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Helping Our Youth Build Financial Capability

There’s no doubt that “our children are our future.” Illinois Jump$tart recognizes the strong need to build financial capability in generations to come. That’s why I support organizations like Illinois Jump$tart with my time and money. :)

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Illinois Jump$tart (ILJC) is starting something different - Action Network for Financial Empowerment.

ANFE logo-V7-lr“Launching in July 2014, ILJC’s new Action Network will bring professionals, working with youth programs and policy around Illinois, together with the most innovative concepts and informed voices in financial education for an interactive summit at the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. The goal is to establish a new network of like minded advocates, working in different ways and different places, to accomplish a common objective: giving more young people the tools they’ll need to build secure, comfortable and productive lives.”

You’re invited to this inaugural event. Register today to attend the Action Network Summit in July!

 

Categories: News

It’s been awhile….

Last week one of my loyal blog followers reached out to me. We’ll call him Mr. T. He’s not the original Mr. T from the A-Team. Although, that’s someone I’d love to run into one of these days in Chicago. Any connections? ;)

"First name Mr, middle name 'period', last name T!"

“First name Mr, middle name ‘period’, last name T!”

I digress….

Back to the topic at hand, Mr. T is a pen name one of my blog readers uses when he comments. This blog reader has been here since the very beginning and even inspired a few other posts.

Mr. T. I appreciate you thinking of me!  And I promise YOU I’ll get back to writing more frequently than every three months. I know you don’t do social media, but I  encourage you to follow me on Twitter (I’ll follow you) and check out GainMoneyControl on Facebook (we can be friends). Those are both great places to find more content on hot money topics, articles and money saving tips.

GainMoneyControl Readers: Thank you for sharing one of your most precious gifts you can give—your time!

LoveK

Photo: numberstumper

Categories: Life

Don’t Miss Money Smart Week’s Scavenger Hunt 2014

MSWScavengerHuntWho wants to win a $500 Apple gift card? How about a $250 Visa prepaid card? Well, that’s some of the prizes up for grabs in this year’s Money Smart Week Scavenger Hunt.

Starting on March 12th, people across the country will have a chance to join in the fun—Money Smart Week Scavenger Hunt. It doesn’t matter if you live in Illinois or Florida. People across the nation can join in the hunt for a chance to win some really great prizes.

This year’s Money Smart Week Scavenger Hunt runs from March 12th through April 12th,, 2014.

According to the Money Smart Week website, here’s what you need to know to get started:

What is Money Smart Hunt?

Money Smart Hunt is a Free, nationwide, photojournalistic, scavenger hunt promoting financial education! Players will be asked to photograph themselves accomplishing a provided list of tasks such as “check out a money related book at your local library, “high-five your banker,” or “attend a Money Smart Week event.” Each completed task and photo is awarded with points. Money Smart Hunt is presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. We are ready to see your creativity as you show off how financial savvy you are!

When is Money Smart Hunt?

Money Smart Hunt begins Wednesday, March 12th at 12:01a.m. CST and runs through Saturday, April 12th at 11:59p.m. CST, during which time participants can join the hunt by downloading the “Scavenger Hunt with Friends” mobile app and uploading creative photos from the list of items.

What is Scavenger Hunt with Friends?

Scavenger Hunt with Friends is a photo-based scavenger hunt mobile application for Android and iPhone users. For ‘how to’ information and mobile application terms please visit http://scavengerhuntwithfriends.com.

Ready. Set. Go.

Happy Hunting!

Categories: News

You’ll Never Guess What I Found on My Credit Card Statement

Free Credit ScoreA month ago (on this very day), I wrote a blog post about new changes in the credit card industry. Last week it was reported that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (a.k.a. the nation’s largest consumer protection organization for financial products) called on banks to give consumers their credit scores for free.

That’s right FREE.

In my February 5th blog post, I told you about a new way some consumers are getting free credit scores (without any strings attached). Just in case you missed it, here’s a link to that post – How to Get Your Free FICO Credit Score.

Without any nudging from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, some financial institutions were already leading the charge and giving their customers free access to their credit scores.

One of those financial institutions is Discover Financial, which also happens to be my very first credit card. So in my post, I wrote—”I sure hope Discover starts offering free FICO® Credit Scores to all of their cardholders (myself included). biggrin

And you’ll never guess what I found on my credit card statement this month. You guessed it—My Free FICO Credit Score. Did the picture give it away?

Seeing is Believing (more…)

Dining Out – Ladies Beware of This…

Ladies, ever wonder where to put your purse at a restaurant? Yesterday I found myself thinking about the same thing at lunch. To hang my purse on the back of my chair or not—that is the question.

Since we were seated at a table for four, the woman I met for lunch placed her purse in an empty chair and draped her coat on top. Grappling with the decision myself, I put my coat in the other empty chair and hung my purse on the back of my chair.

So who chose the safer option? She did.

This morning on the news, they said Chicago police issued a warning to women who hang their purses on the back of their chairs at restaurants (yeah, that’s me). Apparently these women have become the prime targets and victims of pickpocketers.

Women are filing police reports because they are opening their bags only to find their wallets, cash and credit cards stolen. (more…)

Categories: News

America Saves Week

Every year one of the top financial New Year’s resolutions is to save more money. Sadly, many of our resolutions are broken within the first month. Have you ever broken yours? I know I have (just being honest!).

The good news is that you don’t have to wait until next year to start saving more money. Every day gives you a chance to start anew.

It’s never too late to start saving!

You know what they say- “there’s no time like the present.” And it just so happens America Saves Week is coming up February 24th – March 1st, 2014.

NEW-ASW-2014

America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. The purpose of this week is to help you get your savings plan in place, so you can start reaching your savings goals. It’s been proven that people with a plan are more successful. (more…)

Categories: Save Money

Lifetime Lottery Winner Paid Over $14,000 in Check Cashing Fees

Who wouldn’t want to win $500 a week for life? It sounds like a dream come true.

But sometimes that dream can turn into a living nightmare.

A Florida man, Malcolm Ramsey, won the lifetime $500 a week lottery. And in less than four weeks he spent over half of his winnings.

According to a Tampa Bay Times article, Ramsey chose the lump sum cash option, netting him $302,466 after taxes. When he received his winnings, Ramsey got a cashier’s check for the full amount. Then, he cashed the check at Amscot (a check cashing store), which charged him over $14,000 in fees.

This story caught my eye, when I heard that he paid over $14,000 in check cashing fees. That is utterly ridiculous for anyone to pay that amount in check cashing fees. In Florida, it’s legal for check cashing stores to charge up to five percent of the check’s value though.

How did this happen? Ramsey is actually “mentally incompetent” and incapable of handling his financial affairs. That’s why the court appointed a guardian to handle them for him. Yet, the Florida Lottery gave him the check anyway.

The good news is Amscot says it will refund the check cashing fees after learning about Ramsey’s mental state. (more…)

Categories: News

How to Get Your Free FICO Credit Score

Free Credit ScoreWould you like to see your free credit score? Yes, free.

Forget about all those jingles, scams and gimmicks promising you a free credit score. Then you open up your monthly statement only to see you’ve been charged. What?!?

Well, now some creditors are giving their customers free FICO® credit scores for real—without any strings attached. That’s right!

For some reason, every time I hear the word free, I question it. Don’t you? (more…)

Target Data Breach – Was Your Account Information Stolen?

Sound the alarm! Up to 40 million customers credit cards and debit cards may have been hacked at Target. If you’ve shopped at Target (in the store) from Black Friday through December 15th, 2013 your account may have been compromised.

Apparently this issue is only for customers who shopped in a Target store, not online. If that’s you, check your account pronto! And monitor your debit and credit card accounts for any fraudulent activity. Be sure to change your passwords immediately. (more…)

Your Health is Your Wealth for Real

Photo by QuotesEverlasting via Flickr cc

Photo by QuotesEverlasting via Flickr cc

At a financial conference, one man exclaimed, “Your health is your wealth.” That’s the truth. But isn’t it something how we often take our health for granted until we get sick?

Health and wealth tie closer together than you might think. As William Danforth once wrote, “Wealth can’t buy health but health can buy wealth.”

After reading Danforth’s quote on our Facebook page, someone commented: “I’m lost.”

In response, I commented:

“Well, the quote is saying money can’t buy you good health. Depending on what you’re suffering from, you could have all the money in the world and it wouldn’t make a difference. On the contrary, if you have good health, you are strong enough to go to work and make $$$. Nothing is holding you back and keeping you in bed.” (more…)

Categories: Benefits, Life
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