Financial Literacy

Tips & Tweets: Get the #Money411 from the Experts

While Financial Literacy Month may be over, we at Mint live for sharing personal finance tips and tricks all year long!

MintLife readers recently joined a group of consumer finance experts during our #Money411 Twitter chat to discuss better money habits. Did you miss it? Not to worry: we couldn’t pass up sharing some of our favorite chat highlights and money saving tips.

Q: What are the first steps to take when establishing a budget?

  • Write or type it down. Seeing it will help you see what you are missing. Don’t forget the small stuff either. – ‪@DebbiKing
  • Start by adding up monthly expenses and subtract from monthly income, then plan how to spend remaining $$ – ‪@hperez
  • Realize that sticking to a budget does not happen right after you make one. You have to live it. Try it out for 3-6mo. – ‪@dougboneparth

Q: What are your #tips for first time young investors?

  • DON’T ignore your first job’s 401(k) plan, if they have one, even if you put in just a little bit of each paycheck. – ‏‪@OurKidsandMoney
  • Make sure you’ve covered your expenses (include CC bills) and are saving for emergencies before you start investing. – ‏‪@sharon_epperson

Q: What is more important: paying down #debt or #saving?

  • The sooner you pay off debt, the sooner you’ll have additional income you can dedicate to saving – ‪@hperez
  • It’s hard to save when your extra income is going toward debt payments. If you have debt with high interest rates, focus on that. – ‪@TeamFSINC
  • Remember, certain types of debt like mortgages and student loans (dep on your income) are deductible. If interest on a loan is deductible, it costs you less…so factor that in when prioritizing paying down hi to low debt. – ‪@BethKobliner

Q: How can you teach your kids about the value of money? And at what age?

  • Kids as young as 3 years old can understand basics like making choices and delaying gratification! Important 2 start early – ‪@BethKobliner
  • It’s never too early to teaching kids about ‪#money and ‪#finance. Financial literacy is paramount. Classroom it! – ‪@dougboneparth
  • The topic of the tooth fairy is a time to talk to your children about money. Ask how much they plan to spend and encourage to save. – ‪@TeamFSINC
  • Kids learn by example (any age) Show ’em anything acquired is earned not given. Make ’em feel pinch of spending their earned $ – ‪@PurpleSky2002

Q: What is the best approach to tackling student loans?

  • #1 Priority. Try to refinance all of your loans into one lower rate loan. Sacrifice a new car, an expensive vacation. – ‪@Reit_NotWrong
  • Don’t buy the stuff that your peers buy out of college. (Houses, cars etc.) I paid down $40,000 in a year and a half that way. – ‪@GenYMoneyMan
  • Consider consolidating fed student loans @ ‪http://stduentaid.gov/consolidation ‪@BethKobliner
  • Aggressively! They are not an asset & you do not need to hold on to them. Sacrifice and get rid of them as soon as possible – ‪@DebbiKing

To catch the entire Twitter chat, just plug #Money411 in your Twitter search bar and get started on better money habits.