Navigating your personal finances and teen pre paid credit cards (http://www.teenprepaidcreditcards.com/ ) paying for college is more complicated then ever. Consumers now face a minefield of new financial products and creative fees. Many banks have eliminated free checking, increased fees on cards, and created new, abusive products (I’m looking at you, prepaid debit). Increases in college tuition continue to outpace inflation, driving student debt levels to $1 trillion, surpassing total credit card debt. The simple act of managing your personal finances has become downright stressful.
With this in mind, and in celebration of April as National Financial Literacy Month, NerdWallet is releasing their Financial Literacy Orientation. This program helps students, young adults, and anyone interested in improving their financial literacy build the necessary skills to effectively manage their money. From balancing your first budget to building a great credit score, the Orientation’s curriculum helps keeps you ahead of the curve through an engaging and cohesive multimedia program. NerdWallet does the homework for you, with three modules focused on the essentials of personal finance:
Learn about Financial Products: Starting with the basics, these lessons are presented from a consumer’s perspective. Understand the differences between credit, debit, and pre-paid, and how to avoid fees in your daily banking.
Manage Your Money: Financial literacy not only means you have the best options in your wallet, but also that you know how to use them. This module helps consumers learn to structure a budget and have the right attitude to master their personal finances.
Paying For College: No one should be deprived of higher education, but students should recognize the implications and responsibility of taking on student loans. Learn how to find an affordable school and the various ways to pay for it.
“As long as you are spending money, you are a student of financial literacy.” Says Joseph Audette, VP of Education and Financial Literacy at NerdWallet. “No one should pay unnecessary banking fees or compromise their college choices due to tuition costs. Let us nerds help you become a financial rockstar.”
The Orientation provides lessons in fundamentals in addition to more advanced discussions, such as developing a healthy financial attitude. The goals of the program are transparency and empowerment. NerdWallet will not to tell you how to spend your money, but rather provide the framework for consumers to make the right financial decisions for their lifestyles and goals. Stylish infographics and fun videos supplement written articles to deliver information that is both clear and entertaining.
Auto advice that’s not just academic
Selecting and maintaining back-to-school vehicles is a somewhat difficult undertaking, fraught with the usual battle of wills and wallets. Be it a high-school hauler or a college cruiser, this choice is one to be made wisely. Given the choices themselves, every kid in the world would go off to school in a brand new convertible that could also do his or her homework to boot. Parents, on the other hand, would most likely elect to send Junior off to school in Grandpa’s old Ford Pinto with Dad saying something like, “This old crate will run forever,” as he hands over the keys and a 2X4 with a notch in it required to prop up the deck lid.
New, Old Car
The economic reality of back-to-school expenses along with available and thrifty transportation is a rite of passage for our younger drivers. Kids more often than not go back to school with a hand-me-down vehicle of some sort. While this is a practical choice for many families, taking the time out to educate yourselves and your kids about the aspects of keeping an older vehicle safe and on the road with a minimum of “send-money-now” phone calls from the dorm is practical advice indeed.
Plenty of Fluids
By far the greatest areas of neglect in the world of automobile maintenance are the fluids that keep the engine, transmission, and the multitude of other moving parts in an automobile from gnashing themselves into useless scrap metal. The good news is that checking and maintaining fluids is easy, and can make the difference between a vehicle that runs well for a long time, and one that will precipitate the dreaded request for car repair cash.
Knowledge is Power
Better news is that safety and maintenance go hand in hand. Teaching the kids and yourselves to read their car or truck’s condition along with some books is a perfect example of knowledge equaling power. Just as important as keeping an eye on the fluids is putting your hands on the tires. Checking tire pressure, and visually inspecting the tires themselves can tell you of mechanical conditions such as worn shocks or suspension misalignment. Regular brake inspections are also a capitol idea, and can help put a stop to overly expensive repairs before they start. Take some time to go back to the school of car care tips with your kids. You may both learn something this fall with chico car wash.