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10 Ways to Save $100 During America Saves Week

By Meg Favreau, Senior Editor of personal finance blog Wise Bread.

Money is like a cake. When you get that delicious dessert, it can be tempting to eat it all at once. But if you do, you’ll end up with a stomachache, that sugarcoated feeling on your teeth, and perhaps most importantly – no cake for later.

Similarly, if you spend all of your money, you’ll probably end up regretting your splurges – and wishing you had some funds sitting in the bank.

Often, savings strategies are obvious – you set a big piece of cake aside, and it’s there waiting for you. But sometimes, it’s the little things that make that cake disappear. I’m reminded of the time my childhood friend Mike held a cake on his lap while we were driving home. He took fingerful after fingerful of frosting – and when we got home, Mike discovered that he had completely defrosted the cake without realizing it. Read more…

POSTED: February 26, 2013 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , , ,

This America Saves Week: Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically.

By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager.
The theme for America Saves Week 2013 is more than just a theme; it’s is the essence of a sound approach to savings, designed to help individuals take financial action. Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Knowing what you want to save for, how to achieve it, and then making the savings process automatic will allow you to reach your savings goal.

Set a Goal

You can save more by having a goal in mind. Visualizing what you want to save for gives your savings a purpose. You may be tempted to withdraw from your savings if it has no purpose. But once you have a goal in place, you know that taking money out of your savings is taking away from that ultimate goal. So what are you saving for? An emergency fund, a home, retirement, a car? Read more…

POSTED: February 25, 2013 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , , ,

Why Students Need Financial Literacy by Brian Page

Diane Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst and a research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She also writes an education blog that is widely read, and sometime closely scrutinized, but the industry.

Today, her blog featured a guest post by Brian Page, award-winning educator, who demonstrates the same passion and drive for education as Ravitch does.

From Page’s post, “I want our children first introduced to complicated financial concepts and contracts by teachers who love them and who are trying to help them, not by someone trying to trick them. Relying on the school of hard knocks should not be an option anymore. It is time a step is added in the ladder to empower future generations to make wise and informed financial choices. Personal Finance should be integrated into every child’s K-12 educational experience, and a course in Personal Finance should be a semester-long high school graduation requirement.”

We couldn’t agree more. Read the full post here, and see what Ravitch has to say on her blog here.

POSTED: January 16, 2013 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

CEE in the News: Why Teens Fail at Managing Money

CEE’s Survey of the States is often referenced in articles such as this one from MSN Money, ‘Why Teens Fail at Managing Money.’ Findings from the Survey show that over the last two years, economics and personal finance requirements to graduate high school are slowing and in some cases moving backwards.

Today’s student loan debt is more than the national credit card debt, and if students continue to graduate high school and college without financial literacy, both numbers could continue to climb exponentially.

Read the complete story here, and leave your comments below.

POSTED: January 7, 2013 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

CEE in the News: Millennials struggle with financial literacy

CEE’s Nan J. Morrison quoted in USA Today’s Millennials struggle with financial literacy by Hadley Malcom

Though young people in America have for decades struggled with financial literacy, state curricula haven’t shifted much to address the gaps. Fewer than half of states make high school students take an economics class, and just 13 require a personal finance class, according to a 2011 survey by the Council for Economic Education. In those 13 states, though, the payoff is clear: Students who had taken such courses were more likely to go on to save money and pay off a credit card bill in full each month, and less likely to be compulsive buyers, max out credit cards and make late payments.

The programs could prove vital to educating the next generations of workers. As Council for Economic Education President Nan Morrison says, “A financially illiterate society is not an option.”

Read the full article here.

 

POSTED: April 24, 2012 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , ,

Know Before You Owe

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today launched the next phase of its Know Before You Owe student loan project by releasing a beta version of the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper, an interactive, online tool designed to help families plan for the costs of post-secondary education.

“Student loan debt has crossed the $1 trillion mark and tuition continues to climb,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Now more than ever, students and their families need to know before they owe. Our Financial Aid Comparison Shopper helps students make apples to apples comparisons of their offers and pick the one that works best for their financial future.”

CFPB Director Richard Cordray unveiled the tool at an event in South Dakota today with Sen. Tim Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

April is the peak time when colleges send letters of acceptance. Approximately 1.5 million students will sift through 5 million letters this year. But acceptance doesn’t end the process.  Millions of American families also need to determine how to pay for school.  Unfortunately, financial aid information is often jargon-filled and unique to the institution sending it.  This can make it difficult for families to understand costs, evaluate loan options, and figure out how much debt to take on.

The CFPB kicked off the Know Before You Owe student loan project in October by working with the Department of Education on a draft Financial Aid Shopping Sheet that higher education institutions could use to present families with a uniform, easy-to-understand explanation of the total cost of post-secondary education and their options for financing it. The Financial Aid Comparison Shopper builds on that by helping students to compare the information across schools.

The beta version of the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper has more than 7,500 schools and institutions in its database, including vocational schools and community, state, and private colleges. It draws information from publicly available data provided by government statistical agencies. With the prototype, students and their families can compare the following across multiple financial aid offers:

  • Estimated monthly student loan payment after graduation;
  • Grant and scholarship offers;
  • School-specific metrics such as graduation, retention, and federal student loan default rates; and
  • Estimated debt level at graduation in relationship to the average starting salary.

The Financial Aid Comparison Shopper also includes a “Military Benefit Calculator” that can estimate education benefits for servicemembers, veterans, and their families. The calculator includes military tuition assistance and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

Recently, the CFPB announced that outstanding student loan debt had crossed the $1 trillion mark.  Student loans have eclipsed credit cards as the leading source of U.S. household debt outside of mortgages. In part, this is because more students are accessing higher education. But it’s also because tuition and average debt levels have increased. Last fall, to help borrowers understand their options when tackling their federal and private student loan debt, the CFPB released the Student Debt Repayment Assistant interactive tool.

The CFPB has also been working to address the challenges faced by students who take out private student loans. Until recently, private student lenders have been regulated by a patchwork of state and federal authorities. Prior to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, there was no federal supervisory program that covered nonbank providers of private student loans. That authority has now been given to the CFPB. Among its reforms, the Dodd-Frank Act created a student loan ombudsman to assist borrowers and review complaints. The student loan ombudsman is also responsible for examining the complaints in order to develop recommendations to Congress and other federal government agencies.

To find out more about the CFPB’s work to help students and families make choices about college financing, visit: www.ConsumerFinance.gov.  

POSTED: April 16, 2012 | BY: Leslie Rasimas | TAGS: , , , , ,

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