facebook logo facebook logo twitter logo twitter logo facebook logo facebook logo twitter logo twitter logo

Financial Education for Everyone

English  |  Español

EN  |  SP

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.

Featured Article

PMM Articles


Tight credit environment calls for careful oversight

As anyone who's applied for a new loan lately knows, if you don't have a gold-plated credit history, you may have a tough time borrowing. And even many 24-karat consumers are being turned down. Lenders have responded to their own difficulty...

Read More

A financial Super Bowl

As it does every year, Super Bowl mania is sweeping the nation. In a recent survey of Visa Inc. cardholders, more than 60 percent said they would be inviting family and friends over to watch the game, spending an average of...

Read More

Know your tax exemption, deduction options

About the only upside when the cost of living increases is that every year the IRS readjusts personal tax exemptions, standard deduction amounts and retirement account contribution limits. It's not like winning the lottery, but I'll take all the good news...

Read More

Making financial resolutions in difficult times

Many folks are happy to see 2008 fade into the distance. Between the rollercoaster stock market, tightening credit availability and falling home values, most of us have taken a financial beating.With a new year upon us and plenty of opportunities to...

Read More

High-deductible medical insurance better than none

An estimated 47 million Americans live without health insurance. Even among those fortunate enough to have coverage, many struggle to pay ever-rising monthly premiums, while still others worry about losing health benefits should they be laid off.Clearly, it's wise to know...

Read More

Financial responsibilities for the self-employed

One of the fastest growing segments of America's workforce is the self-employed. Being your own boss can be liberating, but it's also hard work: Many bothersome details your employer used to handle become your responsibility – things like finding health insurance,...

Read More

These year-end actions can cut taxes

December is the year's busiest month for many people, with holiday-related shopping, socializing and travel cutting into already hectic schedules. It will be tough, but try to set aside some time before year's end to consider taking a few actions that...

Read More

Helping others when money is tight

During the holiday season, many people reflect on what they can do to help those less fortunate. In 2007, caring Americans gave a record $306.4 billion in charitable donations – which doesn't even include the countless hours spent on volunteer activities.But...

Read More

Protecting your pension

If your employer provides a traditional pension plan you are part of a vanishing breed. According to the Department of Labor, only about 20 percent of private sector workers are covered by pensions today, about half the level of 30 years...

Read More

The power of compound interest

Among the most valuable financial wisdom you can teach your kids is how to harness the power of compounding. This life lesson is best learned early because the payoff grows exponentially the sooner you start practicing it.What is compounding? Basically, it's...

Read More

Cut your holiday gift costs

One interesting – albeit non-scientific – way to gauge someone's comfort level with the state of the economy is to ask how much they plan to spend on holiday gifts. In good times, people tend to spend more generously; during rough...

Read More

Prepaid cards provide alternative to cash or checks

Tens of millions of Americans don't have access to checking accounts or credit cards, which can make it difficult for them to cash their payroll or government-provided benefit checks, pay bills, withdraw cash and shop online or by phone. It also...

Read More

Health insurance vital in retirement

If you've already retired or plan to in the near future, it's a good idea to review your health care coverage to make sure it has kept pace with your changing needs. Adequate health insurance is a vital component of overall...

Read More

Prepaid cards provide alternative to cash or checks

Tens of millions of Americans don't have access to checking accounts or credit cards, which can make it difficult for them to cash their payroll or government-provided benefit checks, pay bills, withdraw cash and shop online or by phone. It also...

Read More

Flexible spending accounts cut taxes

In these tough economic times, many people are seeking ways to stretch their buying power. Although cutting back on purchases and avoiding extravagances make sense, another good strategy is to look for ways to trim your tax bill.As workplace benefits open...

Read More

Start college loan search early

As college costs have escalated in recent years, students increasingly depend on their parents to help foot the bill: According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Visa Inc., nearly a quarter of those who attended college in the past five...

Read More

Go green and save green

It's pretty hard to ignore the environmental crisis our world faces You've probably already begun altering your behavior in response, whether by recycling, planting trees or simply driving environmentally friendly alternatives are more expensive, which makes them harder to manage on...

Read More

Don't forget taxes when planning retirement

When budgeting how much money they'll need for living expenses after retirement, most folks generally include things like housing, medical expenses, transportation – even food and entertainment. But sometimes people forget to factor in taxes, which can have a substantial impact...

Read More

Carefully plan transition from the military

If you're among the hundreds of thousands of people expected to retire or be discharged from the military in the next few years, you're no doubt aware that you'll face many changes – and challenges – upon returning to civilian life....

Read More

Understanding debit cards

Fifteen years ago, only a few million Americans carried debit cards. Today, more than 80 percent of us use them to withdraw cash, pay bills and make purchases at stores, restaurants and other merchants worldwide.Not only are debit cards safer than...

Read More