5 No Cost Things You Can Do to be Financially Stable

black woman smiling

People that teach financial education often talk about lowering your expenses and increasing your income to increase your financial stability. Of course those things are good but today I want to focus on the five free things you can do to increase your financial stability.

Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute WorkbookFor all of my personal finance tips, order my book “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money“. If you already have a few challenges, order my Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook“.

 

blog credit union cartoon

#1 Open an Account at a Credit Union

One of the best financial decisions you can make is to open a checking account at a credit union. It costs nothing to open an account and the benefits are many: better customer service, often lower account fees, usually cheaper car loans, mortgages, and credit cards, and the opportunity to build a relationship with a financial institution with all these great benefits before you need to ask for a loan. Check here to find the credit union closest to you.

 

blog check credit reports

#2 Check Your Credit Reports

You may know that there are three credit reports and three credit scores for each of us but did you know that you can have free access to your reports? The credit bureaus have the right to control who has access to the scores that they’ve created the mathematical formulas to create, BUT the records …  the information that make up the data those formulas use is your data and is free for you to access. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your reports once every 12 months.

 

blog spare change

#3 Collect Your Change

For years I’ve told people that an easy way to find money to build up your Emergency Fund or invest in a no-load mutual fund was to throw your spare change in a jar. I still believe it’s true. On average, you’ll have about $50 per month is quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. Instead of that spare change ending up under the couch cushions, in your car’s ashtray, and at the bottom of your purse throw it in an empty water jug or an actual piggy bank. Don’t believe me? Check out this blog.

 

 

blog woman-process-and-drop-coin-into-the-glass-with-stack-coins-and-calculator_43284-451

#4 Open a High Yield Savings Account

Since I’ve been badgering you to create an Emergency Savings Account, I thought I’d help you out by providing you with the latest lists of accounts with the highest interest rates (you’ll earn more money than at your local financial institution) across the US. Check out the highest yielding savings accounts here.

 

blog success is when preparation meets opportunity

#5 Choose You

This is the hardest free thing you might ever have to do: choose yourself over everything. Choose to save some money for an emergency instead of eating out. Choose to invest some money in a mutual fund instead of purchasing an extra excursion on a trip. Choose to think you’re going to create the exact life you’d like to have …   and then do the prep work so when your opportunity comes, you’re ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SALE

Bigger Than Your Block has worked with thousands of students from coast to coast over the last 11 years but there’s more work to be done. To make sure that we’re able to provide simple financial education to everyone that wants it, we’re having a massive sale this weekend.

Hardcopies of 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money, 2nd edition will be 60% OFF when purchased from the Bigger Than Your Block website. That’s right! You’ll get a physical copy of the book purchased by high schools and colleges around the country for the low price of $6.

10-Things-Shay-Olivarria.fw

Order your copy for only $6!

 

Graduation season is around the corner! Order as many copies as you’d like for only $6 right now. Prices return to normal next week. Help the students in your life get the financial education they deserve.

Actual Amazon reviews say:

I had two young people heading to college and I wanted to give them a gift that would prepare them for what’s ahead and to help them to be able to make knowledgeable decision regarding their/or their parent’s finances. Great investment. I would even recommend it to adults.”

Another informative read by Shay Olivarria. However, the title is misleading. 10 Things College Students Need to Know is not only for students. ANYONE can benefit from the information presented in this easy to read and understand format. I learned a lot of information that will benefit me as I work with my finances. As the other reviewer mentioned, this item makes a great gift. I bought it for my 13 year old son and I am more than convinced that he will benefit from the information. Don’t miss out!!

I just bought this book for my soon to be sophomore in college. It’s very I informative, I wish I knew this much about money when I was in college!

I LOVE this book! It is dense with information, yet easy to digest. This is the book that I wish I had when I was a senior in high school, before I went to college and ruined my credit. It took years of hard work and letter writing to get back on track.
I have purchased several copies to gift to friends whose children are starting their college journey in hopes that they can avoid the pitfalls I endured. She does motivational speaking too! Every high school and college campus should invite her to speak to their students. These are life skills that can change someone’s life for the better and set our students on the path to success without the burden of debt.

If you were never too keen on finances because it just seemed too complicated or you really just knew the basics and nothing else; then you need this book. I can honestly say that the author Shay Olivarria educates you in a very light way. Leaving you feeling happy about options and very much in the know about your next step. I have given this book as presents over and over again and will continue to do so. Not to mention it’s not boring, for she has quite the personality which makes the book fun and interesting. You don’t have this book? You’re missing out!

ORDER YOUR COPIES TODAY

 

20121221_100650

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. Previous clients include: Gateway Technical & Community College, SCE Credit Union, American Airlines Credit Union, and San Diego City Community College, among others. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times.The 2nd edition of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” is available now.

College Basics for Parents: Helping your kid graduate debt free

Bigger Than Your Block is pleased to announce a new FREE webinar for the parents of college students. Scholarship guru, and mom who used these strategies to get her daughter through undergrad with NO student loan debt, Gwen Richardson, will present College Basics for Parents: Helping your kid graduate debt free with the most dynamic financial education speaker working today, Shay Olivarria.

Gwen Richardson FB marketing orange.fw

 

In this FREE webinar Gwen Richardson, author of 101 Scholarship Applications: What It Takes to Obtain a Debt-Free Education, and Shay Olivarria, author of 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money, will help you navigate the money side of undergrad.

The webinar will cover:

  • How to find scholarships to apply to.
  • Strategies to help your student with scholarships.
  • Which two accounts your student needs to open to create financial wealth.
  • Tips and tricks to help your student learn to manage money while in school (in preparation for life).

REGISTER_NOW-BUTTON_orange check mark

Please join us:
or
Book pack.fw
Want to read the books before the webinar? You can order a copy of both for $30 total, including shipping. 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money sells on Amazon for $15 plus shipping on its own. If I were you, I’d run to get both for $30.
buynow-orange-2
See you at the webinar!

4 Financial Tips for College Students

college feature_student-moving-out-of-dorm-1431620168

It’s summer and families are planning to send their college students to dorms or apartments across the country. While you’re helping your student decide what they’ll take with them and talking about fall course selections, it’s also important to talk about financial education. Here are a few tips from “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” to help your college student get started on the right foot this fall.

#1 Read and Understand Student Loans

According to CNBC 70% of college students end up with taking out loans to pay for college. To make matters worse, the average loan amount is $37,172. Before your student takes on more debt than necessary (did you know you can refuse or “return” some of the monies offered by the Financial Aid Department) it’s important to think about what the return on investment of those borrowed dollars will be and create a plan to start paying the money back six months after graduation.

#2 Open an Account at a Credit Union

Now that your student is in college, they will need a checking account to cash checks and pay bills. Banks are an obvious solutions but have you considered a credit union? Credit unions perform the same function, and offer the same products, as banks but tend to have lower interest rates for loans (credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc.) and often have better customer service. Though individual credit unions are small, they work together to form large and powerful networks so customers have free access to ATMs across the country and can sometimes rely on other credit unions to function as branches for customers that may not have a credit union branch close to them. Click here to find a local credit union.

#3 Create an Emergency Fund

Since your student will be living away from home, it’s important for them to have a financial cushion in case something goes wrong. Helping your student grow a small sum in a savings account or money market account can help them plan better and feel secure knowing they don’t have to rely on mom and dad for small emergencies.

#4 Invest for Retirement

Even though your student hasn’t begun a career yet, it’s important to get into the habit of investing. Starting to invest now takes advantage of compound interest and sets the foundation for a future of financial security.

Regardless of if your student is a freshman or a senior, helping them create responsible saving and spending habits is a good idea.

 

SShayOlivarriaHeadshothay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. Previous clients include: Gateway Technical & Community College, SCE Credit Union, American Airlines Credit Union, and San Diego City Community College, among others. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times.The 2nd edition of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” is available now.

 

College Speaker Needed for EOPS Programs

college students 2018

It’s almost time to welcome the fall 2018 students into your Extended Opportunities, Programs, and Services program. As you’re planning what supports and resources you’ll offer, have you considered providing financial literacy?

Many EOPS students have been managing money successfully for a while now. Why not help them go to the next level? Book the most dynamic financial education speaker working today, Shay Olivarria, to provide a live workshop or live webinar for your students.

Shay works with colleges, credit unions, and businesses across the country to provide time-tested financial principles with humor and engagement. Common topics include:

  • Spending plans (what is is, why it’s important, and how to make one)
  • Net worth (why it’s the only way to figure out where you are financially)
  • Checking accounts (why you are being charged and how to avoid the charges)
  • Saving (common myths and some tips to help you stick to your goals)
  • Emergency Savings (how much you need and where you should keep it)
  • Credit (how it’s computed and how to raise your scores)
  • Debt (strategies to pay it off quickly and tips to keep it off)
  • Retirement Investing (what is it, how to navigate the options, and how to get started)
  • Student Loans (what’s expected of you, what’s available, and tips for paying it off)

 

To book Shay at your next event call (323) 596-1843.

 

 

SShayOlivarriaHeadshothay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. Previous clients include: Gateway Technical & Community College, SCE Credit Union, American Airlines Credit Union, and San Diego City Community College, among others. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times.The 2nd edition of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” is available now.

Low Cost Ways to Invest for Retirement

IMG_20180109_1353255

Thinking about retirement?

I work with college students, young professionals and people that generally don’t have $5,000 lying around to start investing for retirement. If you do, make sure to speak with a fee-only advisor (they don’t make commissions on products so their advice is non-biased) before you start investing. If you don’t I’ve come up with a list of investment options that you can use to get into the market and stick to your spending plan.

Thrivent 50 per month investing by length of time

This image is from the Thrivent website.

It’s important to remember, that investing is always risky. There is no way to guarantee that you’ll always earn money if you are investing in stocks. Please take a look at this list of low cost options for opening an investment account and do your homework. Call the organizations. Ask questions. Google.

Investment firms that allow you to open an account with no, or a few, dollars to start are expecting that you will make a monthly contribution. Most will let you “turn off” the monthly contribution on months where you just don’t have the money to spare but once your spending plan is set, you’ve decided to pay yourself first, and you are committed to investing early and often, it’s best to set the money to transfer from your checking account to your new investment account automatically.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are a few low barrier accounts you can open:

Open an Account With $0

Charles Schwab index funds – Choose an index fund with no minimum investment amount.

Nationwide Funds Group – Choose Automatic Asset Accumulation. From their website “When you invest the same amount on a regular basis, you buy fewer shares when the market is up and more shares when the market is down. This may cut your average cost per share because you’re buying fewer shares at a higher price and more shares at a lower price. This investment strategy is called dollar-cost averaging.”

A list of cheap robo-advisors can be found here. For those that are into technology want to open an account quickly (and use their spare change to do it, see Acorns app) this could be a good option.

 

Open an Account With $50

Thrivent Mutual Funds Automatic Purchase Plan – Easy to understand. Easy to set up.

 

Open an Account With $100

Monetta Low Minimum Investing – From their website, “Investing for your retirement or child’s educational expenses through a low minimum automatic investment plan (AIP) can be an effective way to accumulate assets. Funds are automatically deducted from your checking/savings account or paycheck. Studies indicate that regular automatic investing, also known as dollar cost averaging, has the potential to be an effective investment plan for long-term asset accumulation.”

 

For a few more low barrier mutual funds, visit here.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only, and should not be misconstrued as investment advice. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell specific funds.