A Ca$h Course: Make A Difference programs help teens with financial literacy

Find one in your area!


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MILWAUKEE — Have you ever heard people say “the poor pay more?” It’s often true because they don’t know enough about handling their money. But there’s one class offered to teens that can truly make a difference.

The guy who owns Crash Course Driving School owes a lot of his success to a crash course in money management he got in high school.

Jeremy Cain Jeremy Cain

“It’s about financial literacy. They go over the basics. What is a checking account? What is a savings account? Credit cards — what’s the difference between a credit card and a debit card?” said Jeremy Cain, the owner of Crash Course.

Cain was and still is a star student from the Make A Difference program. It’s a financial literacy class that’s in 80 Wisconsin schools right now — 30 of them Milwaukee Public Schools.

“Every year in Wisconsin thousands of kids will graduate from…

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Borrowing from Your Retirement?

Is borrowing from your retirement a good idea? It depends. Some things to look for are: Does the company let you still contribute to the fund at the same rate while you pay back the loan? Can you get a better rate elsewhere like a credit union, a cash value term life insurance policy or old savings bonds? How long are they giving you to pay it back? Read on and follow RetireSecure Blog.

RetireSecure Blog

Two-fifths of workers allowed to borrow from their plans have done so within the past five years, according to a recent Pension Research Council study, “Borrowing from the Future: 401(k) Plan Loans and Loan Defaults .”

Co-authors Timothy Lu Jun, Olivia S. Mitchell, Steve Utkus, and Jean Young also show that younger and lower-paid employees are most likely to take out 401(k) loans. Those who borrow against their retirement and leave their jobs are most likely to default on the loans – meaning that they own income tax on what they’ve borrowed plus a 10 percent tax penalty.

Money taken from a retirement plan but not returned becomes part of retirement plan “leakage.” To learn more about this, click here to read the full article on Benefitspro.com.

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Money History 101

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The history of money concerns the development of means of carrying out transactions involving a physical medium of exchange. Money is any clearly identifiable object of value that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts within a market or which is legal tender within a country.


1.China created the world’s first paper money.money from china
Nearly 700 years before Sweden issued the first European banknotes in 1661, China released the first generally circulating currency. In fact, usage of paper notes dates backs even earlier, to the 7th century Tang Dynasty. For centuries copper coins had been China’s primary currency. In order to carry large amounts of cash, people hefted around an ever-increasing number of these coins–not the easiest, or safest, thing to do over long distances. In an attempt to lighten their load, merchants began to deposit these…

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If you’re like me, you don’t like authority. Exercise, eating veggies and limiting portion sizes to me just says do this, do this, don’t do that. Blah, blah, blah. I’m grown. I didn’t wait this long to get power to give it up to some plan that I have to submit to and do whatever it says. No.

But budgets are different, they seem like they are a mean parent, but they are not. With proper planning, they can be your cool Auntie that hangs out and goes with you everywhere. Let me explain.

Budgets give you a way to list all of your bills and examine your financial picture. I know it might look ugly, scary even, but it will be worth it. Sometimes doing it all at once is too much. Let’s face it, it’s boring and really, it feels like if you see it, you won’t have any choice left in your life, especially if you already know you don’t have enough to pay everything all at once.

But this is where a budget can become your buddy. By listing our expenses and when we are getting money and how much, we can plan better. We can try to eliminate waste and look at our bills to make sure we really need all the stuff we are paying for each week. We get to see how much we are short. All of this information will give us a good picture of where we can make changes or what we need to do to get to where we want to be.

Ok, now the good news. If you have an atm card, you can use a computer to use FREE websites that help you track your expenses. After the initial set up of your bills, you can keep better records so your stuff is all in order for your taxes. You can always log in and see where you are spending the most money. You can set up goals and the system will help guide you to where you want to be. Some really good sites that do this are Mint.com or Learnvest.com.

Knowledge is power. Let computer programs do all the tracking and budgeting for you! You get better reports, stay organized and always know your financial well-being. You have to know when you are getting money and from where, know where your money is spent and how deep in debt you are because all of this affects your credit score and that number is your lifeline to everything you want in life.

This week’s money on my mind moment: Know your flow, know where it goes and how much you owe!

Next week on Breaking Luck Blog, Saving: How to Gain Without Pain

In common cents,

Susan Miele

World Of Money: Teaching Our Children Financial Literacy


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On TV One’s flagship morning program, NewsOne Now, Roland Martin and numerous guests spend a considerable amount of time talking about wealth creation in the Black community.

Despite reports and studies citing the low amount of savings African-Americans have, we as a community must focus on how to provide financial literacy training to our youth in an attempt to show them how to build and grow wealth.

WorldOfMoney.org has helped over three thousand underserved students in the New York area become “money masters.” The organization, whose mission is to “empower youth with an immersive financial and technology education,” has plans to take their platform nationwide.

Sabrina Lamb, World of Money Founding Chief Executive Officer, 45th NAACP Image Awards nominee in Outstanding Literary Work-Instructional, and author of Do I Look Like An ATM joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now with former student Quinzel Perry…

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Breaking Luck

Breaking luck is a term that I learned a long time ago from an old friend. It refers to making your first dollar. It is the first time you trade your product or service for money. Getting money makes you feel pretty lucky. When you break into luck with your first buck, the universe opens the gates and now the luck should start to flow right to you. As the saying goes, money goes to money, so this break into luck means you can make more.

This blog is about how regular people that live paycheck to paycheck or close to it can learn how money works in the economy and how we can make IT work for US!

My name is Susan Miele and I am a Certified Financial Counselor. My Financial Literacy Certification simply means I can take all the confusing, boring stuff about math equations and big words and break it down like we were just talking in the car on the way to a concert or something. Math is kind of boring, but once you put a dollar sign ($) in front of that number, it becomes a beautiful, exciting thing that we want to follow wherever it goes. It’s a little like putting  lipstick on a pig; it’s still kinda ugly but now you can at least look at it without getting sick.

So that is where I would like to begin this blog, by finding out where we’re at so we can begin to make a budget.

Now some of you might be thinking:

You know how much you make so you don’t need to get your check stubs,

You don’t know where all those papers are,

You don’t do it like this, you can’t pay all the bills in the same week,

You usually wait for the ones that come in color, like yellow or red that say “hey, you KNOW we can’t keep these lights on without you sending us something!”  But here’s the real thing:


So go and get all the bills on the counter, the envelope in your car and the number to that collection agency that is on the napkin by the sink and let’s get busy.

The importance of realistic budgets and stuff, next time on Breaking Luck.

Before you go, take with you this week’s money on my mind moment:

Prioritizing your time gives you the right amount of time for each thing you want to do. When we get our mail from the mail box, we sift out the junk and put the rest in the mail basket for when we have time to go through it. We will not let money get our attention until our families, loved ones and your own balance returns from that hectic day.

Watch the video below to learn more about how Breaking Luck got started.