Mind Your Money

 

Welcome to the library's multi-author blog and associated resources for increased financial literacy. This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association

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For questions or comments about this program, please send email to mym [at] hmcpl [dot] org.

 

 

Roadmap to Saving and Investing

Roadmap to Saving and Investing

Navigate your way through the Roadmap to Saving and Investing with this interactive map from Investor.gov

The 1st Step - Define Your Goals

Knowing how to secure your financial well-being is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. You don’t have to be a genius to do it. You just just need to know a few basics, form a plan, and be ready to stick to it.

To end up where you want to be, you need a financial plan. Ask yourself what you want. List your most important goals first. Decide how many years you have to meet each specific goal, because when you save or invest, you’ll need to find an option that fits your time frame. Here are some tools to help you decide how much you’ll need to save for various needs.

  • The Ballpark Estimate, created by the American Savings Education Council, can help you calculate what you’ll need to save each year for retirement.
  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has a college savings calculator.

Stretch Your Travel Dollar

Got a yen to hit the road this summer? Bargain-basement deals are hard to find at the height of the season, but there are ways to stretch your travel dollar.  Here's the rub: Saving money on summer travel means a lot of homework. Plus, if you're locked into specific travel dates it will limit your ability to slash costs. 

Read more about how to save on travel in The Tricks to Traveling Cheaply article from the Wall Street Journal.

10 Money Saving Grocery Tips

Here are 10 money saving tips to try out while you go grocery shopping:

1. Don't center every meal around meat

2. Use coupons

3. Make a list-- and stick to it

4. Don't be afraid to buy store brand

5. Buy in bulk

6. Compare unit price

7. Watch register for incorrect prices

8. Shop seasonal

9. Plan menus

10. Don't shop when you are hungry

#mym

Money Saving Grocery Tips

Warriors avoiding financial pitfalls

Among the dangers that our military faces are financial predators in their own backyard.  Many people do not realize that personal finance issues are a significant concern for our service men and women.  A recent article in Military Times outlines some of the pitfalls that the military community should guard against.  It describes sound approaches to these situations, and mentions a book that three Army captains penned after teaching personal finance workshops for their troops -- The Soldier’s Financial Leadership Guide.

April is Financial Literacy Month

Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? Too many Americans are insufficiently educated about their personal finances.

Business Insider writes that the eighth annual NFCC survey of over 2,000 Americans found that:

  • 34% of households carry month-to-month credit card debt
  • 60% haven't checked their credit score in the last 12 months, and 65% have similarly neglected their credit reports
  • 41% would grade themselves a "C" or lower when it comes to financial know-how

And perhaps most worryingly … 61% of U.S. adults don't even have a budget.

The article also offers three tips for getting started with your financial health:

  1. Figure out your monthly net pay.
  2. List your major expenses.
  3. Track your discretionary spending.

Are you invested in your financial future? You can find more information for new investors, the military and for youth or talk to your employer about bringing our free financial literacy "lunch and learn" classes to your workplace!

FREE Financial Literacy classes available to the public at Madison's Hogan Family YMCA

We are incredibly excited to announce that our second set of public financial literacy classes will be held at Madison's Hogan Family YMCA!

These classes are taught by non-biased financial professionals or educators and are geared towards beginning investors in an effort to the provide information to help you begin creating effective investment strategies.

A light lunch will be served.

Directions to the Hogan Family YMCA may be found here, dates and times for classes are as follows:

  • Session 1: Mon April 28, 2014, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Session 2: Mon May 5, 2014, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Session 3: Mon May 12, 2014, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Session 4: Mon May 19, 2014, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Please contact the Hogan Family YMCA at (256) 705-9622 or Tammy Schofield at the Madison Public Library via email at tschofield [at] hmcpl [dot] org to register for the classes.

For handouts and more class schedules please visit http://hmcpl.org/mym/classes.

Image of the Hogan Family YMCA
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