Financial Literacy for Teens

by Admin 21. August 2008

Teaching teens and young adults to spend responsibly is a major feat – to say the least. A new prepaid MasterCard, however, aims to do just that. The facecard is a prepaid and reloadable card that is targeted towards teens 13 and up. The card is accepted anywhere MasterCard is and can be electronically funded by parents for allowances or emergency funds which are available within 15 minutes. The teens can access the funds in stores and ATMs worldwide up to their current balance, which parents can monitor from anywhere online. There are no activation or monthly maintenance charges for using the facecard, but there are fees for international purchases, using an ATM, inactive accounts and negative balance incidents.

The interesting part is that facecard functions as a pseudo social network, allowing the parents and teens to create profiles, set their preferences and find each other online. Funds can be sent to other facecard holders via the site to repay loans or give gifts.

There is also a “prewards” program with partner companies and advertisers can reward cardholders for loyalty by periodically adding funds to their card for use at particular stores. Parents and teens can indicated in their profiles what types of prewards they would be interested in.

Representatives from the Nashville-based company will reportedly be visiting 50 college campuses on Saturday, August 30th with information. With a market of 82 million teens and annual spending of almost $350 billion, this clearly makes good sense.

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A fresh new look for Mint.com

by Admin 19. August 2008

A lot has changed with the online account aggregator Mint.com over the past year. One of the most notable is the number of users, now topping 400,000. That may be a small number for a consumer service, but it is enough to make Mint the largest online personal finance service to date. While traditional, desktop based software like Intuit’s Quicken has a larger share of the market; Mint has a larger user base than Quicken’s web version.

An interesting fact about Mint’s users is that they are younger than Quicken’s, and 40 percent of its new users are women. Quicken and Microsoft Money is still 85 percent men.

The most obvious change is the clean, new look of the site which included a complete overhaul of the homepage.

The service also now connects to investment accounts, loans – including student, car, and personal – and mortgages. I have been using Mint for almost a year now and I have found the service to be extremely useful. I have not utilized any of the recommendations to save money but I enjoy the accounts overview and automated transaction labeling.

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Set a snooze for events.

by Admin 15. August 2008

We have all been there, someone asks you to pick something up or you have to attend an event that is not part of your usual weekly routine and you forget. I do this on a regular basis, most of it being work related – let’s hope that doesn’t show up in my next review. What is one to do if you don’t have an iPhone or Blackberry to remind you? In steps Resnooze.

Resnooze is an online tool that lets you schedule in daily, weekly and/or monthly reminders to do something. What makes this tool interesting and separate from Google or Yahoo’s calendar tool is the multiple options you have once a reminder is delivered to you. You can simply get rid of it, or be reminded about it again – hence the whole “snooze” thing.

For now, Resnooze is limited to e-mail nagging, so if you’re looking for a more intrusive solution you might want to simply use or stick with Google or Yahoo calendars, both of which have an option for mobile SMS and instant-messaging reminders, although neither have the “snooze” option.

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