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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


Help Your Mom Get Organized for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is May 11. If you're wracking your brain for ways to show your mom appreciation for all the sacrifices she made while raising you, here's a thought: Why not offer to spend some time helping to sort through her...

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Why Disability Insurance Is Critical

Most people understand why having life insurance is a good idea: Nobody wants to leave their survivors in a financial lurch if they were to die suddenly. But what if you suffer an accident or illness and don't die, but rather,...

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Reining in Prom Expenses

If you've got teenagers, you already know how expensive high school can be. Besides food, clothing and school supplies, a whole host of extracurricular activities are competing for a share of your wallet – even as you frantically try to save...

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Demystifying Credit Scores

One of the few positive outcomes of the 2008 financial crisis was that it helped shine a light on the importance of understanding and staying on top of your credit profile. Along with that heightened visibility, however, has come a great...

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Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely

Last year the IRS doled out over 110 million income tax refunds averaging $2,803. Another way to look at it is that collectively, Americans overpaid their taxes by nearly $310 billion in 2012. Part of that is understandable: If you don't...

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Resist the Urge to Tap Retirement Plans Early

I have yet to meet anyone who thinks they're saving too much money for retirement. On the contrary, most people admit they're probably setting aside too little. Retirement accounts must compete with daily expenses, saving up for a home, college and...

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New Mortgage Rules Protect Against Risky Loans

Good news for people shopping for a mortgage – and for current homeowners facing foreclosure because they can no longer afford their home loan: New mortgage regulations drafted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently took effect and they provide a...

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Don't Forfeit Past Tax Refunds

Does this sound familiar? A few years back your yearly earnings were pretty low so you figured you wouldn't owe any income tax. Thus, when April 15 rolled around the following year you didn't bother filing a tax return, knowing you...

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Money-Saving Tips for Seniors

We all love a good bargain, no matter what our But if you're a senior citizen on a fixed income, finding discounted goods and services can mean the difference between making ends meet and going The good news is that tons...

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Self-Employed? Don't Forget These Tax-Filing Tips

Calculating income taxes is a royal pain, even when your situation is uncomplicated enough that you can file a 1040EZ Form. And if you're self-employed, be prepared for extra layers of complexity. Not only must you file an annual return with...

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Foreign Money Transfers Just Got Safer

If you're among the millions of U.S. residents who each year send tens of billions of dollars to family, friends or foreign businesses overseas, here's good news: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently instituted new rules governing international electronic money transfers...

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Should You Buy Pet Insurance?

One topic I've learned to avoid with new acquaintances until I know them better (along with politics and religion) is where they stand on the treatment of pets. Some people, when their dog gets sick or badly injured, say, "It's an...

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Don't Fall for Valentine's Day Scams

On Valentine's Day, people's emotions run all over the map – some are head-over-heels and want to shower their loved one with gifts, while others are despondent because currently they have no one special in their life. Whatever your love status,...

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Rule Changes Tighten Reverse Mortgage Eligibility

Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular in recent years, as cash-strapped seniors seek ways to keep pace with rising expenses – not to mention cope with the pummeling their retirement savings took during the Great Recession. But the Department of Housing...

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How to Spot a Bad Moving Company

Moving is already traumatic and expensive enough; the last thing you want to worry about is getting ripped off by your mover. Yet each year, the Better Business Bureau receives thousands of complaints against moving companies, mostly alleging lost or damaged...

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A Guide to Managing Someone Else's Finances

Anyone who's ever been asked to step in and manage their parents' or someone else's personal finances can tell you that it's an awesome responsibility – and by "awesome," I don't mean "totally cool." It's more like "inspiring an overwhelming feeling...

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Retirement Plan Limits Largely Unchanged in 2014

Anyone who's bought groceries, filled their gas tank or paid insurance premiums recently would probably be surprised to learn that, according to Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the rate of inflation is relatively flat – only...

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What If Your Car Gets Totaled?

Each year, auto insurance companies declare millions of vehicles to be "totaled," meaning it's not worth the cost to repair them. It doesn't matter whether the car was damaged in a collision, during a flood or after a thief's joyride went...

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Do Your Homework Before Buying a Timeshare

Full disclosure: I've always been somewhat skeptical of timeshares. I understand the appeal of having a guaranteed vacation home in an area you love and being able to swap your unit for a place halfway around the world. But I worry...

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Why Was Your Credit Card Transaction Denied?

We've all had these moments: You're at a romantic restaurant and the evening went great. But just as you and your date are readying to leave, an embarrassed waiter appears and whispers, "I'm afraid your card has been denied." So much...

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