Archive for March, 2012

Tips for Buying Your Lucky Lottery Ticket

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Saldutti

Mega Millions fever is gripping the nation.  The jackpot for the lottery game that’s played in 42 states as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands is an estimated $500 million. Lives will change if a winning number is drawn Friday night  –  or excitement will be stoked to fever-pitch if no winner is drawn and the jackpot increases. The prize is the largest in the game’s history. So do you have a strategy for purchasing the golden ticket?  While the chances of winning Mega Million are slim – the odds of winning the game’s top prize are…

Stash or Trash? Spring Cleaning Part 2

Posted on March 27, 2012 by Saldutti

Last week, we discussed the importance of a financial spring cleaning.  This week, we’ll take it a step further with additional stash or trash tips from SavvySugar.  Some of us are pack rats by default; we don’t know how long to keep what we think are important documents, so we store them in boxes indefinitely. Clueless clutter makes it difficult to find something when you actually need to reference it. Stop storing trash and get organized when you learn how long you should hold onto certain papers.    Documents to Keep For Life – While it’s possible to get replacement documents, it’s…

A Lesson on March Madness and Debt

Posted on March 22, 2012 by Saldutti

March Madness season is upon us.  While many of us enjoy filling out brackets, entering office pools or cheering on our alma maters, did you know that this 73 year-old tournament can actually teach us something about getting out of debt?  Dave Ramsey, a syndicated radio host and author of best-selling books, Financial Peace and Total Money Makeover, posts this interesting analogy on his web site: All 68 of the teams in the 2012 NCAA Tournament – best known as “March Madness”- have at least one thing in common when the tournament starts.  No matter what type of season they had,…

Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Posted on March 20, 2012 by Saldutti

With winter gone and spring in full bloom, many of us have spring cleaning on our mind.  But spring cleaning isnt’ just about freshening up your house – it’s a great season to get your finances in order (and it’s a little more appealing than scrubbing the toilet). Most everyone has “that place” in their house.  Whether it’s a room, a filing cabinet or your kitchen counter, it’s where the detritus of a year’s worth of mail goes on to live in perpetuity.  Knowing what to keep and what to toss can be a stressful question for many consumers, especially when we’re talking…

Myths of St. Patrick’s Day

Posted on March 15, 2012 by Saldutti

St. Patrick’s Day is a day to don green, watch parades, decorate with shamrocks, and toast with pint of beer – all in celebration of the Christian Saint Patrick (A.D. 387-461).  Today, it is among the most widely celebrated saint’s days in the world.  But thinking back to the stories that you have heard about St. Patrick, did you know he wasn’t even Irish!?  St. Patrick, the man, was born into a wealthy Romano-British family in Britain. As a teenager, he was kidnapped and sent overseas to tend sheep as a slave in the mountainous countryside of Ireland. One of the most widely known symbols used for St. Patrick’s Day is…

Girl Scouts Now Earn Financial Badges

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Saldutti

Most of us understand intuitively that the Girl Scouts of America aren’t just about selling cookies. What you might not know is that the green-sashed entrepreneur who preys on your weakness for Thin Mints is also preparing to be your son’s boss. A new curriculum of merit badges proposes to teach the GSA’s more than 3 million members everything from good credit to budgeting to the ins and outs of savings and investing. In all, there are 13 Girl Scout badges and awards related to financial literacy.  The new badges are part of a rebranding campaign designed around what girls…

Are Your Kids Financially-Fit?

Posted on March 13, 2012 by Saldutti

Today’s parents are raising a financially-savvy bunch.  Financial education site DoughMain surveyed 2,034 parents with kids ages 4-18 and found that more than 63% of kids today have a savings account, with most accounts opened before the child was three.  Nearly half of the parents said they’ve added money to those accounts on a monthly basis. Parents are also teaching their kids to be wise about how they’ll spend all that cash. 72% of children surveyed said they save with an actual goal in mind, whether it’s to buy video games, toys or put themselves through college, DoughMain said.  See more of the encouraging findings below,…

When Do Gas Prices Change Our Behavior?

Posted on March 08, 2012 by Saldutti

As gas prices rises, The Business Insider has questioned its effect on the recovery as well as Obama’s re-election.  There have been various attempts to connect the price of gas (or oil) with a certain decline in GDP, but it’s always suspect.  Though this table from Jefferies isn’t scientific, it is interesting nonetheless.  Basically, it just asks at what point gas prices would start changing consumer behavior. It’s not a sure thing that these prices WOULD change behavior, but it does tell you something about the kind of numbers that various consumers start to think they’d see a problem.  We’re not…

A New Grad's Guide To Personal Finance

Posted on March 06, 2012 by Saldutti

Student debt has ballooned by 57% in the last decade, with U.S. students holding a staggering $865 billion in loans, primarily due to college tuition and fee hikes, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Now more than ever, recent grads might need some help getting a hold of their finances.  OnlineCollege.org created a personal finance guide to help you get started. A budget guideline suggests allocating 15% for food, and 40% for debt repayment and savings, per month.  And for those looking to make a move to a big city, the best ones for college grads to relocate to include: New…

The Tooth Fairy Feeling Economic Crunch

Posted on March 01, 2012 by Saldutti

This bad economy really bites for kids these days.  The Tooth Fairy’s average going rate for a baby tooth last year dropped to $2.10, down 42 cents compared with $2.52 in 2010, according to a survey sponsored by Delta Dental.  According to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the 17% decline in the value of a baby tooth has to do with the economy. “Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in 2011, but she’s hopeful for a recovery this year,” Chris Pyle, spokesperson for the Delta Dental Plans Association, said in a statement. On the upside,…