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Financial Education for Everyone

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Practical Money Matters

Visa’s Practical Money Matters column delivers expert personal finance tips to consumers of all ages in English and Spanish. The article series has been syndicated nationwide in 500 U.S. newspapers and a Huffington Post blog. Topics include saving, budgeting, credit & debt, life events, taxes, retirement, insurance and more.

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PMM Articles


Act now on expiring 2009 tax breaks

In the depths of the recession the government passed the 2009 economic stimulus bill and tweaked the federal tax code to help boost consumer spending and assist people who were losing their jobs, homes and Now, several of those tax breaks,...

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Teaching financial literacy, one goal at a time

Suppose your teenager came to you needing help answering homework questions on finance – would you be able to answer correctly or know where to find help? Consider questions like these:Which are the two most important factors when determining someone's creditworthiness?...

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Talking with kids about the recession

The past year has been rough financially for many folks. You probably know people who have lost their jobs, seen their retirement savings evaporate or experienced home foreclosure – you may even be in a tough spot yourself. It's difficult enough...

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Share with others while you're still around

You've probably already thought about how you'd like to share your assets with relatives, friends and favorite charities when you're gone, whether it's money you've saved, your home, or family heirlooms you want to pass along to the next generation. But...

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A financial basics refresher

Until you get in the habit, putting aside savings is never easy. But the sooner you start, the sooner you'll start seeing results. As you'll see below, when it comes to savings, time is your best friend:The power of compounding. When...

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Be cautious posting personal information online

I have friends who swear by online social and professional networks like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. Where else can you reconnect with long-lost former classmates, post vacation photos for friends around the world, share your resume with potential employers and perhaps...

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'Saving' is the new 'spending'

One small silver lining from the recent economic downturn is that people have begun saving again. For decades personal savings rates hovered around 10 percent of after-tax income, but beginning in the late 1980s, rates steadily declined.As the stock market soared,...

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Don’t procrastinate: Make estate decisions now

People naturally procrastinate when faced with difficult decisions. Take planning for your own demise: Only 40 percent of people recently polled by Visa Inc. have an up-to-date will.Although wills aren't mandatory, if you don't have one when you die, the state...

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Protect your health during tough times

In this challenging economy, many people have curbed discretionary expenses like vacations, entertainment and shopping Unfortunately, many folks – even those with medical insurance – are also cutting back on healthcare services they can no longer afford, including preventive care, check-ups...

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Back-to-school bargain hunting

As back-to-school shopping veterans, my wife and I have learned our share of money-saving tricks – plus methods to lessen meltdowns and frayed nerves that come with the If you are new to this parental rite of passage or simply looking...

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Know your rights with debt collectors

Like many folks, I recently had an awkward encounter with a debt collector.Someone had stolen my credit card number and used it to charge a hotel stay. Thanks to my card's zero liability policy the charges were quickly reversed and I...

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Rethinking retirement

When the stock market and housing prices were soaring not so long ago, many baby boomers figured they could retire early and live comfortably on their profits. Today that situation has reversed: Many folks are now postponing their retirement or even...

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Give yourself a financial tune-up

As we move through one of the most financially tumultuous years in many decades, some economists feel the worst may be over. But today's continuing high unemployment rates, troubled housing market and tight credit conditions leave many people feeling anxious about...

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Avoiding rental car surprises

Many folks plan summer vacations that involve a lot of driving. For those sticking close to home, gas and maintenance are usually the biggest car-related expenses. But if you're planning to rent a car at your destination, many other factors can...

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Protecting your money

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."How many times have you heard that expression? Even in favorable economic times, otherwise cautious people can be duped by get-rich-quick schemes or investments that promise unrealistic returns. But when times...

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Boomerang kids? Get ready for boomerang parents

Boomerang kids. You've probably read articles about them or may even have one yourself. That's where parents reopen their formerly empty nests to adult children who are trying to pay off student loans or bills, save for a down payment or...

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Read contracts carefully before signing

When people hear the word "contract," some start daydreaming about signing a multimillion dollar deal with the NFL while others recall how their knees shook the day they signed that first car loan. If you think about it, though, many of...

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50 ways to love your money

There's no getting around it: Baby boomers are officially Millions of Americans born in 1959 will turn 50 this year; and many boomers born right after World War II have already begun receiving Social Security are that most boomers didn't grow...

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Stimulus plan provides energy efficiency tax credits

One way the government hopes its 2009 economic stimulus plan will help jumpstart the economy is by investing billions of dollars in industries that support energy efficiency – everything from electric car battery technology to wind turbines to modernizing the country's...

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Financial advice for new fathers

People often say mothers have the hardest job in the world – and I wouldn't dispute that. But being a father might be the second hardest job in the world. And becoming a dad for the first time is a challenge...

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