Money Talk Part 1: Before You Chat
About Money With Your Child

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Talking about money has always been somewhat of a taboo subject. It makes most people uncomfortable to disclose their assets and debts to peers for fear of being judged, either with envy or pity. It’s especially difficult to discuss these matters with family members. If you have too much money you may have jealous or resentful relatives or constantly have to deal with loan requests. On the contrary, if you live paycheck to paycheck you may not want to disclose your hardships for fear that your children or siblings will worry.   Many psychologists believe financial behavior is largely influenced by how one was conditioned to think and feel about money, a theory called Behaviorism (1). Thoughts and behaviors about different subject matter are often formed early on in life, which … [Read more...]

Moving and Money: One Year Later

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  When I first started at myFICO over a year ago, it required the largest change in my life— moving 3000 miles by myself to a state where I didn’t know anyone. I had to figure out how to get my first apartment by myself, change banks and a lot of other new financial issues. I recorded most of these in the first part of the series, Moving and Money – Getting Cash, and I hope some of you learned from my trials and were prepared for your own experiences.     Well here I am a year later. I am still in the same apartment, but I’m officially considering moving again. I have a fully furnished apartment, so I would definitely need to sell/donate a lot of items and compare mover expenses. I have a lot to consider, but now I know a bit more. For those of you like me, … [Read more...]

5 Personal Finance Tips for Millennials

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So people keep calling you a millennial (some say it with a nicer tone than others). Amongst a variety of other defining characteristics, you have the unique (albeit unwelcomed) experience of graduating into a recession. Cons? Lower starting salaries and a lack of options. Pros? You’ve seen what irresponsible money management can do and you don’t want to make the same mistakes.     You’re also a victim of the tuition bubble, burdened with hefty student loan payments and a 30-year payoff plan that might as well be a mortgage. Now before you get out the violin, keep in mind that your generation is also relentlessly optimistic, savvy and smart, making you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace (conceal your ego though, please). If nothing else, we can assume your … [Read more...]

6 Tips to Cut the Cost of Your Job Search

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Are you currently on the hunt for a new job or career? If so, you're not alone. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 21% of full-time working Americans plan on changing jobs this year.   In your zest to find a new position though, it can be easy to let expenses get the better of you—and if you're unemployed, of course, conserving money is absolutely essential. Regardless of your current situation, here are six ways to cut the cost of your job search.   #1. Carefully Consider the Benefits of Headhunters Back in the day, headhunters provided invaluable services to job seekers. However, with the expansion of the Internet, you can actually do a lot of this legwork on your own now.   Of course, if you're juggling too many responsibilities to tackle a … [Read more...]

6 Traps to Avoid When Getting a Car Loan

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In the last quarter of 2013, the average American car buyer borrowed over $27,000. The average car payment climbed to over $450.   These numbers aren’t surprising. From 0% interest offers, easy dealer financing and long-term loans, it’s hard to stick to your guns against a persuasive car salesman. But if you’re ready for a new (or new-to-you car), you can avoid the most common car loan traps just by knowing about them.   Here are six common car-buying traps you need to avoid next time you shop for a car.   1. Buying a car based on the monthly payment   We’ve conditioned ourselves to define affordability based on whether we can make the monthly payment. You might be able to afford $500 per month in car payments. But should you really pay that much … [Read more...]

7 Strategies for Spring Cleaning Finances: Spring Cleaning Part 2

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Now that we've hopefully turned the page on winter, it's time to switch our collective attention to spring. The winter thaw means different things to different people. It can mean spring break, getting outside and enjoying activities with family and friends, and it can also mean doing some organizing.   Just like it's important to clean behind your bookcases, beds, and couches, you'd also be doing yourself a big favor by spring cleaning your finances. (We wrote about spring cleaning your credit, too.) Here are seven strategies to get started.   1. Get an Organizational System in Place If you don't already have a filing system in your home office, set one up now. You can get a scanner, digitize your documents, and store them in folders on your hard drive or a … [Read more...]

Teaching Children to Save Part 3: Helping Your Teen Save for Their Future

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myFICO Kids – Making financial awareness, protection & health a part of the entire family.   In light of Financial Literacy Awareness month, myFICO published a few posts identifying state standards on the topics of saving and investing for all age levels. This is the third and final post in the three-part series on how parents can help teach their children the importance of saving and investing at all age levels.   Let’s take a look at what a high school graduate is capable of learning and what parents can do to help.   National Standards for Saving & Investing   It’s important for parents to know what the national standards are in financial education so they know what they should or should not be teaching their children. There are national … [Read more...]

Teaching Children to Save Part 2:
5th – 8th Grade

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myFICO Kids – Making financial awareness, protection & health a part of the entire family.    MyFICO is doing a series of 3 blog posts about children and saving in order to celebrate Financial Literacy Month and Teach Children to Save Day (April 11). For those of you with children in grades K-4th, you may be interested in our first post outlining the concepts children of those age groups are able to understand and we also included lessons about money and saving. This is our second post in the three-part series for parents with children in grades 5-8.   Let’s take a look at what children in grades 5-8 are capable of learning and what parents can do to help.   National Standards for Saving & Investing   It’s important for parents to … [Read more...]

Teaching Children to Save Early Part 1: K-4

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myFICO Kids – Making financial awareness, protection & health a part of the entire family.   Today is Teach Children to Save Day, a national program that organizes bankers who are willing to volunteer and to teach children about the importance of saving early on in life. This program has been going on since 1997 and has helped over 6 million students develop good saving habits early in life.   Saving early is essential to having a successful, debt-free life upon entering adulthood. Members of the class of 2011 graduated with an average of $26,000 in student loan debt. Had they saved or invested, I’m confident that number would be much lower. The general population believes financial education is becoming increasingly important, bordering detrimental to the … [Read more...]

Cloud Security: Keeping your information safe in the cloud

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Although we have a long ways to go to conquering outer space, we should look perhaps a bit closer to our own atmosphere and consider the following: How safe are the contents we store in the cloud?   What’s this ‘cloud’ you speak of? Good question. Cloud services are applications that are Software as a Service (SaaS) based and hosted on OPP — Other People’s Property — so that a user is not required to download and install a software package in order to use the service. All you need is the Internet browser of your choice and you’re good to go.   Millions of consumers interact and store massive amounts of personal data every day. For example, those of us who watch Netflix or use Instagram to send pictures — all that content is stored in the cloud. DropBox, a file storage … [Read more...]

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