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Katie Blixt
For Visa USA
(703) 683-5004 ext. 136

Visa USA Giving Away 50,000 Free Solar Calculators

Giveaway Helps Parents and Teachers Subtract From Back to School Shopping List

San Francisco, CA - August 15, 2006 - Parents can cross one item off their shopping lists as they prepare to send their children back to school this fall. Visa USA announced today that it is giving away 50,000 free solar calculators through its Practical Money Skills for Life financial education Web site at

“We all know that a budget makes back to school shopping easier to manage,“ said Jason Alderman, director, Visa USA. “To help students and their parents create a budget and stick to it, Visa is offering a free calculator and budgeting tips to anyone who comes to our financial education web site.“

Parents, students, teachers, or anyone who would benefit from a new calculator, can go to the home page of the Practical Money Skills for Life Web site to submit a mailing address so Visa can send the free calculator. Calculators will be sent as quickly as possible on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To date, more than 15,000 free calculators have been sent to educators nationwide. At the Practical Money Skills for Life Web site teachers can also access free lesson plans, as well as teacher guides, overheads and worksheets to help students develop personal finance, budgeting and money management skills. For parents and students, there are interactive games designed to teach financial responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.

“Many times we, as teachers, don't have the resources we need to provide all of our students with the basic tools for success, such as calculators,“ said Mercer Simpson, a teacher at White Bluff Elementary School in Savannah, Ga., who received free calculators for her class. “Now all of my students will have a running start on improving their math and budgeting skills.“

While on the Practical Money Skills for Life Web site, parents can find easy budgeting tools, including a Back to School Budget Calculator. This calculator equips families with a realistic budget by ensuring they consider all of their back to school expenses. Visa is also offering parents and students helpful tips for a more educational back to school shopping experience.

1. Set a realistic back to school budget before you go shopping.

2. Use back to school shopping as a budgeting lesson and have your kids prepare a budget with you.

3. Take a print out of your estimated budget with you when shopping and have your child enter in all of the actual expenses.

4. Encourage children to follow the budget. Stress that getting a more expensive item might mean sacrificing something else.

5. Encourage kids to consider ways to cut costs and manage cash flow, like clipping coupons, looking for sales, or buying supplies each semester.

6. Teach your kids to comparison shop to avoid impulse buying or paying for overpriced items.

7. Differentiate between “needs“ and “wants.“ Encourage children to contribute their own money to fill the gap between what they “need“ and what they “want.“

8. Tell kids that if they come in under budget, you will split the savings with them.

9. Continue the budgeting lesson by starting kids with an ongoing monthly budget.

10. If your kids have a checking account, encourage them to keep up all cash, card, or check deductions in their checkbook register.

About Visa:
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance, and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system - Members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,500 Member financial institutions, more than 488 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States. Last year, U.S.-based financial institutions relied on Visa's processing system, VisaNet, to facilitate $1.3 trillion in transactions with unparalleled reliability.

Worldwide, cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.

Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources - anytime, anywhere, anyway.

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