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Michelle Singletary, "Big Mama used to say it's not how much money you make that matters, but how you make do with what you have"

Resources & Helpful Links

The Piggy bank
Visit the Color of Money Book Club Archive for more resources.

Help with Debt Issues

  • www.debtadvice.org
    Provides consumers with information on using credit wisely and if necessary, locates certified counselors for additional assistance.
  • www.anti-phishing.org
    This website focuses on the elimination of the identity theft and fraud that result from the growing problem of phishing and email spoofing. They provide a platform to discuss phishing issues, define the scope of the phishing problem in terms of hard and soft costs, and share information and best practices for eliminating the problem.
  • www.debtorsanonymous.org
    This site provides an arena for men and women to share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting. Their only membership requirement is your desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.
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About Saving

  • www.choosetosave.org
    Contains financial tools to help consumers of all ages plan every aspect of their financial security, while promoting the idea that saving today is essential to securing a financial future.
  • www.icfe.info
    This website provides information that helps people of all ages improve their spending, increase their savings and use credit more wisely..
  • www.saveforyourfuture.org
    Saving tools and other program information to inform consumers about saving and planning for retirement, as well as other life stages.
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Buying a Home

  • www.hud.gov
    Among other things this government agency focuses on helping increase homeownership, supports community development and increasing access to affordable housing free from discrimination for consumers.
  • www.fanniemae.com
    This website provides information to help families achieve the dream of homeownership.
  • www.freddiemac.com
    Website provides information to help families achieve the dream of homeownership.
  • www.bankrate.com
    Provides consumers with free rate information that include mortgages, credit cards, new and used automobile loans, money market accounts, and online banking fees to name a few. They help consumers make informed financial decisions by publishing original and objective personal finance stories while also providing, thru multiple media channels, financial applications and information to a network of distribution partners.
  • www.nlihc.org
    This company is solely dedicated to ending Americaís affordable housing crisis and consequently, their advocacy focus is on individuals with the most serious housing problems, those of the lowest income households.
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Credit Bureaus

  • www.equifax.com
    Provides general credit information for consumers regarding understanding credit, credit scores and credit reports.
  • www.experian.com
    Provides general credit information and education for consumers regarding understanding credit, credit scores and credit reports as well as preventing identity fraud.
  • www.transunion.com
    Provides general credit information for consumers regarding understanding credit, credit scores and credit reports and preventing fraud.
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About Loans

  • www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov
    Provides loan consolidation information to borrowers, schools and loan holders and answers many consumer-related questions regarding loan consolidation on itís FAQ page.
  • www.bankrate.com
    Provides consumers with free rate information that include mortgages, credit cards, new and used automobile loans, money market accounts, and online banking fees to name a few. They help consumers make informed financial decisions by publishing original and objective personal finance stories while also providing, thru multiple media channels, financial applications and information to a network of distribution partners.
  • www.finaid.org
    Provides free consumer access to a comprehensive and objective collection of information about student financial aid for students searching for ways to finance their education.
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Budgeting

  • www.budgetingonline.com
    Provides consumers with a guide to finding personal budgeting help online.
  • www.MoneyAdvise.com
    This website provides budgeting help, tips, and tools for personal and family use by providing a roadmap to help your family budget money better, become informed about debt management, and learn about ways to save money.
  • www.crown.org
    Provides consumers with Volunteer Budget Coaches that work with married couples and individuals, helping them achieve spiritual and financial freedom to serve Christ by helping them develop a personal budget, apply biblical principles of stewardship, build a plan to get out of debt, and provide practical and Godly financial counsel.
  • Benefits of Budgeting (PDF)
    A slideshow presented by Michelle Singletary.
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College Help

  • www.fafsa.ed.gov
    This Free Application for Federal Student Aid gives students access to the largest source of college financial assistance through grants, work-study and loans.
  • www.studentaid.ed.gov
    Provides the largest source of student aid in America, providing nearly 70% of all student financial aid. Its financial information is designed to assist in college planning, while also providing access to information about the products and services needed throughout the financial aid process.
  • www.finaid.org
    Provides free consumer access to a comprehensive and objective collection of information about student financial aid for students searching for ways to finance their education.
  • www.savingsbond.gov
    Is the first and only financial services website that allows consumers to buy and redeem securities directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in paperless electronic form.
  • www.savingforcollege.com
    This site offers independent and objective information about 529 plans and other ways to save and pay for college. Their goal is to help individuals and professional advisers better understand how to meet the challenge of paying higher education costs.
  • www.collegesavings.org
    This website provides information that is intended to make higher education more attainable, by serving as a clearinghouse for information among existing college savings programs, and by monitoring federal activities and promoting legislation that will positively affect state programs.
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Insurance

  • www.insure.com
    This is an excellent site that provides a great deal of information about all types of insurance (home, car, life).
  • www.iii.org
    The Insurance Information Institute is another good site with good basic insurance information.
  • www.acli.com
    The American Council of Life Insurers has a brochure called "How to Buy Life Insurance."
  • www.life-line.org
    Try the life-insurance-needs calculator created by the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education.
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Help for Seniors

  • www.aarp.org/money
    www.aarp.org/financialcd
    AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over that provides information and resources on financial planning and retirement, social security, credit and debt, mortgages and other sources for the maintenance of a healthy financial life.
  • www.reversemortgage.org
    Provides information to consumers interested in learning more about reverse mortgages.
  • www.eldercare.gov
    A nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services. It is designed to identify trustworthy local support resources to help older adults, their families and caregivers find their way through the maze of services for seniors while also helping older persons live independently and safely in their homes and communities for as long as possible
  • www.caremanager.org
    A non-profit association of professional practitioners whose purpose is the development, advancement, and promotion of humane and dignified social, psychological, and health care for the elderly and their families through counseling, treatment, and the delivery of concrete services by qualified, certified providers.
  • www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement
    Find out how much you can expect to get in Social Security benefits.
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Retirement Calculators

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Women and Finance

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Divorce

  • www.equalityinmarriage.org
    This site provides educational information to both men and women on the importance of equality in marriage and divorce.
  • www.wiser.heinz.org
    This site is the nation's only non-profit organization wholly devoted to providing women with the crucial skills and information they need to improve their economic circumstances and plan for a financially sound retirement.
  • www.divorce-and-money.com/divorce-donts.shtml
    Lists 13 BIG DIVORCE FINANCIAL MISTAKES NOT TO MAKE IN YOUR DIVORCE PLANNING.
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Buying a Car

  • www.nhtsa.dot.gov
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • www.consumersreport.com
    This is an unbiased Web site that provides independent reviews and information about numerous consumer products.
  • www.fueleconomy.gov/
    Provides a Great consumer information source for gas mileage, safety and fuel economy for cars and trucks.
  • www.edmunds.com
    Helps consumers get a fair deal by Providing True Market Value pricing, unbiased car reviews, ratings, and expert advice .
  • www.cars.com
    Offers the best selection of new and used cars online through partnership with 175 leading newspapers, television stations and their websites to provide the necessary content, tool and advice to support the shopping experience.
  • www.autosafety.org
    Provides consumers with auto safety, fuel economy and auto defect information. The site also lists lemon laws by state to help lemon owners fight back across the country.
  • www.carfax.com
    You are able to instantly generate a detailed Vehicle History Report on any used car or light truck through the use of the unique 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) found on vehicle dashboards and title documents. Thus helping to reduce the risks involved in buying a used car.
  • www.lemonaidcars.com
    In an industry known for its dishonesty and exaggerated claims, they target generic vehicle defects and abusive auto industry practices and informs and protects consumers by gathering information throughout the year from owner complaints, whistle blowers, lawsuits, and judgments, as well as from confidential manufacturer service bulletins and warning readers about them.
  • www.aaa.com
    Offers consumers a plethora of services including travel info for hundreds of destinations, information on researching a vehicle, financing, insurance and finding a dealer, as well as discounts toward hotel, restaurant and even theme parks around the country.
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Government Help

  • www.ftc.gov
    The Federal Trade Commission-Disputing a Bill
    Known for its cutting-edge litigation, promotion of international competition and consumer protection enforcement as well as Internet fraud and privacy.
  • www.occ.treas.gov
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
    Serves as regulator and supervisor of all national banks. They issue rules and legal interpretation as well as supervise domestic and international national bank activities while also performing corporate analyses.
  • www.fdic.gov
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    Insures deposits in banks and thrift institutions for up to $100,000; identifies, monitors and addresses risks to the deposit insurance funds; and limits the effect on the economy and the financial system when a bank or thrift institution fails thus they preserve and promote public confidence in the U.S. financial system.
  • www.irs.gov
    The Internal Revenue Service
    Helps American taxpayers understand and meet their tax responsibilities through tax law application.
  • www.consumer.gov
    National Consumer Protection Week
    Provides an online "one-stop" link to a broad range of federal information resources and is designed to help consumers locate information by category and subcategories.
  • www.house.gov
    The United States House of Representatives/Write to Your Representative
    Site gives consumers access to committee hearings, bills, laws, as well as their representatives.
  • www.senate.gov
    The United States Senate
    ite gives consumers access to committee hearings, bills, laws, as well as their senators.
  • www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/takingstock.htm
    The US Securities & Exchange Commission-Taking Stock
  • www.sec.gov
    The US Securities & Exchange Commission
    Provides protection to investors while maintaining the integrity of the securities markets.
  • www.studentaid.ed.gov
    Federal Student Aid
    Provides the largest source of student aid in America, providing nearly 70% of all student financial aid. Its financial information is designed to assist in college planning, while also providing access to information about the products and services needed throughout the financial aid process.
  • www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement
    Your Social Security Statement
    Provides consumers with retirement benefit and medicare information.
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Investing

  • www.investorprotection.org
    The Investor Protection Trust provides independent, objective information to help consumers make informed investment decisions. Founded in 1993 as part of a multi-state settlement to resolve charges of misconduct, IPT serves as an independent source of non-commercial investor education materials. IPT operates programs under its own auspices and uses grants to underwrite important initiatives
  • www.finra.org
     The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 4,900 brokerage firms, about 173,000 branch offices and approximately 651,000 registered securities representatives.
  • www.nasaa.org
    The North American Securities Administrators Association is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA is a voluntary association whose membership consists of 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico.

  • www.napfa.org
    This company promotes consumer interest through advancing the profession of comprehensive fee-only financial planning by enhancing the skills of its members, emphasizing its members' roles as fiduciaries and educating the public about the financial planning process.
  • www.nasconet.org
    This is an association of state offices charged with oversight of U.S. charitable organizations.
  • www.morningstar.com
    Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research. Morningstar is a trusted source for insightful information on stocks, mutual funds, variable annuities, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, separate accounts, hedge funds, and 529 college savings plans.
  • www.fpanet.org
    This is the membership organization for the financial planning community and is dedicated to helping consumers make wise financial decisions to achieve their life goals and dreams.
  • www.icfe.info
    This website provides information that helps people of all ages improve their spending, increase their savings and use credit more wisely.
  • www.aarp.org
    AARP is a great resource for retirement planning. When you go to the main site click on the link for “Money” and you will  find all kinds of articles on retirement planning including a calculator.
  • www.better-investing.org This is an independent, non-profit, member-driven organization committed to teaching individuals how to become successful strategic long-term investors.
  • www.sharebuilder.com
    Provides guiding principles that are designed to make investing easy and affordable for everyone.
  • www.garrettplanningnetwork.com
    This site offers a nationwide network of Fee-Only, professional, financial advisors who are dedicated to providing competent, objective financial advice to people from all walks of life, on an hourly as-needed basis.
  • www.oneshare.com  
    The leading provider of single share gift transactions since its 1996 inception, this site created the concept of giving stocks as gifts.
  • www.frameastock.com
    This site specializes in the framing of individual shares of a corporations stock for truly unique gifts for any occasion.
  • www.lifeadvice.com
    This site provides an abundance of information to consumers regarding insurance, banking, investment and planning services etc.
  • www.investorside.org
    This non-profit trade association of investment research providers serves its members by certifying research providers, promoting the growth of independent research and promoting government policy that encourages the use of independent research.
  • www.choicetrust.com
    This site helps consumers make smarter choices by allowing them to gain information about the people or companies, both professional and personal, with whom you do business. Thus helping restore the element of trust that has been increasingly lost over time.
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Miscellaneous

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