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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


Protect your personal finances during divorce

Divorce is often referred to as the No. 2 most stressful life event, second only to death of a spouse. And no wonder: Besides its obvious emotional impacts, getting divorced can also be a financial nightmare as you're forced to deal...

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Borrowing from retirement accounts a costly mistake

The current housing crisis and other economic woes are taking their toll on people's wallets. Caught between escalating mortgage payments and rising fuel and food costs, many folks are having difficulty paying their bills. Not so long ago, some people probably...

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Share financial 'facts of life' with your freshman

Forget the birds and the bees: One of the most difficult – yet most important – discussions you can have with your children before they head off to college concerns the financial facts of life. Because a few early financial missteps...

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Trim your back-to-school expenses

It usually bugs me when retailers start hawking events months before they happen – like selling Halloween candy before Labor Day or displaying barbeque grills while it's still freezing outside. But sometimes a little forewarning is a good idea.Take back–to–school shopping....

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Why is gas so expensive?

The news at the pump is grim: With the average cost of a gallon of gas well above $4 and rising, people are asking, "What happened?" Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. But here is what government and industry experts say...

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Protect yourself from the credit crunch

As the economy continues to falter, many people find themselves trapped in financial limbo: unable to cover their bills (such as adjustable rate mortgages) and not qualified for more favorable interest rates that could help because of lenders' tightening credit standards....

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Baby boomer strategies for slowing down

Most people in their twenties and thirties are scrambling to get ahead – working long hours to advance their careers, buy a home or start a family.Fast forward a few decades and, while not necessarily ready to retire, many 40– and...

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Preplanning your death arrangements

Many people refuse to contemplate their own death, while others take great comfort in planning every funeral detail ahead of time. No matter where you fall in this spectrum, there are several factors you should consider regarding cost, impact on your...

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Get your financial resolutions back on track

You probably began 2008 with the best intentions: lose a few pounds, reduce debt, start saving for college or retirement. You may have even written New Year's resolutions and started working on them. But you get busy, unexpected expenses come up,...

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Understanding Social Security

Since its creation in 1935, Social Security has provided countless Americans with a degree of financial stability through its retirement, disability and survivor benefits. While never intended to fully support people when they retire, Social Security provides many retirees with their...

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The high cost of raising kids

I hope you're sitting down. According to an annual study by the USDA, the average cost for a middle–income family to raise a child born in 2007 until age 18 is estimated at a staggering $204,060. And that doesn't even include...

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Put the brakes on debt

I hope this is one column you'll read and say, "Whew, I'm glad that doesn't apply to me." I'm talking about what can happen when someone's debt spirals out of control and they don't know where to turn next.Many people spend...

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Seniors: Beware of financial scams

Many people find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in today's troubled economy, whether because of mortgage woes, high fuel costs, job insecurity or other financial problems. If that weren't bad enough, predatory con artists target these vulnerable folks with...

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Banish summer boredom for your kids

Summer's almost here and you know what that means: warmer days, longer evenings and endless choruses of 'there's nothing to do.' Before you park your kids in front of the TV or at the mall, consider a few activities you can...

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Vacation planning in a tight economy

Sharply rising gas prices are taking their toll on almost every aspect of our lives, from filling up the gas tank to shelling out more for food and other commodities. If you've started planning your next vacation, you've surely noticed that...

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Marriage is also financial partnership

Nothing erases the glow of a honeymoon faster than money woes. In their haste to live happily ever after, many couples don't do their homework before the ceremony and then are unpleasantly surprised to learn they're starting out their next life...

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Be shrewd when passing along assets

If you're among the 45 percent of Americans who've already written a will, you may think you've done everything necessary to ensure a smooth transition of your assets to your Not people draft their will but never amend it, even after...

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Help mom plan for financial security

As Mother's Day approaches, it's worth noting that most women still face significantly more hurdles to achieving financial security than do men, especially at retirement. A few statistics say it all:Nearly two-thirds of working women earn less than $30,000 a year.About...

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Graduating to 'the real world'

Anyone who's graduated from college understands the relief of leaving behind years of cramming for exams and living on dorm food. With the next chapter of their lives now at hand, this year's grads deserve kudos for successfully negotiating the twists...

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Help mom plan for financial security

As Mother's Day approaches, it's worth noting that most women still face significantly more hurdles to achieving financial security than do men, especially at retirement. A few statistics say it all:Nearly two-thirds of working women earn less than $30,000 a year.About...

Read More