Posts By: Melinda Opperman

A basic lesson of economics is that incentives matter. Incentives can be positive or negative, and their effectiveness can vary, but everyone agrees that people are influenced by incentives. Incentives don’t have to be purely financial. Sentences for various crimes vary depending on how strongly we want to discourage the crime. Possession of a drug…

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Basics of Taxes

Tax day falls in the middle of Financial Literacy Month. It’s a good opportunity for us to cover the basics of taxes and instill some financial literacy education while the subject is fresh on everyone’s mind. Kinds of Taxes Income Taxes are collected from people who draw an income in the US. The income taxed…

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Basics of Banking

We talked about Saving in our last Financial Literacy Month Post, but banking involves more than just savings accounts. Banks earn money by providing services to paying customers. That might include loans (mortgage, auto, business and personal loans), as well as bank accounts of various types, and products like CDs and safe deposit boxes. Your…

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Basics of Saving

We talk a lot about saving, both here and on our campaign site for America Saves. We offer advice, encouragement, and education about saving for the future. Today, in honor of Financial Literacy Month, we’re talking about the concept of saving at a broader level—we want to give a basic understanding of saving to help…

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For today’s Financial Literacy Month lesson, we turn to inflation. It’s important to understand inflation for long-term saving and borrowing decisions. Simply put, inflation refers to the rise of prices of goods and services. As these prices go up, the purchasing power of money decreases. So essentially, inflation makes your money worth less over time….

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Our next topic in our Financial Literacy Month series is about supply & demand. It’s important to understand how supply & demand affect prices and availability of goods & services. Getting a basic understanding of this topic will bring us closer to full financial literacy. Prices The starting point for this topic is prices. A…

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All throughout April, we’re posting educational financial literacy content in honor of national Financial Literacy Month. One of the key financial literacy topics that people don’t readily grasp is calculating interest. Many of us are fine with basic math, but when it comes to estimating gains or costs associated with interest rates, we struggle. A…

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Big changes are underway with regard to credit reporting, and those changes will impact how credit scores are calculated. These changes appear across the board to be good for consumers. The reform is a voluntary effort by the 3 major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—and it’s called the “National Consumer Assistance Plan”. This idea has…

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Over the past few years there’s a trend online of financial experts recommending college students get credit cards. Is this really a good idea? This strain of advice usually includes some of the following arguments: Having credit helps establish a good credit history. Using credit early is educational and can teach the user how to…

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Many student loan borrowers feel helpless in the face of tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. There is popular support among them for student loan forgiveness, but there are misconceptions about these programs that need to be cleared up. A recent report from LendEDU found that nearly half of all college students…

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