In case you didn’t watch Sixty Minutes last night, you may not have heard about new technology that is revolutionizing commerce in Kenya. It’s a step beyond what we have here in the United States with Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Money is texted from one person to another.
And with much of technology this was developed to solve the problem. In this case it’s people working in cities who needed to get money to relatives back home. If they gave money to a bus driver to take, which has been the typical way money was sent, “the money evaporates” as the CEO of Kenya’s largest cell phone provider says.
How does this technology work? A person with cash (shillings) takes it to an M-PESA kiosk. The attendant takes the shillings and loads money into the person’s M-PESA account.
This is making it simpler for people to make purchases and send money. It’s even used to help remote villagers have solar energy for light at night.
What will they think of next?
If you want to read a transcript of the entire story, go to http://www.cbsnews.com/news/future-of-money-kenya-m-pesa-60-minutes/ .
It’s back-to-school time and for adults considering a new career, it may also be time to find an online degree program.
There are so many online programs to choose from – some with promises of quick, effortless degrees that seem too good to be true….sometimes are. Students who are scammed are left with a hole in their wallet and no legitimate credential.
While anyone can fall prey to an online degree scam, international students and first generation college students can be particularly vulnerable to degree mills.
US News and World Report has an excellent article that details seven warning signs for online degree scams.
…when I had a wake-up call about planning to save and invest for retirement. Before then, I recall seeing my grandmother’s Social Security check one time. But that was about all I’d thought about the topic of retirement.
Shortly after college graduation, I started working as marketing director for Lifeline Blood Services. One day on my short drive to work, I heard the announcer’s segway into the next story. Following his announcement that “social security will be insolvent in the year 2029,” I sat in the car doing the math. I would be just at retirement age that year.
Suddenly, I began to study planning for retirement. Back then there weren’t as many options as we’re familiar with today. But one thing was obvious, I had to save and invest for my future. This was a wake up call thanks to a radio new story. Spending wisely today is key to preparing for retirement.
One thing is certain…retirement is coming. Will you be ready? For ideas on saving for now and investing in the future, make a plan. Enroll in Personal Financial Management Made Easy to get started.
On the way to work, I often listen to my friend Steve Bowers on WNWS. I need to make sure he hasn’t commented on my efforts to make him healthy and wealthy that he says just kill all the fun. Another highlight is hearing the common sense words to live by from local pastor Randy Carter.
This morning he shared the story of a student turning in a paper to his professor. For 10 times when the student went to turn in the paper, the professor asked, “Is that the best you can do?” Apparently, the student knew it wasn’t, so he rewrote the paper and turned it in again–10 times. Finally, the student replied, “Yes, this is the best I can do”. The professor replied, “Good, now I’ll read it!”
The point is that we should all give our best to whatever we do. Are you giving your best to sticking to your financial plans? It’s never too late to start changing your financial future.
Millions of Americans are scrambling this week to chart their tournament brackets. With the Financial Four, people also have a way to chart their financial goals.
The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) are partnering on the fourth annual Financial Four (www.FinancialFour.org), an interactive bracket of 32 concepts that helps users identify the financial areas that are most important to them. Expert financial planners and advisors also used the bracket to weigh in on what they recommend people should be thinking about as their top financial priorities throughout 2015.
“Identifying and managing priorities is the key to keeping your financial life in order. The Financial Four takes the madness out of ranking your financial responsibilities,” says Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “There aren’t any upsets in this bracket.”
Experts identify their Financial Four
Is the priority establishing an emergency savings or using credit responsibly? Is it more important to have open and regular communication about finances with family members or calculate how much you need for retirement? Financial advisors-turned-bracketologists logged on to www.FinancialFour.org and ranked their top priorities for Americans to focus on this year. Based on their voting results, here is the 2015 Financial Four:
- Start Saving Early. The top goal among financial planners and advisors is ensuring that time is on your side when it comes to saving. It’s never too early to start putting money toward your goals and the sooner you begin, the more stable your financial security will be. Remember, with the power of compound interest even small amounts can make a big difference.
- Use Credit Responsibly. A close second in the rankings from financial planners and advisors is to stay within your means when it comes to credit. Try to limit credit usage to one account. Above all, always pay bills on time and pay more than the minimum payment due.
- Live Within Your Means. Spending less than you earn and living within your income is the surefire way to meet your financial goals. Take the time to understand your financial values and the difference between needs vs. wants.
- Ensure Job Security. Take the steps necessary to make certain your employer knows they cannot succeed without you. Make yourself indispensable at work by investing in continuing education and training opportunities.
What is your Financial Four? Complete your own bracket at www.FinancialFour.org. And prioritizing your financial goals is just the first step. For resources, tools and encouragement on successfully managing your finances, visit www.smartaboutmoney.org.
Source: National Endowment for Financial Education
Studying abroad has been a goal of my son’s since his high school days. This summer he’ll be joining other UT students for a month in Germany.
He considered other European countries for his international business studies, but a couple of years ago his focus turned to Germany. His career goal is working in the renewable/sustainable energy industry. Since Germany is world leader in that industry, this was a natural choice.
Germany has another special significance because my father is a World War II veteran. My son wants to see the places his grandfather–at his age–saw, but under very different conditions. A few years ago I decided that if Christopher went to Germany I’d go at the end of his program and travel together to places on my father’s itinerary. My father has no interest in traveling there, but he’s excited about our plans.
That dream will soon be a reality because I’ve been saving. I will truly be able to enjoy the experience because I won’t come home to credit card d
What are you dreaming of? Stop dreaming. Start saving.
P.S. Christopher’s interest in renewable/sustainable energy industry is ironic to me. He hasn’t lived at home in four years, but I still have vivid memories of reminding him to “turn off the lights”.