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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


Be financially secure in the New Year

Maybe it's a sign of approaching middle age, but as the world becomes increasingly unpredictable, I instinctively seek out security for my family wherever I can; not just physical safety, but financial protection as well. In that spirit - and with...

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Make a holiday shopping game plan for kids

Are you stumped for ideas on what to get your children for holiday gifts? Join the club. When I was a kid, my folks had far fewer gift choices for me: board games, a bicycle, or maybe the dreaded long underwear....

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Year-end benefit review could lower your taxes

If you could save hundreds of dollars on your taxes with just a few minutes' work, would you? I thought so. Before getting caught up in the holiday rush, take a moment to review your employer-provided benefits and see if these...

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Make sure your charitable contributions hit the mark

Americans lead the world in charitable giving. In 2006 alone, we gave a record $295 billion, of which 76 percent came from individuals. That doesn't even count time spent volunteering, which some sources value at $150 billion or more.Half of all...

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Homeowners: Tips for Avoiding Financial Hardship

America's once red-hot housing market has cooled off considerably. Prices are down, unsold housing inventory is up and mortgage lenders have tightened credit standards.What's worse, many borrowers who opted for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are in for a big shock when...

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Spend less so you can save more

We all know we should set aside money for a rainy day, a house down payment or retirement, but there are always a million reasons why we can't. If this sounds familiar, remember this: To get ahead, you either need to...

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Identity theft thrives – even beyond the grave

In the 1970s-era spy thriller "The Day of the Jackal," a would-be assassin steals the identities of several dead people to further his plan to kill French President Charles Unfortunately, this once-shocking plot device has become all too common in real...

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Helping military families face financial challenges

As we prepare to honor our armed forces on Veterans Day, it's appropriate to address the financial challenges often faced by those who defend our country. Far too often, military families face daunting financial difficulties.Here are a few considerations – and...

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Reevaluate your benefit needs each year

Like death and taxes, rising health care costs are unavoidable. In fact, you've probably seen your medical insurance premiums increase several times in the past few years. A little careful planning can help you ease your bottom line by choosing coverage...

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Credit history ‘piggybacking’ becoming harder

Boosting your credit score by "piggybacking" on someone else's good credit is about to get much more difficult.People have long added their children, relatives or friends to their credit accounts as "authorized users" as a way to help them establish a...

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Get the most from your pension

If you're among the nearly 44 million Americans eligible for an employer-provided pension plan, consider yourself lucky: Since 1980, such plans have decreased by nearly 80 percent. And, while more companies now offer 401(k) or other plans, where employees themselves fund...

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Get your kids involved in family finances

That anguished roar you hear is the sound of millions of students returning to school after summer break. As a parent, you might feel relief that teachers are taking over the reins, but hold on: School may be the best place...

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Early savings reap long-term payoff

I lived paycheck to paycheck during my early twenties. Saving didn't seem feasible there were just too many expenses. And, like many, during my early workforce years I neglected to have a portion of my paycheck automatically put into a retirement...

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Don't let having a baby blow your budget

Raising a family is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences in life, but also one of the most expensive. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, a typical middle-income family will spend nearly $200,000 raising a child to...

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Long-term care will be hot issue for 'boomers'

For 77 million baby boomers rapidly approaching retirement, long-term elder care is no longer an academic concept – it's becoming a reality. Many of us already deal with elder-care issues for our parents. If you're not familiar with long-term care it's...

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Do your homework on back to school shopping

Few phrases inspire greater dread for my seven-year old than, "back to school shopping."No doubt the same holds true for many other parents who must spend precious summer hours – and hundreds of dollars – on shopping excursions for clothes that...

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Avoid the home improvement 'money pit' syndrome

Shortly after our first child was born, my wife and I realized we needed to remodel our kitchen and family room to accommodate our new family focused lifestyle and our new arrival. But, like most first-time remodelers, we had no idea...

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