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Generation Y Money Book: 99 Smart Ways to Handle Money

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Geared specifically to the 60 million young Americans born between 1977 and 1988, this book appeals directly to teenagers and young adults and shows them how to take charge of their own money. It explains basic concepts such as spending habits, bank accounts, shopping tips, investments, and credit cards, but it also covers a wide range of topics specifically of interest to this generation such as voluntary simplicity, shopping on the Internet, and managing college costs. Also included is a list of Web sites and ...
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Overview

Geared specifically to the 60 million young Americans born between 1977 and 1988, this book appeals directly to teenagers and young adults and shows them how to take charge of their own money. It explains basic concepts such as spending habits, bank accounts, shopping tips, investments, and credit cards, but it also covers a wide range of topics specifically of interest to this generation such as voluntary simplicity, shopping on the Internet, and managing college costs. Also included is a list of Web sites and Internet tools. Quizzes in the back of the book let kids turn the tables and test their parents' knowledge of money issues. Don Silver writes on business and personal finance for the Internet and is the author of The Generation X Money Book, A Parent's Guide to Wills & Trusts, and Baby Boomer Retirement. He lives in Los Angeles.

The Generation Y Money Book has just been added to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Finance Literacy database (board members include the American Bankers Assn. Education Foundation, the American Savings Education Council, the Federal Reserve Board, Junior Achievement, the National Education Assn. and the Savings Bond Marketing Office of the US Treasury among others).

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Editorial Reviews

Business Start-Ups
Don Silver's clear, concise and doable advice . . . is well worth a read.
USA Today Online
Don Silver does an excellent job of simplifying information and educating novices about the endless possibilities for investing.
VOYA
Author of similar financial advice books for baby boomers and "Generation X," Silver aims this title at the generation that just now is entering the workforce. He bemoans the fact that financial management mostly is ignored in school curricula, so graduating kids are unaware of the true value of the dollar, never having learned any monetary responsibilities earlier. Ninety-nine single page-length segments each offer a piece of advice. Opening sections look at the philosophical side of finances and how television and other media, along with peer pressure, work against teens' ability to handle money responsibly. The author suggests that corporate America challenges youth to become materialistic, judging themselves and others by what they have and how nice it is. He recommends that the new generation adopt a simpler lifestyle, less dependent upon capital outlay and instant gratification. The book includes standard good advice on double-checking-and saving-receipts, how to tip, how to avoid credit purchases, when not to shop, when the Internet is good for purchases, how to compare products and services, how to manage checking accounts and ATM cards, and even how to plan for college. Written in a light, breezy style that is short and to the point, the book targets an audience of high school students and above, but a younger teen would find plenty to think about. Appendixes include a little self-test to determine how financially savvy the reader is, a directory of Web sites, and a small bibliography. Silver offers solid advice for those who are interested enough to read it. Index. Biblio. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal withpushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Adams-Hall, 148p, Trade pb. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Kevin Beach SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Louisville Courier Journal
Great present for those ages 12-23.
Tampa Tribune
Parents-think -think graduation gift. Students-think summer reading with a purpose.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780944708644
  • Publisher: Adams-Hall Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Read an Excerpt

PART TWO
Money-Smart Ways to Live Day-to-Day
11. TV and your life TV may be costing you more than you think. One of the best ways to find extra time, improve yourself or the world, save money and reduce your "wants" is to stop watching TV. Since that's not likely, read on for two tips that may be an acceptable compromise. TV is designed to:
  • make you want to buy what's advertised
  • make you believe your life will change if you buy what's advertised
  • convince you that you will be like the actors in TV commercials if you buy what's being advertised
  • give you the irresistible urge to buy and consume (that's why we're called consumers)
  • most sadly, make you feel incomplete or inadequate if you don't own what's being advertised.

Commercials are hard for everyone to resist. After all, they're designed by professionals whose job is to convince us we can't live without the advertised product or service.

These advertising pros also have the benefit of market research (trying out ideas or approaches on small groups of people before you see the final ad) to see what key words and images will cause us to salivate and be compelled to buy. Add to that the repetition of ads and the day-to-day exposure of seeing our peers who've purchased advertised products and it's hard for anyone to resist TV temptation.

Two ways to beat the advertising pros Your fingers might outwit the advertising professionals by using the mute button during commercials. Although watching a commercial in silence will still have some impact, you greatly reduce the advertising power of the ad. Another alternative is just to stop watching commercials by immediately switching to another program (but not another commercial).

Do you want to spend 10 years of your life watching TV? If you watch an average of three hours of TV a day, seven days a week, you're "spending" over 1,000 hours a year in front of the tube. Instead of watching TV, you could have had a 20-hour- per-week job and paycheck. Over a lifetime of 80 years, that's 10 years of your life spent watching TV.

Am I making up this math? Calculate the numbers yourself. Three hours of TV a day equals 1/8 of a 24-hour day. If you live 80 years, 1/8 of that timespan is 10 years. Reduce TV watching from even three hours to two hours a day and that's over three years of additional free time for you during your lifetime.

No matter how much you enjoy TV, is it worth 10 years of your life? If commercials take up about 15 to 20 minutes of each TV hour, you could be spending three solid years of your life watching commercials.

12. Notebook riches
Do you know where your money is? Do you know how you're spending it?
To get and keep day-to-day control of your money and know where it's going, you need to take two steps.
First, carry around a small notebook for one month and write down every single penny you spend. You'll be amazed at where your money goes and you'll discover easy ways to save extra money each day.
This will help you when you sit down and take the second step of prioritizing (ranking) your spending goals (see Money-Smart Way #13).
13. Getting a handle on day-to-day spending
Do you have enough money to meet all your spending needs? The way to accomplish that is to prioritize your goals and spend your money by keeping your most important goals in mind.

Having goals in mind helps you with both day-to-day and long-term, larger expenditures. It gives you a way to see whether spending decisions make sense for what's really important to you.

The "right" way for you to spend your money The right spending decisions are different for everyone. What someone else thinks is a good use of money may not be what you think.

So, you need to create your own plan for spending. With a plan, you can avoid impulsive spending, which is where you spend without thinking about your most important goals.

To get a handle on day-to-day spending, take these five steps:

First, make a list of your short- and long-term life goals. As baseball star Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you're going, you won't know when you get there." Also, writing down your goals makes them more real to you.

Second, track your spending and match it with what you have to spend. Before the start of each month, make a list of the money you expect to receive and what you expect to spend. After the month ends, compare the actual results with what you expected. See where you need to make changes for the next month. If you don't have enough money to spend on everything you want (or need), where do you cut back? Some expenses are required such as car insurance. Other expenditures such as eating out are optional and can be cut back. By using the expense notebook in Money-Smart Way #12 and looking at expenses as either required or optional, you'll begin to see your spending habits.

Third, spend (or save) your money first on your most important goals. Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns that you label "#1," "#2" and "#3." Now rank your expenditures in categories of importance from #1 through #3. For example, #1 priorities are your most important goals (e.g., paying car insurance, saving for a computer, a car or for college). #2 priorities are not as critical (e.g., buying extra clothes) and #3 priorities are the least important ones (e.g., buying soft drinks). Try to meet your #1 priorities to the greatest extent possible before spending on #2 and #3 priorities.

Fourth, become a smart spender (more on this in Money-Smart Way #14 and later in Part Three: Money-Smart Ways to Shop).

Fifth, review your goals every year. At the end of each year, see how well you did in meeting your goals and make a new list for the next year.

14. Ten ways to become an everyday money-smart spender

When you spend, you expend (use up). You may be using up more than money. You're using up the work (time and energy) required to earn the money. Spending is more than the act of handing over dollar bills, a check or a credit card. It's also handing over a part of you. With this in mind, here are 10 great ways to become an everyday money-smart spender. All of these small items can add up big.

  • When in doubt about a purchase, don't buy it.
  • Every day try to cut down on expenses in some way. Buy a soft drink or coffee every other day rather than every day (besides saving money, you'll improve your health).
  • Reduce your entertainment costs. Instead of spending full price for every movie you see, for half of them go to a matinee, a bargain theatre or see them on video.
  • Eat at home or pack a meal for half the times you'd usually eat out.
  • Shop during sales.
  • Use coupons.
  • Make the library your personal bookstore.
  • Shop with a list in hand and stick to it.
  • Try to repair an item before buying a replacement.
  • Consider buying used rather than new items. The cost savings can be big, especially with cars.

Even small steps can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime through the power of compound growth (Money-Smart Way #66).

15. The art of asking questions
Whether you're calling customer service about a problem with your computer or a salesperson to get product information, learn to ask questions and to keep asking them until you get the answers you want and understand.

If you don't understand an answer, don't blame yourself. Chances are good the explanation wasn't clear enough. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask again saying, "I didn't quite understand. Could you please explain it again another way?"

Then, once you feel it's clear to you, you may want to say, "Let me say it back to you in my words to make sure I got it right."

Be sure to take notes when you ask questions by writing down the item you're calling about, the name of the person you're speaking to, their position, the phone number you called, the date and time you called, your questions and the answers given. Have a notebook or folder where you keep these notes organized.

Then, later on, if you have a problem, you'll be in a better position to back up your understanding of what was said to you.

If it's really important, confirm what a company representative or salesperson says to you by mailing, faxing a letter or sending an e-mail. Think about including a sentence such as "If anything I've written is incorrect, please advise me immediately by phone and in writing." Keep a copy of whatever you write. You may also ask them to write, e-mail or fax you back to confirm what you wrote is correct.

Then if what you see, talked about or purchased isn't what you thought it should be, you'll be better able to document your claims in writing.

16. Cash register smarts
Whether you're making a purchase in a grocery store, video store, department store or an amusement park, pay attention.

Watch the scanner
Mistakes can happen when scanners are used to record purchases. Sometimes an item is scanned twice or a clerk accidentally punches in the incorrect quantity for an item on the register. Other times, the wrong price is programmed into the checkout register.

As your purchases are being scanned in, keep an eye on the amount actually being charged.

Double-check your receipt right away
Before you leave a store, always look at your receipt. Be aware or you may pay (sometimes twice).

17. Some tips on tipping
The word "tips" comes from the first letters of "to insure proper service." In other words, you tip to reward the quality of the service you received. Since tipping is most often done in a restaurant, here are some guidelines. First, check the bill to make sure the items and prices are listed correctly. Then, see whether a tip has already been included in the bill (this is more common when there is a group of six or more eating together). Standard, acceptable service is usually tipped at 15%. There are two schools of thought on whether the 15% should apply to (1) the charges without tax or (2) the charges plus tax. You can decide on what's right for you. The second alternative adds about 1% to the tip. Sometimes, you'll want to tip extra (a 20% tip instead of 15%) for especially good service. Other times, you'll leave a much smaller tip or no tip at all if the service is very poor. Remember that tips are not to be paid automatically. You're rewarding the level of service you received.
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