Divide Your Savings Into Three Categories – Financial Literacy Saving Series

by Allacyn - Apr 19, 2011


If you haven’t already, read our previous post Paying Yourself First

So now that we are all saving 10% of our income each month we need to break it down into three categories. You should put aside 20% of your savings each month into an emergency savings fund. An additional 20% should be put into an account for emotional spending and 60% should go toward your long-term savings goals.

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Pay Yourself First – Financial Literacy Saving Series

by Allacyn - Apr 18, 2011


Pay Yourself First, I like the sound of that, but apparently in America we find this hard to do. Now, when I say “pay yourself first” I don’t mean go out and buy anything you want and then worry about paying your bills. I mean pay your savings accounts first before you pay your bills. The logic is that if you put your money into savings first you will actually put money in savings.

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Financial Literacy Debt Series: Quick Money Saving Ideas

by Allacyn - Apr 15, 2011


So yesterday the blog talked about tracking your spending so you can find places where you can save. Now today we are going to give you some ideas!

Take your lunch to work

This has been estimated to save you over one thousand dollars a year, why not do it. If you feel like this is depriving you, start with bringing lunch three days a week and work your way up to not eating out at all.

Eat at home

Instead of going out to a nice dinner for date night. Stay in, make it a competition to see who can make the cheapest dinner that you both enjoy, then cook it together. You will appreciate it more!

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Financial Literacy Debt Series: Track Your Spending To Pay Down Debt

by Allacyn - Apr 14, 2011


Track all of your spending for the month. This means tracking everything including your $1.00 per day vending machine habit, everything counts. This stuff all adds up! It is important that everyone in your family participate in this process and make sure that the tracking is as accurate as possible. Once you have completed this process it is time to analyze your expenditures and see where you can save some money. There are things we spend money on everyday that are not necessities and this is where you can pull from.

Find the things you can cut down on and maybe start out small so you don’t feel like you are being deprived. Then take this money and put it towards paying off your debt. A little bit of extra money going toward debt will go a long way.

For all of LearnKey’s Financial Literacy Month resources, visit learnkey.com/financiallitmonth



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Financial Literacy Debt Series: Get Informed

by Allacyn - Apr 13, 2011


Find out how annual interest rates, months remaining, monthly payments, and principal affect you every month. Make sure you find this information and use because not knowing could be costing you money. All of these terms are important to know for your financial well being.

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Financial Literacy Debt Series: “Power Down” Your Debt Method

by Allacyn - Apr 12, 2011


Use a systematic method to eliminate debt, pay one item first then apply that amount to the next obligation and so on. You should have already  prioritized your debt so that you know what payment to focus on first. Now you will want to focus on that first item on your list and apply any extra amount of money to that payment. When this payment is gone you will move on to the next payment and instead of spending the money you have extra from the first payment, you will apply that extra amount to the payment.

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Financial Literacy Debt Series: Prioritize Your Debt

by Allacyn - Apr 11, 2011


Prioritize your debt by either the shortest to longest maturity (shortest to longest debt period), smallest to largest debt or the highest to lowest interest rate. Don’t just apply extra money to your debt randomly, have a plan and make sure you stick to it. Most people, when they decide to create a plan to pay down debt, decide to go after the debt that has the highest interest rate or the debt that has the smallest balance, both of these are good options, but in many cases the debt with the shortest to longest maturity might save you the most money.

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Financial Literacy Credit Series: Building Your Credit with Credit Cards

by Allacyn - Apr 08, 2011


If you are planning on building your credit by using credit cards there are important things to remember. Always pay your credit card bills on time, if you can try to pay them off in full each month and never go over the limits on your cards. Another great tip is to never put more than 20% of your monthly income on credit cards this will keep your debt to income ratio down and keep paying them of manageable.

If you have an emergency and you have to put stuff on your cards make sure to keep the balance of each card at less than 30% and never go over 50% of the cards balance this keeps your debt to credit ratio down, so you don’t put negative marks on your credit.

For all of LearnKey’s Financial Literacy Month resources, visit learnkey.com/financiallitmonth



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Financial Literacy Credit Series: Monitor Your Credit Reports Regularly

by Allacyn - Apr 07, 2011


It is important to monitor your credit reports regularly, because errors do happen and it is your responsibility to make sure that you are catching these errors and are having them taken care of. No one else cares what your credit score is, so you have to care and you have to contact the credit bureaus that have made the errors to have them fixed.  You will want to check to see if you have closed, paid off accounts that are still reporting. You will have to file a dispute with the credit bureau and it may take up to 30 days to get a response. It will be worth it to get the errors off of your report.

It is also important to make sure that companies you want to report are reporting. Some student loan lenders are not required to report and may not be. If you have mostly credit cards and student loans you will want the loans reported because this will create a more equal balance between your revolving accounts (credit cards) and your installment accounts (home, auto, or student loans). This will help improve your score as well.

For all of LearnKey’s Financial Literacy Month resources, visit learnkey.com/financiallitmonth



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Financial Literacy Credit Series: Know and Follow the Rules of Credit Cards

by Allacyn - Apr 06, 2011


When credit card offers start coming in the mail, make sure you know and follow the rules. This means that you need to read through the packet of information that came with the offer. Make sure you read the fine print. The likelihood is that they will highlight the best features like 0% APR on transfers and purchases, but they will not highlight that this is an introductory rate for the first year and the rate increases to 24% after that point. Search this kind of information out!

Once you are approved and sent the card you will get another larger packet of information in the mail and you should read this in depth as well. You need to educate and familiarize yourself about what you have gotten into and what your obligations are. If you can this is also a good time to set this card up through your online bill pay and enter it into your spending plan so that when the first bill comes you are all ready to pay it. To reiterate yesterday’s tip, I cannot stress enough how important it is to make your payments on time!

For all of LearnKey’s Financial Literacy Month resources, visit learnkey.com/financiallitmonth



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