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.
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.
... because women are still being charged extra for being female.
It’s funny how you can know something, but it doesn’t really set in until you read about it in numerical form. The Nation’s article “The High Cost of Being a Woman” by Bryce Covert was that moment for me. Not only did she mention the same things I already knew (women are charged more for everything, we make less than males, blah, blah, blah ..) but she was able to bring them to a level that’s easy to understand. Her article got some help from a Jezebel article and a Marie Claire article.
When it comes to home loans, the Consumer Federation of America found in 2006 that women were 32 perecnt more likely to end up with high-interest subprime loans, even if when they had better credit ratings than the men. This may not be a case of discrimination, but rather the result of the way women tend to shop for things. Economists theorize that we rely on word-of-mouth rather than just taking the lowest rate from whomever is offering it. We aren’t as likely to negotiate either, which puts us at a disadvantage when buying cars, homes, or other big items like appliances.
Some other interesting points from both articles include:
On average, women now pay $200 more for a car than a white man would, and black women pay a whopping $400 more.
The gender wage gap stood at 82 cents on the dollar for the same work men do. That gap ends up costing women $431,000 in pay over a 40-year career.
Women pay more just to get their shirts dry cleaned (even though a “blouse” and a man’s dress shirt is basically the same thing).
As we are all becoming more savvy about personal finance, it’s important to remember that we all have agency. It’s up to each of us to know the P.I.L. of every loan and stand up for ourselves. We don’t have to beg for anything. We know what our assets are, we know what we need/want, and we’re going to find professionals that bring value to our financial lives.
I had the pleasure of closing out my Cross Country In A Ford adventure in San Diego. I delivered a free workshop entitled, “10 Money Tips for Students” based on my new book 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money. We laughed, we cried, we …. well… we didn’t cry, but you know what I mean. You can view more of the workshop, see what vendors were there, and hear what participants had to say by visiting the Cross Country In A Ford site.
Here’s a clip from the workshop about finding a loan:
As more and more people become fed up with large banks and their:
– ridiculous fees for just about any/everything
– horrible customer service
– unwillingness to help people/small businesses when they need it
it becomes more and more clear to me that putting your money in a credit union is the way to go. Not only do credit unions provide more opportunity for you to build a relationship with those entrusted with managing your money, they also provide the opportunity for each customer to make decisions about the policies, fees, etc. of that financial institution. Yep, you heard me right. As a member of a credit union you are part owner of said credit union. Instead of having no voice in decisions involving your money you have an equal vote with every other shareholder (credit union member) about what goes on at that credit union.
Now, if that’s not awesome enough for you or you don’t have a credit union that’s close to you, consider this: you can start your own credit union. Credit unions are usually started by a group of people with a similar interest, say they all are the same religion, work at the same place, or engage in the same hobby. Creating a credit union can be done in 10 steps. You’ll need at least 500 people to state that they are interested, fill out some paperwork, find a CPA to help out and collect about $25 from each member.
I’m not saying that starting your own bank is an easy as snapping your fingers, but I’m saying that it might not be as complicated you might think.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me that monitoring their credit score isn’t important. I’ve heard everything from, “I don’t use credit anyway” to “mine is already bad, so whatever”. Folks don’t realize that though we usually think of credit cards when we think of credit, our credit scores are used to dictate many areas of our lives.
Utility deposits – many utility companies will want to run your credit score in order to turn your services on. You may be asked to provide a deposit if your credit score isn’t up to snuff. We all need electricity, water, gas, etc. Keeping your credit score up lowers your total moving costs by not requiring deposits.
Jobs – employers have been known to run your credit and conduct a background search. More and more often that stack of papers in your application packet will include a request you pull your credit scores. Employers think that if you have a low score you might be tempted to steal or might be distracted from working. Having education and experience is great, but in this day and age it might not be enough to land a great job.
Loans – the interest rate that you will be offered on car loans, home loans, credit cards, etc. is based, in part, on your credit score. The higher the score the lower the interest rate. The lower the interest rate, the more money you save.
It’s important to monitor your 3 credit reports. Make sure that your reports are error free and that you’re taking proactive steps to keep your scores as high as possible. Read more about how to maintain stellar credit scores in Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook.
Every tax season I see ads suggesting that getting a same day refund is an awesome way to start off the tax season. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Same day tax refund are loans.
Let’s be clear. The reason that tax preparers are so anxious to “help” you get your tax refund the same day because 1) you are taking out a loan with a very high interest rate and 2) they get a piece of that loan. Don’t be fooled by all the marketing and smiles of the people trying to sell you on same day tax refunds. There is no reason you need to spend money to get the money the government has used interest free all year. It doesn’t make sense if you say it out loud, “I’m going to pay ___(insert company name)____ $_(insert fee amount)____ to get the money that the government owes me”.
Filing electronically is safe, fast, and may be free.
Find out if you are able to have your tax return prepared for free. If you’re filing a 1040EZ or 1040 it’s entirely possible that you can have someone help you file electronically and have your refund deposited directly into your credit union or bank account. Your money will be deposited quickly, safely, and in full. Why waste upwards of $50 of your hard earned money to get your refund a week or two early?