In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
April is Financial Literacy Month, and I’m taking the concept very literally with some finance book recommendations. There are many books on finance out there, of course, but here are a few of the best books about personal finance, money management, and our financial system that I’ve read.
People have been lending for thousands of years, even before money. The grain banks of ancient Egypt bought and sold commodities based on their value in grain. It feels natural for the concept of a “loan,” something that is so integral to modern everyday life, to be almost as old as civilization itself. Surprisingly, some aspects of lending that we take for granted today are relatively new. Although lending itself has been around longer than written history, the first credit bureaus were created less than 300 years ago, and credit scores are only about 30 years old.
Financial literacy is more than just the knowledge you need to make responsible financial decisions. It’s also the ability to put that knowledge to good use. Those who are financially literate can create a budget and manage their checking account. They understand how credit cards work and how to use them without racking up debt. And they know what is involved in saving for their future financial needs like college, a home, or retirement.
There are so many reasons to celebrate Women’s History Month, most notably the trailblazers and visionaries of the past and present, who have championed gender equality, calling out the economic, social, cultural, and political oppression women have faced for over a century.
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The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has been passed by both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. It now heads to President Biden’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law as early as this week. Among a variety of economic recovery initiatives, the bill includes direct payments to Americans. Here is what you need to know!
What do you do when your paycheck doesn’t cover your monthly bills? This has become a larger problem for people during the pandemic, but it can be a problem at any time. You may just hit a bad month, where expenses got out of control; or you may have lost a job, found yourself caring for a sick family member, or maybe your expenses increased but your paycheck didn’t. Either way, if you’re in a situation where you’re missing bill payments or skipping meals so you can meet other financial responsibilities, it’s time to take action.
Debt can be a complicated or sensitive topic, but it’s important to discuss because it’s crucial to our personal finances. Your credit score is impacted by the amount of debt you have, whether you are paying off your debt on time, your credit card balance(s), and more. Debt can also have you spending significant sums on interest alone. According to financial data from Zillow, Forbes, and TransUnion, the average American will pay just under $900 a year in interest on their credit card debt. However, not all debt is bad. Sometimes debt can help to improve your credit score, make a sound investment in your future, and more. Understanding the difference between good debt and bad debt can help you determine what debts to pay off first or avoid going into certain types of debt.
Is your credit score preventing you from qualifying for the best loan rates or from being approved for a loan? Do you feel like you don't even know where to begin to get your credit back on track? Have you been ignoring the problem because facing it head on simply feels too daunting? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you and millions of other Americans are in the same boat. Fret not! Getting your credit back on track doesn't have to be as formidable of a challenge as you may have thought!