Success Strategies Institute begins Monday – January 9, 2017. Sign Up Today.

Know Thyself
By Dwight Harshaw, BBA, Personal Finance Counselor

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

Dwight Harshaw, BBA

About Dwight Harshaw:  Dwight Harshaw is a personal finance counselor, realtor and writer.  He has a BBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Finance with emphasis on financial planning.

 

I was watching an Oprah rerun one afternoon when Iyanla Vanzant was her guest. I would describe Iyanla as a personal-spiritual empowerment guru. During the 1990s my wife and I purchased several of her books and recordings-for ourselves and others-and attended some of her lectures which were very helpful for personal growth, clarity and empowerment. In addition to being an author and lecturer, she is an ordained minister, attorney and a past featured expert on Oprah, and now has her own show on the Opra Winfrey Network (OWN), Iyanla, Fix My Life.

Earlier in her career at the height of her popularity, Iyanla landed her first television talk show. For her, the last decade of the 20th century was financially rewarding.  But then, Iyanla suffered devastating personal and financial setbacks. She lost her beloved daughter to cancer, her marriage to the love of her life dissolved, the television show was cancelled, and she lost her fortune which is the area of my focus. How did it happen?

She told Oprah that losing her money was the result of, “being a millionaire with a ghetto mentality.” She lost her money because her attitude about finance did not change with her neighborhood.   Before she had money, she spent all she earned. It took all she earned to live from week to week. When she became wealthy she continued living that way. The only relationship she had with money was spending it.

 

Woman with Shopping Bags --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Woman with Shopping Bags — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

What happened to Iyanla happens all the time however we marvel at those who have the farthest to fall. Her mistake was not paying attention to where her money was going and not watching the people that allowed her to fall. It is important to always know your current financial condition. If she had practiced that, she would not have spent money on a building instead of paying her taxes which led to the unraveling of her empire.

To know where you stand currently, simply gather and organize all of your financial information. That would include all things financial i.e.; check stubs, tax returns employee benefit information, insurance (all types), credit cards bills, mortgages, student loans, auto loans, retirement plans, and living expenses, just to name a few. Look at it, analyze it and determine if what you’re doing is in sync with your goals. If it isn’t, then you will have to make adjustments. Adjustments could be living by a budget, selling an asset or getting a second job.

You should always know your current financial condition if you want to be financially secure. Based on your condition you will be able to use the information to make wise decisions about your future.  If you find that this step is difficult for you, seek counsel from someone who has demonstrated financial wisdom or a financial planner that you feel comfortable with. It is important to know what you use your money for.

Iyanla has risen again financially because she is still a sought after speaker who has another powerful healing message to deliver, and she has a hit talk show on the OWN network.  She will likely make a second fortune and keep it.

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Copyright © 2016 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

Financial Literacy Month 2015: Confessions Of A Shopaholic

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.  

 

To book Mr. Edwards to speak at your next event, contact: 

Donell Edwards Enterprises
13111 W. Markham St.
Suite 116
Little Rock, AR 72211
DLEdwards@DonellEdwardsEnterprises.com

 

 

We’re Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

Know Your Money
Tuesday – April 14, 2015

Financial Literacy Month 2015
Confessions Of A Shopaholic
By Donell Edwards

Today’s post is an update of an article that I wrote March 14, 2014 about my experience as a shopaholic.  The purpose of this article is to share with readers how I became a shopaholic in hopes that my confession may help others to successfully overcome this problem, and to encourage others to share their own experiences as shopaholics, how it affected them, and how they deal with this problem or how they overcame it.

The MacMillan Dictionary defines spendaholic as “Somebody who is addicted to spending money.”  Although I came from very humble beginnings and my family did not have much, my maternal grandparents with whom I lived and my mother always tried to make sure that I had everything I needed and most of the things that I wanted.  I became accustomed to getting what I wanted.

Like most parents, my parents wanted me to have a better life than they did.  Even though I lacked for nothing that was essential, as a child, I compared what my family had with others who had more and I felt inferior.  I never discussed these feelings with anyone, and this thinking affected many of the decisions that I made in my life when I reached adulthood.

As a child I watched my mother, my grandfather, and my grandmother and how hard they worked, and how little they earned for their hard work.  I promised myself that I would do better.  I would have a better car, a nice home, I would be a property owner, and I would have everything else that I considered essential to being successful.  I based those desires on others that I observed in my community whom I envied, who unlike my family owned their homes and had all of the things that I felt were missing from my life.  I failed to appreciate all that my family had given me, how much they had sacrificed  so that I could have the opportunity to do better in life.  They sheltered me from the harshness of life in the rural South in the 60s and provided me with outstanding examples of character, honesty, and a strong work ethic.  I only learned to appreciate their struggle and sacrifice when I became an adult and learned how challenging this world can be.

So, as soon as I got my first real job while in high school, I developed bad spending habits.  Although my stepfather tried to teach me to budget my money and to save, I would not listen; I only wanted to spend.  As soon as I could get  credit at retail stores I did, in fact I got several.  To me, being able to buy things and having lots of credit accounts were symbols of success.  So many times I purchased things I really didn’t need and could not afford.  Most of the time I managed to make the required payments, but eventually things spiraled out of control because of my bad spending practices, and before I was 20 I had ruined my credit.

While spending freely, I never considered the damage that was being done to my credit, and the resulting affect not having good credit had on employment opportunities, qualifying for a home loan or auto loan, and many other important aspects of life.

I was an angry young man because I believed I was a victim of systemic racial discrimination that limited my employment opportunities and my income and my ability to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that I deserved.  Although this may have been true, I allowed my rage to influence my decisions instead of using my the knowledge that I possessed to make better decisions.   I had developed a sense that I was entitled to more, that I deserved the things I wanted, and that when I got married and had a family that we deserved more.  

 

Will Smith on Spending

 

 

In my early 20s I had to work for years to rebuild my credit.  Eventually my employment improved and so did my income, but I still viewed myself as underemployed and underpaid.  In time, my credit also improved enough for me to get credit cards.  Although I was more cautious now, I still had not learned from my prior experience with credit and spending.  I used credit cards to substitute for what I felt was a limit in my income due to underemployment, and used them to get what I wanted and reasoned that I would find a way to pay the credit card bills somehow.  It was never my intention not to pay my bills, I was just reacting to my circumstances, which I felt were unfair, but it was the wrong reaction.  

I had become a spendaholic, because I was addicted to spending moneyin my case, I was addicted to using credit cards; I knowingly spent money that I did not have by using credit cards excessively.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have a budget or that I did not understand how to budget, however, at that time my budget was based on hope rather than on reality.  Hope that I would get a better job, hope that I would be able to make more money, hope that I would be successful in business ventures that I started, and everything would be alright.  At the same time I was mad because I was in this situation and I felt life was unfair and I was reacting to my circumstances.  Whatever my reasons, they were wrong.

As I embarked down this path to financial self-destruction I was in denial and rejected the good advice I received from family and friends who tried to help me.  I would tell them, “You just don’t understand.”  Eventually I lost everything and had to work to reestablish my credit and rebuild my life.  All because of being a spendaholic.

Those experience in life taught me valuable lessons that I will never forget, and that I hope will allow me to help others by sharing the knowledge that I gained from having those experiences.  I know that spending can be addictive, but anyone who really wants to can overcome the addiction.  Just don’t let it destroy you before you take action.

Brave Souls Wanted:
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

 

How to Set Up A Budget

Buying vs Renting A House:  The Advantages of Each

Teaching Kids About Money

 

Here is today’s step to financial wellness from Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness developed by Money Management International:

Step 12 – Set Short-, mid-, and long-term goals

 

EVENTS AND RESOURCE LINKS:

Hosting A Financial Literacy Month Event

2015 National Savings Forum

Financial Literacy Month Articles from Huffington Post 

The FoolProof Foundation

FoolProof Teacher

FoolProof Solo

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2015 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

Financial Literacy Month 2015: The Black Financial Gap In America

Guest Contributor – Lionel Shipman

Lionel Shipman Owner - Shipman Consulting

Lionel Shipman
Owner – Shipman Consulting

Lionel Shipman is the owner of Shipman Consulting, a personal and business finance-consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and businesses improve their financial outlooks. The primary focus of the firm is facilitating seminars and classes to educate, motivate, and empower people to take charge of their financial lives. The firm also offers one-on-one consulting services.

Please visit the firm’s website for information at WWW.ShipmanConsulting.Com.

Email address:Contact@ShipmanConsulting.Com

Twitter: @LShipmanSC

 

We’re Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

Know Your Money
Monday – April 13, 2015

Financial Literacy Month 2015
The Black Financial Gap In America
By Guest Contributor Lionel Shipman

The financial plight of many Black Americans has not been positive over the years. In fact, the financial gaps in the areas of income and wealth among many blacks continue to widen compared to whites. In 2013, the medium household income of blacks was $34.5K compared to $55.2K for whites based on data from the 2013 US Census Bureau. Things remained relatively unchanged from 2010 with a medium household income of $34.3K for blacks and $55.2K for whites.

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, the wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, in comparison to eight times the wealth in 2010.

The financial gaps can be attributed to a number of factors such as the scarcity and accessibility of money management skills and the desire to acquire financial education. There are a number of programs available that aim to teach and instruct people with their personal finances. But, many blacks are not able to attend those programs for a variety of reasons and some blatantly refuse to attend even though they are able. Then, there are some that are not aware that financial programs exist.

Oftentimes, when financial seminars are offered there is limited to no interest in attending. In addition, some blacks find no practical value in the financial programs. They allow intimidation and pride to keep them from acquiring financial knowledge and understanding. They have been operating their finances for years and refuse to accept that they do not know it all when it comes to money management.

People need to realize that knowledge is power. But, applied knowledge is powerful. It does not take a college graduate to learn the basics of money management. Educating oneself regarding money and money management is open and available to everyone. But, every individual must make the decision to learn and apply that knowledge to their own financial lives.

 

Black Family

 

In today’s society, there are many outlets ranging from radio programs and television shows to seminars and books that emphasize the importance of financial education on various topics such as basic money management and investing. However, some people are ignorant of the importance of financial education and some just do not want to learn even when it is at their fingertips.

There are people who would rather spend their money on entertainment or personal things as opposed to establishing an emergency account, savings account or retirement account. Some people are more concerned with looking good, driving well, and living large as opposed to utilizing a budget and becoming debt free. Some people live for the “here and now” and could care less about the “later”.

I believe if financial education was mandatory as well as the benefits of financial education was expressed more to the masses at an earlier age, like many other things in life, blacks as a whole would operate their financial lives more efficiently and the financial gaps would narrow. 

Here are 4 ways to narrow the financial gaps:

  1. Take the initiative by enrolling into financial classes and/or attending financial seminars/workshops and learning ways of improving your financial outlooks
  2. Spend quality time reading financial magazines, newspapers and articles to increase your knowledge of money management
  3. Apply what you learn. Utilize the money skills you acquire.
  4. Do not allow fear, intimidation and pride prevent you from learning and applying money management skills

 

Here is today’s step to financial wellness from Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness developed by Money Management International:

Step 11 – Set Smart Financial Goals

 

EVENTS AND RESOURCE LINKS:

Hosting A Financial Literacy Month Event

2015 National Savings Forum

Financial Literacy Month Articles from Huffington Post 

The FoolProof Foundation

FoolProof Teacher

FoolProof Solo

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2015 Shipman Consulting – All Rights Reserved

 

Financial Literacy Month 2015: Beware Of Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

We’re Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

Know Your Money
Monday – April 6, 2015

Financial Literacy Month 2015
Beware Of Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing
By Donell Edwards

As we continue to celebrate Financial Literacy Month, today was supposed to be the beginning of budget week, focusing on how to prepare a realistic budget, how to follow that budget, and all things budget related.  However, as I constantly conduct research to better provide information for readers I discovered a powerful article written by consumer advocate Ralph Nader that I just had to write today’s commentary about.  Mr. Nader’s article, “Dont Be Fooled – Financial Literacy Month?” appears in the April 2, 2015 issue of CounterPunch Magazine online.

Mr. Nader suggests that a more appropriate name would be “Financial Illiteracy Month” because according to him “…financial literacy as it is generally taught does not work.”  He cites the country’s burgeoning student loan debt as just one part of the problem and states “Many of these young people already have other credit issues that can impact their ability to get a good job, or ultimately buy a home or build a savings and retirement account.”

Mr. Nader says that financial literacy education is not working because it is “…largely funded by the very same businesses that prosper when young people make poor money decisions — big banks, credit card companies and other huge financial industry businesses.”

Although I agree with Mr. Nader in principle, it is inaccurate to say that all financial literacy education efforts have failed, and Mr. Nader’s supposition that all institutions that may benefit from “poor money decisions” of consumers who sponsor financial literacy education are vultures just trying to create or expand their market can be successfully challenged.

In his article post on our blog from April 22, 2014, “Have Financial Literacy Efforts In America Been Successful?,” Mr. Lionel Shipman, a contributing writer and owner of Shipman Consulting, a personal and business finance-consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and businesses improve their financial outlook, Mr. Shipman states the following regarding the effectiveness of financial literacy efforts:

 

It depends on how one would measure success versus failure.  Regarding financial literacy, I believe failure can be measured by the number of consumers who are enduring the consequences of bad decisions.  Success can be measured by the number of bad decision-makers changing their ways in a positive direction and applying some basic money skills with financial transactions.

 

In Mr. Shipman’s viewpoint, success or failure regarding financial literacy education is determined by how the end-user applies what has been taught.  It comes down to what choices people make, and some people who have received solid financial literacy education may still make bad decisions because they do not have the willpower to apply what they have learned.  So, has financial literacy education failed, or have those individuals just made bad decisions?  The answer is obvious.

 

 

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

 

Supporting the fact that financial literacy education is working Mr. Shipman in his article further states:

Even though there are people who will never learn the “financial” lesson, some have not only learned the financial lesson, but they are teaching others how to manage their finances soundly.

In regard to Mr. Nader’s concern about much of financial literacy education being funded by large financial institutions that benefit from the bad money management decisions some make, I too have that concern.  I am very careful of the sources that I use and the resources that I recommend.  I try very hard to do my due diligence to ensure that my sources have no improper relationship with sponsors or any connection with those who may have an ulterior motive.  Because in some instances, just as Mr. Nader suggests, there may be a hidden agenda to present the appearance of providing a service that will benefit the consumer, when in reality the solutions provided will ultimately be in the best interest of the sponsor; a proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.

However, this is not true of all financial institutions.  Many are genuinely concerned and are responsible companies that are actually trying to help educate consumers so that they may make better money decisions.  One that I am particularly excited about is the Better Money Habits which is a partnership between Bank of America and Khan Academy.

Most are aware of the poor reputation that Bank of America has in regard to being a friend of consumers, however, if you are not familiar with Khan Academy and its founder, Sal Khan, I suggest that you visit the Khan Academy website and learn about this incredible man and his remarkable work in not only making it easier to learn math, but making it fun.  Mr. Khan is a man of unquestioned integrity, and that is my point in regard to Mr. Nader’s assumption that all financial literacy education has failed because most, or in his opinion, all of it is in some way sponsored by big banks and financial institutions who benefit from the plight of those who make poor money decisions.  

It takes money to finance an effective educational campaign, and some reputable financial advisors who have a long-standing record of integrity rely on sponsorship in order to conduct their community outreach work in providing financial literacy education, whether that is in the form of in person seminars and workshops, webcasts, podcasts, websites, or other means to help as many people as they can.  Just because these individuals or organizations are sponsored by companies that may have a questionable consumer record or may appear to have an ulterior motive, that does not necessarily mean that the education provided should be suspect.  The character and integrity of the provider is more important than the reputation of the sponsor.

It is also interesting that Mr. Nader focused his attention on youth, and that is where we have the greatest opportunity to make a significant impact in breaking the chain of financial illiteracy in America.  If we help young people to develop strong money management skills, and more importantly, help them to overcome the “I want everything and I gotta have it right now” mentality that prevails among so many today, and teach them “sacrifice” and help them develop “willpower,” we may be able to see a generation in the future that has the knowledge and self-discipline to make wise money decisions.  

Although I differ in some regards with the position taken by Mr. Nader in his article, I do agree that it is very important to be cautious in deciding whom to seek help from in gaining financial literacy education, and I strongly recommend the article as a must read.  Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/02/financial-literacy-month/print

 

Here is today’s step to financial wellness from Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness developed by Money Management International:

Step 6 – Clean Up Your Credit Report

 

EVENTS AND RESOURCE LINKS:

Hosting A Financial Literacy Month Event

2015 National Savings Forum

Financial Literacy Month Articles from Huffington Post 

The FoolProof Foundation

FoolProof Teacher

FoolProof Solo

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2015 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

Financial Literacy Month 2015: Protecting Your Credit

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

We’re Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

  2015 National Savings Forum

 

Know Your Money
Friday – April 3, 2015

Financial Literacy Month 2015
Protecting Your Credit
By Donell Edwards

One of our most valuable assets is our credit.  However, many of us never think about how important our credit is, or the need to protect our credit when making decisions, until we have damaged or destroyed our credit.  We do not educate ourselves about credit, credit cards, credit or FICO score, interest rates, annual percentage rate more commonly referred to as APR, credit statements, the impact of late payments and fees, overlimit fees and many other credit related topics.  We treat credit like it is money that we have earned that we may spend however we choose, until payment for our purchases is due, then reality hits us and we realize that we were spending money that we borrowed, money that belonged to someone else, and now we must repay it.

I have long believed that the economics of money and spending should be taught in our schools.  Some schools have begun teaching some basic economics, or at the least, budgeting and personal money management.  According to a recent survey conducted by EverFi and Higher One,  “…just 17 states mandate financial literacy education, and only six states (Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and Texas) require students to pass a financial management test for graduation.”

Since most schools do not teach money management, unless you happened to be one of those very fortunate people who grew up in a home where your parents understood how to manage money and passed that knowledge along to you, you are most likely among the millions of Americans who are credit card addicts who are enslaved to spending.

Poor credit makes it difficult to get loans for any major purchases like a home or a vehicle.  Even if we do qualify, it puts in a high interest bracket that results in paying far more than we should.  Poor credit affects our ability to rent or lease an apartment.  Poor credit may even adversely affect our ability to find employment.  There are all kinds of consequences for failing to protect our credit. 

 

Big Spender 

So, just how do we avoid wrecking our credit?  We found help for those in need from the credit.com blog and the article 5 Ways You’re Accidentally Wrecking Your Credit written by Roger Berger.   In this article Mr. Berger addresses the problem of accidentally wrecking our credit.  Some of us don’t need any help with getting into trouble with our credit, and so doing things that may have a negative impact on our credit without really knowing the consequences is a big problem.

The five things Mr. Berger discusses are:

1.     Not paying attention to your credit balances.

2.     Closing accounts

3.     Co-signing loans (A BIG No-No)

4.     Applying for too many lines of credit

5.     Not monitoring your credit scores

We really encourage you to read Mr. Berger’s article and find out if you have any of these habits and what to to about them.  Here is the link to the article:  5 Ways You’re Accidentally Wrecking Your Credit.

 

Since this is the weekend, here are the steps to financial wellness for the next three days taken from Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness developed by Money Management International:

Clearing Out Financial Clutter

Set Yourself Up For Success

Get Copies of Your Credit Reports

Did you know The FACT Act gives every consumer the right to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion?  Read the steps and do the exercises.  

 

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We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

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Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2015 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved

 

Financial Literacy Month 2015: Is This Your Financial Wake-up Call?

Donell Edwards, Blogger

DONED2014 SmallAbout Donell Edwards: Donell Edwards is President of CWR Media and is also founder and publisher of The College World Reporter (CWR) magazine and CWR World News & Information Service.  He is also a professional speaker, freelance writer, and entrepreneur.

 

 

We’re Celebrating Financial Literacy Month

 

Know Your Money
Thursday – April 2, 2015

Financial Literacy Month 2015
Is This Your Financial Wake-up Call?
By Donell Edwards

 

We begin this Financial Literacy Month with a very sobering article from one of our favorite sites, MarketWatch online, entitled Most Americans are one paycheck away from the street, written by Personal Finance Writer Quentin Fottrell.  Even if you are doing well financially, could you improve your skills and increase your knowledge?  Remember, as revealed in yesterday’s post, much of the problem with financial literacy in America is not about a lack of knowledge, it a failure to exercise strict financial discipline and the willingness to make sacrifices.  So, if you are doing well financially, congratulations!  But don’t think that financial literacy should not be important to you.

However, the cold, hard fact is that millions of Americans fall into the category described in Mr. Fottrell’s article.  Why?  As previously alluded to, some know better, but just choose to make bad financial decisions.  Then there are those who are seriously challenged because no one ever taught them basic money management principles like, how to make and use a budget, how to effectively use credit, the advantage of having a cash budget as opposed to a credit based budget, the benefits of saving, and the importance of eliminating debt and learning how to invest.

It’s all about acquiring knowledge and making the best choices.  In Mr. Fottrell’s article he cites data from a recent survey conducted by Bankrate.com that revealed that 62% of Americans do not have an emergency savings fund.  If you are reading this and you are asking, “What is an emergency savings fund?”  Or if you do not have an emergency savings fund, you need help with financial literacy.  Not only does Mr. Fottrell list the lack of an emergency fund as a problem, he also explains some of the sad consequences for those who do not have an emergency fund.

Mr. Fottrell also cites a U.S. Federal Reserve survey of more than 4,000 adults released in 2014 that revealed that “Among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57% said they’d used up some or all of their savings in the Great Recession….”  Mr. Fottrell also discusses the impact of debt, the use of a budget, healthcare and much more.

 

Homeless People

 

 

Reading this article is a great way to kick off Financial Literacy Month, and should be a wake up call for many of us.  Here is the link to the article:

www.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-are-one-paycheck-away-from-the-street-2015-01-07

 

Here is today’s step to financial wellness from Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness developed by Money Management International:

Assess Your Financial Situation

 

 

 

If you have questions or need help we are just an email away.  Send your questions to Info@KnowYourMoneyGlobal.com

 

We Would Like To Hear From You.  Are There Any Brave Souls Out There Willing To Share?
If you would like to share with our readers how “bad” spending habits have affected you, anonymously or otherwise, for our upcoming special, “Confessions Of Spendaholics,” please send your experience to info@knowyourmoneyglobal.com.

 

Follow us on Twitter for more information about personal money management
https://twitter.com/Kn0wY0urM0ney

 

Disclaimer:  I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree but I am not a financial adviser. However, I have acquired years of knowledge about personal money management through my life experience working through my own personal finances that allows me to share that knowledge with readers of Know Your Money. The Know Your Money Blog posts written by me are my own common sense observations and opinions and are for informational use only. Although my blog includes contributions from experienced financial professionals, please make your own financial decisions based on personal research or contact a financial adviser.

 

Copyright © 2015 CWR Media – All Rights Reserved