Right on the Money: Financial Know-How for Financial Freedom
This booklet can help two and four year college students acquire the financial skills you need to create the kind of life you want. Created by the National Endowment for Financial Education® in conjunction with Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, this booklet offers lessons on checking accounts, savings, and handling credit cards. It also covers tips for financing college, investing, and other topics that can help you become a savvy money manager.
Excellent resource for the traditional student going to college to think and start their own financial budgeting.
The sheer breadth of topics covered in "Right on the Money" is impressive but not every one is treated to the same level of detail. Chapter 4, "Finding Funds for College" goes the most in-depth, appropriate for a financial literacy tool targeted at college students. The message is clear: students should be viewing scholarships, grants, work-study programs and low-cost federal or state loans as a cornerstone of their college-years portfolio. Help is available for the student who feels that college may be financially out of reach; as this publication states, "Many people are eligible for some sort of financial aid, regardless of their income or employment status."
This publication also offers a fine overview of new laws that effect consumers. The Credit Card Accountability Act of 2009, which restores consumer rights on a number of issues, is outlined thoroughly in 16 bullet points, all in clear language.
Other topics, like investments, are lightly treated. Options like Roth IRAs and stocks are only briefly explained. Somehow it just feels obligatory, like investments have to be included for this to be a complete financial guide. There is no "how-to" here: no suggestions or details on where a college student can take his/her money and invest it. These investment options will remain abstractions for students without also offering tips on finding a broker, investing online, or other vehicles.
Overall, "Right on the Money" balances down-to-earth ideas that can be practiced immediately with a long-term view of financial success. Advice like "Problems start if you think of your credit card as extra cash, instead of realizing that using it is like taking out a series of small loans," and, "If you get money from relatives to help with school, put part of if into your savings account and the rest into your checking account," makes this workbook instantly helpful. But the underlying philosophy is that the financial decisions that students make now will impact future welfare: "Strong money skills will help you set and meet major goals such as buying a house or earning a graduate degree. Money skills will help you save for retirement, plan vacations, manage tough financial times, and provide a comfortable life for yourself and your family."