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swipeKeeping a $20 bill in your pocket can seem like an enticement to spend it. That cash can also help you have less credit card debt by not having to swipe a credit card for small purchases.

A recent study by the Urban Institute found that using cash when a purchase is under $20 left the consumer with $104 less in revolving debt, on average. That dropped their credit card balances 2 percent below their baseline average.

For young people, the $20 cash rule led to more savings. People under 40 who were reminded "Don't swipe the small stuff" and to use cash on purchases for less than $20 had $173 less in revolving debt. ...continue reading

good money traitsIt is crucial that your child has an idea of personal finance at a young age. You want them to grow up knowing how to pay their bills and understanding what it means to be in debt. Here are five ways you can teach your child about personal finance that can also be fun and memorable.

1. Take Them Grocery Shopping

Encourage your teen to participate in a “grocery day” with you to better understand financial literacy. Sit down with your child before shopping and go over your budget and your list. Explain to them how much you are looking to spend and the food you need for the week/month.

Have them help you coupon clip and try and make a goal to save a specific dollar amount. Take them with you to the store and have them help you look for each product. Make sure you stay within budget; you might want to consider bringing only cash with you so you don’t go over.

You can turn this into a fun adventure! This can make grocery shopping fun for the both of you.

2. Invite Them to Help You Organize Your Receipts

 After your holiday shopping, you might be stuck with a lot of receipts and bills. Invite your child to help you organize your receipts to understand how much expenses cost. Your child may be surprised to learn how expensive things can be. This might teach them to think twice before asking for luxury items next year.

Your child also may be interested in holding a job so they can pay for more discretionary expenses on their own. You could even teach them a little about tax on products when going through your receipts. ...continue reading

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savingsAs most teachers will probably tell you: Give kids the tools they need to learn, and they'll use them well.

The same holds true with giving them access to savings accounts, direct deposit and goal setting, according to a new study by America Saves on such things on low-income youth workers.

It found that low-income urban youth will save consistently when giving access to savings tools.

The survey respondents were 16-20 years old, participated in a summer employment program, and had low or moderate family incomes, according to the group America Saves for Young Workers.

Here are some of the highlights of the report: ...continue reading