Monthly Archives: August 2015

Safe Deposit Box Tips

Hello Friends,

Money is a source of anxiety for many people.  But educating yourself about the subject matter will result in less stress.  Remember what you don’t know can hurt you.

How would you answer the following question – true or false?

Are the contents of a safe deposit box insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an agency of the Federal Government)?


The FDIC insures only money in bank accounts.  While a safe deposit box is certainly a better place for storing important papers and valuables, it’s not impenetrable.

Some easy ways to protect the contents of your safe deposit box include:

  • Seal your stuff – boxes can get flooded so pack whatever you store in watertight plastic bags.
  • Create a backup – make digital copies of documents and store them somewhere else.
  • Pick a co-tenant with care – if you should ever become disabled, you may want to have someone else besides yourself have access to the box.  Just make sure you can trust the co-tenant.
  • If you have a will, it’s better to have the original copy stored somewhere other than a safe deposit box.
  • Pay the box rent.  If you don’t, the state may seize the contents as unclaimed property.

Play the money-o game on banking to further reinforce your knowledge on this subject.  And thanks for reading my blogs.  My best wishes as always.

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Financial Education Programs Backfire?

Hello Friends,

Why do some financial education programs backfire?

That question was answered by Loyola Law School professor, Lauren Willis. She summoned it up by saying that as some programs are taught, the financial education “appears to increase confidence without improving ability, leading to worse decisions.”

Patience and temperament are terribly important traits . Effective money management results from a disciplined behavior, which is most easily mastered if learned early in life. Yet, many of us don’t learn how to manage our money until we are adults. And the sad truth today is that half of Americans can’t come up with $2,000 in 30 days for an emergency.

Yes, some of the best things in life are free, but everything else takes money to buy. And some of the most important events in our life involve money. Getting married, having a child, going to college, planning retirement, enduring a major illness and getting a divorce are just some of the major events in which money plays a role.

So, thank you for reading my blogs, and I encourage you to break your complex and overwhelming tasks into smaller, manageable ones in order to improve your financial know how. Remember, no one is going to care more about your money than YOU. I currently have a MONEY-O game on banking and will soon add one on credit and investing. If you like playing games, play them to help you learn basic money concepts.

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Pay Off Small Debts First?

Hello Friends,

Paying off small debts first may be the best way to get you in the black quicker. I know that may sound the opposite of what many financial experts recommend – paying off the highest interest rate debt first and the minimum on all other debt. With paying the highest interest rate debt first, you do save as much money as possible in interest payments.

But first ask yourself, do you have the motivation to stay with the game plan of paying off your highest interest rate debt first? Or do you need to win small victories like paying off small debts first to give you the motivation to meet a larger goal. With this approach, you feel that any results are success even if it’s not reaching the total goal.  Paying off smaller, lower-interest debts first probably will result in your paying more interest over time.  And it could result in considerable more money.  However, if you are motivated and have positive financial behaviors, for you saving the most money is your best strategy.

You, yes you, are the one who has to determine what works for you in solving your money problems. Think balance, not sacrifice.  And ask yourself: what makes you happy; where do you want to be in 3-5 years; what worries you most about money.

I like the following quote but truly don’t know who said it – “if it is to be, it is up to me.”

I encourage you to continue your pursuit of gaining a greater understanding of managing your moolah!

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Bank Fined for Failing to Credit

Hello Friends,

Bank Fined for Failing to Credit Customers for Full Deposits

The Wall Street Journal reported on August 12, 2015, that Citizens Financial Group Inc. has been ordered to pay at least $34.5 million for failing to credit customers’ accounts the full amount of their deposits. Apparently, Citizens Bank often failed to give customers full credit to their accounts for amounts scanned or manually written on their deposit slips. In others words, the bank did not credit the customer’s account for the full amount of the check/s and cash the customers actually deposited.

Citizens falsely told customers it would verify their deposits. However, the bank’s policy was to verify and correct deposit inaccuracies only if the deposits were above a $25 or $50 threshold or beginning point.

So, why am I telling you this? Because I know how important it is for all of us to check our financial records. Errors whether intentional or unintentional are made. It is up to you to practice due diligence. In other words, constant care and caution where your finances are concerned.

If you play my MONEY-O game on BANKING, you will hear me tell about a banking teller who took just one penny from customers’ monthly bank statements, which amounted to his pocketing millions. Luckily he was caught.

Please play the game so that you increase your financial knowledge and not become a victim of intentional or unintentional financial mistakes.

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Are you a creature of financial habit?

Hello Friends,

Recently, I reread Jack Canfield’s revised and updated book, “The Success Principles, How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.”  I originally read the book to help me with my financial counseling and teaching at the Submarine Base in Groton, CT.

It became clear during my counseling sessions that people were creatures of habit.  In his book, Canfield states that “about 85% of our behavior is habit, and it takes about 100 days to change a habit or behavior.  So the key is to change your behavior for a different outcome.”  Well, sometimes it’s not so easy.  A partial solution may be to automate and simplify your life.  Why?  Because research has shown that the more choices people have, the more likely they are to delay or take no action.  Look at all the choices we have from cereal to beer!!  Ever get confused – I have.

So, talking about money – automating your savings, no matter how small the amount, is one action move to simplify your life.  If this simple move can reduce your financial stress, it may be worth trying.

I realize there has been a break in my writing of my blog.  Lately, I have taken no action with my website.  Well, I did say that sometimes it’s not so easy, but I plan on moving forward small steps at a time to keep this blog going.


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