Budgeting ResourcesCreating and maintaining a budgetpracticalmoneyskills.com/budgetingBudget ancial low cticalMoneyyoutube.com/PracticalMoneySkillsThis guide is one of a series onPractical Money Skills.Budgeting BasicsCredit HistoryCredit Card BasicsDebit Card BasicsIdentity TheftMobile BankingPrepaid Card BasicsFor more information, visitwww.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.PRACTICALMONEY GUIDESBudgetingBasicsLearn to create and stickto a budget.Learn tocreate andstick to abudget.
Budget WorksheetCreate Your BudgetElements of a BudgetA budget helps you pay your bills on time,be prepared for emergencies and reach yourfinancial goals. Take control of your finances byfollowing these five steps.There are some basic guidelines on how muchof your income should go toward differentexpenses (after taxes). You can adjust thesenumbers to fit your finances.Monthly Net Income1. Set GuidelinesIf you choose to spend more on some expenses,remember to reduce other costs accordingly. Setguidelines on how much money should go towarddifferent expenses.Average Americans Spending Habits2. Add Up Your IncomeTo set a monthly budget, you need to know howmuch money you're earning. Make sure you includeall income like salary, interest, pension and anyother sources.3. Estimate ExpensesReevaluate needs and wants when developingmonthly fixed and flexible expenses.4. Find the DifferenceSubtract your expenses from your income to findhow much disposable income you have. If it's anegative number, reduce your expenses.5. Track, Trim and TargetAfter creating your budget, track your actualincome and expenses. You may be surprised to seewhat you spend on unnecessary expenses. Adjustyour budget to fit your lifestyle and financial goals.Smartphone apps and online servicescan help you create a personalizedbudget and will automatically track yourspending for you.Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, e #1 Income #2 Interest Other Total Income Monthly Flexible ExpensesFood/Groceries Life Insurance & PensionsEntertainment evaluate your budget any time thereare significant changes in your income orexpenses, like a salary raise or a changein rent.Getting StartedThe first step to creating a budget is to determinehow much income you have and how you’respending it. Use our Budget Worksheet to gain abetter understanding of your current budget andhow much you should be saving and spending inorder to reach your financial goals. Remember thatfixed expenses stay the same from one month tothe next while flexible expenses are costs thatchange each month.Get SMART About ExpensesWith your budget in place, let the tracking begin.After determining where your money is going, itwill be easier to make decisions and gain controlof your spending. Cutting back is usually abetter place to start than completely removingan expense. After trimming extra spending, ithelps to have a goal to save for each month.Setting a goal needs to be SMART:SSpecific enough to suggest action. MMeasurable to know when you have met your goal.Utilities AAttainable goals that are reasonable and possible.OtherTotal Flexible Expenses RRelevant goals that make sense for your life.TTime-related objectives with a target date.Monthly Fixed ExpensesHousing Debt Payments Transportation Insurance Other Total Fixed Expenses Total ExpensesTotal Monthly IncomeTotal Monthly Expenses(add flexible and fixed expenses)Total for Saving & Investing(Subtract total monthly expenses fromtotal monthly income) Reallocate the money you have saved eachmonth and divert it to an emergency fundfor unexpected expenses.
Credit BureausEquifaxReport Order: 1.800.685.1111Fraud Hotline: 1.888.766.0008www.equifax.comExperianReport Order: 1.888.397.3742Fraud Hotline: 1.888.397.3742www.experian.comTransUnionReport Order: 1.877.322.8228Fraud Hotline: 1.800.680.7289www.tuc.comThis guide is one of a series onPractical Money Skills.Budgeting BasicsCredit HistoryCredit Card BasicsDebit Card BasicsIdentity TheftMobile BankingPrepaid Card BasicsFor more information, visitwww.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.PRACTICALMONEY GUIDESCreditHistoryYour credit history and how itaffects your future.Learn what acredit historyis and how tomake the mostof yours.
What Is a Credit History?Who Can See Your Credit Report?To predict your financial future, many businesseslook at your financial past through your creditreport. A credit history is a profile within a creditreport that shows how you've handled money inthe past.Your credit report can and most likely will bereviewed by anyone planning to give you a loanor credit, such as:Your credit report is kept on file by threeindependent credit bureaus: Experian,TransUnion and Equifax.Banks andCredit UnionsInsuranceCompaniesIt May Include Information Like: How promptly you have paid off credit cardsand loans. How reliably you have paid other bills, like rentand utilities. Your total outstanding debts. Your available credit on mortgages, bank cards,auto loans and other lines of credit.You can download free resources andestimate your FICO credit scores online atwww.whatsmyscore.org.You are entitled to receive a free copy of your creditreport once every 12 months. Order yours onlinefrom annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.You will need to verify your identity with your name,birth date, address and Social Security number.LandlordsAuto FinancingCompaniesAnyone with a legitimate business need can accessyour credit report, though an employer typicallyrequires your written consent to do so.PoorFairGoodComplete credit applications carefully andaccurately.Use your credit cards responsibly: don’t letthem reach their limit or spend beyond yourmeans.Credit CardIssuersPotentialEmployersEight Tips to Keep Your CreditScore StrongExcellent300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850Your Credit ScoreWhen you apply for credit, lenders determine risk bychecking your credit scores (also known as FICO scores). Credit scores are calculated by measuringyour ability to repay credit and are recorded in yourcredit reports. FICO scores range from 300 to 850,and only 1 percent of Americans have a perfectscore according to Fair Issac. The higher your score,the lower your perceived risk to a lender, and themore likely you are to receive favorable credit terms.If you have a low credit score, you may be rejectedor charged a higher rate of interest.Attempt to pay your credit card balancein full each month, but at least make theminimum payment by the due date.If you have problems paying your bills,contact your creditors. They'll often workwith you to figure out a payment plan.If you move, let your creditors knowyour new address as soon as possibleto avoid missing bills or other importantcorrespondence.If your credit card is lost or stolen, report itimmediately.Review your credit reports periodically andreport any errors immediately.Establish a consistent work history.If your credit card is lost or stolen, report itto the issuer immediately to protect yourcredit score from being affected.Correcting Credit Report ErrorsIf your credit report contains any mistakes,credit bureaus are legally bound to correctthem at no charge if you inform them of theproblem in writing within 30 days of receivingyour report. Be sure to include documentationto support your claim. If you're not satisfied withthe result of the bureau's investigation, you cansend a written statement of up to 100 words toclarify your claim. In many cases, the bureau willinclude your statement with any future reportsthat contain the disputed information.Avoid "Fast Fixes" For Accurate Credit ProblemsIf you've had any late payments, foreclosures,or repossessions, this information stays in yourcredit report for up to 7 years. If you've filed forbankruptcy, this information can stay in yourreport for up to 10 years.Late Payments, Foreclosures, Repossessions7 YearsBankruptcy10 YearsBeware of companies who claim they can "fix"or "remove" these issues for a fee: it is legallyimpossible to alter an accurate credit history.If you find yourself in financial trouble, contact theNational Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC),the nation's largest national nonprofit creditcounseling network, by calling 1-800-388-2227 orvisiting www.nfcc.org.
Debt Management ResourcesThere's help available when you're strugglingfinancially. If you think you’re falling behind inpayments, credit counseling resources are availableat little or no cost.National Foundation for Credit Counseling1.800.388.2227www.nfcc.orgThe Federal Trade umer/credit/debt.shtmAmerican Consumer Credit Counseling1.800.769.3571www.consumercredit.comThis guide is one of a series onPractical Money Skills.Budgeting BasicsCredit HistoryCredit Card BasicsDebit Card BasicsIdentity TheftMobile BankingPrepaid Card BasicsFor more information, visitwww.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.PRACTICALMONEY GUIDESCredit CardBasicsWhat you need to know aboutmanaging your credit card.Learn how tochoose andmanage yourcredit card.
The Convenience of CreditChoose WiselyUnderstand Your RightsThe True Cost of CreditCredit cards can be powerful financial tools foryou and your family, and as with all financialproducts, they need to be used carefully. Acredit card is a powerful payment option thatallows you to purchase necessary items now andpay later.The best way to maximize the benefits of creditcards is to understand your financial lifestyle —what you need, what you want and how muchmoney you spend. Begin your search for acredit card by determining key factors like howoften you’ll use it, whether you’ll want to useit overseas and if the financial institution thatoffers it has a branch near you. It’s important tomake sure you know the terms of the credit cardin the following areas:Credit cardholders are entitled to protections.Zero liability means you are not responsiblefor fraudulent charges when you report thempromptly. In some cases, you have the rightto dispute purchases with merchants forunsatisfactory products or services. If you seefraudulent activity on your card or need todispute a charge, call your financial institutionimmediately.If you don’t pay off your credit card balanceevery month, the interest that adds up couldmean you'll be paying more than you planned.See how much extra you might pay on a 1,000credit card purchase with varying interest rates.Advantages to Using a Credit Card: B eing able to buy needed items immediately andearn rewards for purchases. C redit cards can also offer more security thanother options, as they protect from fraud andeliminate the need to carry large amounts ofcash.With These Advantages Come ResponsibilitiesUsing a credit card is like taking out a loan. If youdon't pay your card balance in full each month, you'llstart paying interest on that loan. Credit cards have to be managed wisely in orderto avoid paying interest and accruing debt. Understand all terms and conditions. S tay on top of payments and realize the true costof purchases made with credit. Maximize the benefits of credit while minimizingthe risks to become a responsible credit cardowner.Many banks offer lucrative travel rewardsdeals if you are willing to pay the annualcredit card fees. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) and whetherrates are fixed or variable Annual, late and overdraft-limit fees Credit limit on account Grace periods before interest begins accruing Rewards including airline miles or cash backSecured cards can be a good option for thosewho don't qualify for unsecured credit cards.They limit the credit line to an initial cashdeposit carried on the card.Use Your Credit Card ResponsiblyExcept in case of emergency, you should use yourcredit card the way you would use a debit card.Don’t charge purchases that you can’t afford topay for. You should keep track of your spendingand ensure you can make your payments on time.Missed payments and compound interest canlead to debt, so manage your spending and makepayments on time.Write it OutDo you have a clear idea of how much debt youhave? Many people may avoid thinking about theirdebt load because it causes stress. Learn to copewith debt by paying it off strategically. Start by making a list of everything you owe,whether it’s a mortgage, a credit card or studentloans. Focus on paying off the most urgent debts—loans with the highest interest rates often causethe greatest financial impact if you don’t paythem off. Cut back on other spending so you can pay offdebt faster. It will save you money in interest andallow you to focus on other financial goals.Total PurchaseAmountThe balance due onyour credit cardCredit Card APRThe annual interest rateon your credit cardMonthly PaymentThe minimummonthly paymentNumber of Monthsto Pay Off PurchaseAmount* 1,000 1,000 1,00010%15%25% 40 40 40293136 126.02 206.50 427.22 1,126.02 1,206.50 1,427.22Time it will take to payoff the balanceTotal FinanceChargeThe total amount ofmoney you will pay ininterest aloneTotal CostThe final amountyou will pay for yourpurchase* In general, this assumes that your account has no new charges and thatyour Annual Percentage Rate does not change.
Debit Card ResourcesTo learn more about debit cards, visitthe Practical Money Skills EY GUIDESDebit CardBasicsWhat you need to know aboutusing your debit card.This guide is one of a series onPractical Money Skills.Budgeting BasicsCredit HistoryCredit Card BasicsDebit Card BasicsIdentity TheftMobile BankingPrepaid Card BasicsFor more information, visitwww.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.Learn about thefeatures andprotections ofdebit cards.
Using Debit CardsTips for Using Your CardKnow Your LimitsExtra ProtectionsWhile credit cards allow you to purchase nowand pay later, debit card transactions are paidinstantly, not in the future. A debit card is tieddirectly to a checking account, so when youmake a purchase with that card, money iswithdrawn from your account.When using a debit card, here are a few tips tomanaging your account.Many debit cards have daily spending and cashwithdrawal limits that protect you in case yourcard is stolen. Remember, your card might bedeclined if you exceed your limits, even if youhave enough money in the bank. Know yourlimits and contact your lender if you need toraise or lower amounts.Many of the same features and protectionsoffered by credit cards are also offered by debitcards, including:Consumers concerned with debt load can limittheir spending by using debit cards, which onlyallow them to spend what is in their limitedchecking account funds.Choosing a Debit CardSelecting a debit card can be simpler than choosinga credit card—for example, you won't need to thinkabout interest rates—but there are a few key factorsto consider. L ook for banks or credit unions with branchesnear you. Investigate fees the bank will charge if you withdraw money from another institution’s ATM. Consider transfer fees if you think you'll want tomove money between your checking and savingsaccounts frequently. Select a debit card that will let you managepurchases, checks and bill paying from yoursmartphone. Keep sales and ATM receipts or copies. Always know your current bank account balanceand available funds. Keep track of all transactions, including withdrawals that are still pending. Review monthly statements carefully. If yoususpect a mistake or fraudulent use, contact yourfinancial institution immediately.Your financial institution may send alertsto your mobile phone when debit cardactivity exceeds your dollar limit, youronline ID or passwords change, or largetransactions are made.Secure Your InformationYour debit card will require a Personal IdentificationNumber (PIN) for security. Choose a unique number.Avoid obvious choices like your address or birthday.Keep the PIN private.To keep your debit card PIN numbersafe, avoid giving it out over the phone orin an email.When you make a purchase, withdraw money fromyour account or pay bills that exceed your accountbalance, you may be subject to overdraft fees. Somefinancial institutions offer overdraft protection, andthey’ll cover your check or debit transaction so itdoesn’t bounce. But you may be charged fees forbeing overdrawn and for each purchase that usesoverdraft protection. Balance your account regularlyto avoid added fees.Temporary Holds on CardsSometimes when you use your debit card for a'credit-type' transaction like reserving a hotel room,your financial institution may put a temporary holdon your account. Once the transaction is completeand the final bill is settled, the hold will be released.Many people opt to use a credit card in thesesituations so they don't tie up their checkingaccount balance.Zero LiabilityYou are generally not liable for unauthorizedpurchases on your debit card as long as you notifyyour financial institution immediately.Funds and FraudFederal law mandates that financial institutionsreplace funds for losses resulting from fraudulentuse within 10 business days of notification.The Right to DisputeYou may have dispute resolution options should anissue arise with a debit card purchase. This oftenapplies to signed purchases only, but check withyour card issuer.Plan AheadLike credit cards, debit cards are accepted atmillions of locations worldwide. Before you travel,remember to notify your financial institution ofyour plans. Using your card across state andinternational lines can cause your institution to flagand even freeze your card.
Prepaid Card ResourcesTo learn about prepaid card insurance coveragevisit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation siteat fdic.govOr call 1-877-275-3342 (877-ASK-FDIC)To learn more about prepaid cards, visitpracticalmoneyskills.com/prepaidTo see frequently asked questions about prepaidcards, visit the Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau website atconsumerfinance.govThis guide is one of a series onPractical Money Skills.Budgeting BasicsCredit HistoryCredit Card BasicsDebit Card BasicsIdentity TheftMobile BankingPrepaid Card BasicsFor more information, visitwww.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.PRACTICALMONEY GUIDESPrepaid CardBasicsWhat you should know aboutusing prepaid cards.Find out howyou can useprepaid cardsas an alternativeto cash.
What Are Prepaid Cards?A prepaid card can be loaded with moneyto make purchases anywhere a debt card isaccepted. It looks like a debit or credit card andis a safe alternative to carrying cash and payingcheck-cashing fees. They are a good optionfor traveling and are a popular gift-giving ideabecause they are widely accepted.Unlike credit cards, you cannot take on debt with aprepaid card, nor are prepaid cards linked to yourbank account like debit cards. A prepaid card has azero balance until money is added to it. When youmake a purchase with a prepaid card, the amount issubtracted from the balance on the card. Once thebalance reaches zero, the card is empty.With Prepaid Cards You Can:Make purchases in person, online or by phoneGive gifts to friends and familyWithdraw cash from an ATM or bankReceive wages or funds by direct deposit tothe cardTypes of Prepaid CardsOpen Loop. An electronic payment networkbranded card honored wherever the network isaccepted.Closed Loop. A card used for transactionsexclusively at a particular merchant's locations.Reloadable Cards. A prepaid card that you can addmoney to.Gift Cards. A non-reloadable card that can be givenas a gift and used until the balance is zero.Teen and Student Cards. Parents can teachteens and students financial responsibility whilemonitoring their spending with these cards.Travel Cards. An alternative to cash andtraveler's checks, some cards offer lost luggagereimbursement, emergency card replacement andzero liability.Payroll Cards. A card provided by your employerto receive your paycheck.Government Cards. Used by governmentagencies, they can pay certain benefits such asunemployment insurances.Pay billsOnce the card balance reaches zero, it can bethrown away unless it is a reloadable cardSome prepaid cards can have moneyreloaded on to them so they can continueto be used. Others, such as gift cards,can be discarded when all of the fundsare spent.Prepaid Card FeaturesProtect Yourself and Your MoneyThere are many prepaid cards out there, andchoosing the right one is important. Whatfeatures are most important to you?Once you’ve chosen a prepaid card or receivedone, it’s up to you to keep your money safe.ReloadableSome prepaid cards allow you to add moneyonce the balance reaches zero. Gift cards are notreloadable.Liability ProtectionSome prepaid cards will protect your balance incase the card is lost or stolen. Look for a card thatoffers a Zero Liability policy.Expiration DatesWhile many cards do not expire, some carry monthlymaintenance fees, which can reduce your cardbalance. Prepaid c ards are best for storing moneyyou intend to spend in the short term.Low FeesIs there an activation fee charged when you setup the card? What are the fees charged for ATMwithdrawals? Take note of any fees associated withthe card you choose.Use the Card CarefullyKeep track of your balance so you don’t get chargeda fee for trying to spend more than is available. Ifyour wages or other benefits are deposited directlyonto the card, make sure you know the amount andtiming of the deposit.Keep Your PIN SecretPick a number that’s hard for someone else toguess—not your birthday or address. Don’t tell it toanyone or write it where it could be easily found.Remember Important InfoMake sure you know your card issuer’s policies forlost or stolen cards and keep your card number andthe customer service phone number in a safe placeat home.Act QuicklyIf your card is lost or stolen, let the card issuer knowright away. Most card issuers will freeze the fundsso the card can’t be used and send you a new cardwith your remaining balance on it.
Identity Theft ResourcesIf you are a victim of identity theft, your first actionshould be to contact the fraud departments of thethree main credit bureaus listed below. Request thata fraud alert be placed in your file.Federal Trade Commission's Identity Theft Hotline1.877.IDTHEFT (1.877.438.4338)Credit BureausEquifaxReport Order: 1.800.685.1111Fraud Hotline: 1.888.766.0008www.equifax.comExperianReport Order: 1.888.397.3742Fraud Hotline: 1.888.397.3742www.experian.comTransUnionReport Order: 1.877.322.8228Fraud Hotline: 1.800.680.7289www.tuc.comThis guide is one of a series onPractical Money Skills.Budgeting BasicsCredit HistoryCredit Card BasicsDebit Card BasicsIdentity TheftMobile BankingPrepaid Card BasicsFor more information, visitwww.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.PRACTICALMONEY GUIDESIdentityTheftHow to safeguard your identityand financial information from theft.Protect yourfinances andavoid fraud withthese identitytheft basics.
What to Do If Your Identity is StolenSix Ways to Protect YourselfTips For Frequent TravelersWhen your personal and financial informationfalls into the wrong hands, the consequencescan be devastating. Identity thieves can stealmoney from your accounts, open new creditcards and apply for loans. This can have lastingeffects on your credit score, so it’s important totake steps to protect your identity.There are some simple steps you can taketo reduce or the risk of becoming a victim ofidentity theft or card fraud.Whether you’re traveling for business orpleasure, be on the alert for opportunities thatthieves may try to take advantage of:Credit BureausContact the fraud departments of each of the creditbureaus listed on the back of this guide immediatelyif you are a victim of identity theft. Request afraud alert on your file, which will not damage yourcredit score. You can also request a security freeze,preventing credit issuers from obtaining accessto your credit files without your permission, whichprevents thieves from opening up new credit cardsor loans.Law EnforcementReport identity theft to your local policedepartment. If the crime occurred somewhere otherthan where you live, you may wish to report it to lawenforcement there as well. The police will create anidentity theft report and give you a copy that youcan send to the three credit bureaus.Federal Trade Commission (FTC)The FTC does not investigate identity theft cases,but can share your information with investigators.Banks and Credit Card IssuersReport the theft to your credit card issuers andbanks and request replacement cards with newaccount numbers. If you have checks stolen, youcan ask your bank to stop payment on them.1. Practice Safe Internet UseDelete spam emails that ask for personalinformation, and keep your anti-virus and antispyware software up-to-date. Shop online only withsecure web pages (check the address bar for "https"next to an image of a lock). Never email credit cardnumbers, social security numbers or other personalinformation.2. Destroy Personal Financial RecordsShred unneeded credit card statements, ATMand debit card receipts and other documents thatcontain personal financial information.3. Guard Your Social Security NumberThieves seek your Social Security number becauseit can help them access your credit and open bogusaccounts. Never carry your card; instead, memorizeyour number and store the card securely.4. Check Your Credit ReportRegularly review your credit reports for suspiciousactivity. You can request one free copy of eachreport per year at www.annualcreditreport.com orcan contact the three credit bureaus directly.5. Beware of ScamsNever give out personal information via phoneor email to someone claiming to represent yourbank, credit card company, a government agency,a charity or other organization. If you think therequest is legitimate, contact the company directlyto confirm their claims.Children are at high risk ofidentity theft and fraud. Identitythieves can use their SocialSecurity numbers to illegallyobtain jobs, credit accounts,mortgages and car loans.Use the same precautionshandling your child's personalinformation as with your ownand follow the same theftreport procedures.Receipts. Don’t leave credit card receipts onrestaurant tables; sign and hand them directly tothe server. Keep your copy of all receipts.Wallets. Instead of carrying your wallet in yourpocket or bag, consider using a travel pouch wornunder your clothing to keep it out of sight.Checks. Leave your checkbook at home, safelystored in a locked safe or drawer.Phones. Always protect your smartphone withcomplex passwords or passcodes. Turn offBluetooth as a security measure, and be aware thatmany free Wi-Fi networks are not secure.Mail. Put a delivery hold on your mail whenever youtravel. It can be delivered the day after you returnfrom your trip.Hotels. Lock up all valuables in rooms or hotel safeswhile you are out, including laptops, passports andother documents containing personal identifyinginformation.Airplanes. Don’t put any items that contain yourSocial Security number, card or account numbers inchecked luggage. Always carry those items securelyin carry-on luggage.Send police reports to the credit bureausby certified mail, return receipt requested.
Credit History Credit Card Basics Debit Card Basics Identity Theft Mobile Banking Prepaid Card Basics PRACTICAL MONEY GUIDES Learn to create and stick to a budget. Budgeting Basics Learn to create and stick to a budget. For more information, visit www.practicalmoneyskills.com 2016 Visa Inc.