Tuesday, May 6, 2014

One Year of Money Matters


I first started Money Matters on May 6, 2013. It has now officially been a year! 

I've decided to stop writing blog posts because I know now that there are a lot of more active ways to help people get financially literate. I'll be spending more of my time attempting to organize events, talk to leaders in the community, etc., when time allows. 

Because of Money Matters, I have been able to meet some really awesome people who are passionate about financial literacy. I've been able to help my friends, learn things for myself, and spend time thinking about money. I'm glad I tried this whole blogging thing. 

As always, keep letting me know if you have questions about anything of this stuff. I'd love to help you out. :) 

Thanks for reading, 

Joan 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Messages From Readers: Time Is On Our Side

This is a cool looking clock.

A while ago, I wrote a post about certificates of deposit, and received a quite detailed comment. I’ve reposted it here for those who are interested in this stuff. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Totally Do-Able Investment Plan For Anybody Ever


Read this if: 

1) You want to invest but don’t because [ insert any reason here ]. 

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One of the best things you can do for yourself, especially when you are young, is to invest. Let time and the magic of compounding take care of things. Read on for an example and some motivational talk. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Messages From Readers: An Even Easier, Simpler Way to Invest


Read this if: 

1) You have been investing in stocks or mutual funds. 
2) You’re just curious what “reinvestment” means. 
3) You know what “dividends” and “capital gains” are. If you don’t, read my post here.  



A while ago, I wrote about an investment strategy called “dollar cost averaging,” and later, I explained the difference between dividends and capital gains. This post will explain some more things regarding dividends and capital gain based on a suggestion from a reader. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mishaps in Money: Getting My License

The only type of automobile I'm comfortable driving.
Read this if: 

1) You are interested in learning how I got my license. It’s an uplifting tale. 
2) You want to think about the expenses that come with getting a car. 

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In the state of Maryland, you are allowed to get your Learner’s Permit at 15 and nine months. I did just that, and ended up getting my license 5 years and 7 months later. The amount of time isn’t what bothered me, it’s actually how much I had to spend...


Monday, March 31, 2014

4 Ways To Get Yourself a Job - I'm sure these are ground-breaking tips

Two of my favorite words. 
Read this if: 

1) You don’t know how to start looking for a job. 

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After I changed majors last semester, I had no idea how to apply for an internship in my new field. I didn't know how interviews worked, what my resume needed to have, or what kind of jobs there were. Here are four things I started doing while trying to figure out the job-search process, and I think they have worked out well for me. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

How Inflation Works (and why it matters)

Balloons, inflating, get it? Ahahaha.
Read this if: 

1) You want to know about a slightly more complex and significantly less exciting aspect of investing. 
2) You want another reason to motivate yourself to start investing (instead of just keeping your money in a bank account). 

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I think we've all heard the term "inflation." I took an entire intro course on this and all I can tell you is this: as time goes on, things get cost more money to buy. I think everyone should have a general grasp of inflation, because it does impact your investments. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Is College Worth a Bajillion Dollars (of debt)?


I am also a part-time comic strip artist.

Read this if: 

1) You want to read about my thoughts on college debt. 

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Throughout my entire high school education, I was convinced that college was the only option after I graduated. At any cost, a high school graduate needs to go to college. That was my impression. But now I know that while it is absolutely true that it's hard to make a living without a college degree, it’s not impossible. 

In fact there is an even worse case scenario that many people sweep under the rug: what if you go to college, go into massive debt, and STILL DON’T FIND A JOB. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Taxes: Guide to E-Filing


Read this if: 

1) If you need to file taxes this year and you want to do it electronically. (If you're not sure if you need to, check here.) 

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Tax returns are due on April 15th every year. By now you've probably figured out if you need to file, but may not be sure about where to file. I recommend doing it online, and this post will guide you through the steps.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Eight Easy Things To Do For Good Financial Health

Ideally, your check list would have actual stuff on it to check off. 
Read this if: 

1) You want to know when you should do what for your money. 

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I’ve realized that there are lots of things that I should do regularly that I sometimes forget to do. Here’s a checklist for you (and me). 

Monday, February 24, 2014

How You Get Money From Investing

This stuff is also applicable to mutual funds and index funds!
Read this if: 

1) You have investments (ex. stocks, mutual funds) but you don’t know how they get you more money. 
2) You want to read my blog post, just for the heck of it. 
3) You know a bit about investing already. (If not, read this.)

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We all know that investing can lead to wealth, but how does it actually happen? What is about investing that actually increases how much money you personally have? Allow me to enlighten you! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dollar Cost Averaging: Investment Strategy For Newbies

I thought this was a really cool variation of a calendar.

Read this if: 

1) You want to start investing but you don’t know how much money to invest. 
2) You don’t know how often to put money into your investments. 

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When I first started looking into investments, one of my biggest concerns was how much to invest. I was told about the concept of “dollar cost averaging,” which I will explain here. I think it's very useful for anyone who is just starting to invest, and is especially good for long term investing (which is what I encourage people to do). 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Journey to Plushies Part 1: First Sale!

Focus on the yellow thing, which is Duckee the Duck (I made him with my bare hands).
Read this if: 

1) You want to know how I made $5. 

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A couple of months ago, I decided to hand-sew a stuffed animal (or "plushie" as I like to call them) for my boyfriend. After that, I realized how much I liked sewing and making cute things, and I made a whole bunch more. They were all pretty simple and I ended up giving most of them away. 


Monday, February 3, 2014

Basics: Investing In Stocks


Read this if: 

1) You want to start investing in individual stocks but you don’t know how. 

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I’ve read a lot about how people got rich because they picked the right stock at the right time. It all sounds very attractive, but there is significantly more risk involved in stock trading (than, say, investing in mutual funds). For those of you who want to try it, here’s a guide to the basics of stock trading.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What We Pay to Invest


Read this if: 

1) You want to know how you get charged for investing. 

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Most people know that in order to invest, we have to pay the company that we’re investing with some kind of fee. How much and how often depends on the kind of investment we’re making, and it’s a good idea to understand what you’re paying. In general, there are two basic kinds of payment methods: expense ratio and transaction fees. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Searching for Scholarships

Gotta love the internet.

Read this if: 

1) You need/want scholarships for college. 
2) You don’t know where to find scholarships. 

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I’ve been lazy. I know there is a lot of free money out there for school, but I haven’t bothered to look for the first two years of college. It’s time to change that (mostly because now I know I have to stay an extra year). Read on for some tips on finding and applying for scholarships!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Basics: Tax Returns

This is related to taxes. You'll see.
Read this if: 

1) You don’t know if you need to file this year. 
2) You know you need to file taxes but don’t know where to start. 

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This is the first year that I will be filing, and I am taking notes! Read on for my expert guidance. :D 

Monday, January 6, 2014

FAFSA - It's fun to say!

I miss these desks. :( 

Read this if: 

1) You are a college student and you don’t know what the FAFSA is. 
2) You know what the FAFSA is but you don’t know how to fill it out. 

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is just that - a free application that you fill out to get federal financial aid. It’s definitely possible that if your parents make over a certain income that you won’t qualify, but for some people it is worthwhile to fill it out.