Financial Literacy The Key to Excellent Financial Health

A recent study revealed that two-thirds of Americans are financially illiterate. Financial literacy revolves around being informed about money and building a solid capacity to be in charge of finances in each area of your life.

Insufficient knowledge about money is the main reason why most people make wrong money decisions. Normally, it’s also the cause of bad financial habits that are detrimental to a healthy financial health. Financial knowledge helps you not only live within your means but also plan for the future.

With a rapidly evolving economy, it’s your responsibility to learn more about money. There are numerous ways to improve your knowledge and this article will explore some actionable approaches.

Take action today

Money is a broad subject and you won’t learn and master in a few minutes. Taking a more targeted approach will be a strategic move in attaining mastery in the long run. With topics ranging from budgets, credit cards, insurance, emergency funds, retirement, and taxes you can easily decide a starting point. Find out the areas that interest you most and start there.

To keep the motivation alive, always aim for progress, not perfection. Track progress by using the many resources found online that can provide a benchmark for assessment.

Master the Rich Dad’s financial approach and the cash flow quadrant

This is a clever approach to finances that has been well outlined by Kiyosaki, a financial expert and New York best seller. Most people don’t know there are four facets to income generation. This will help in a paradigm shift that is necessary for revolutionizing your finances. The insight that is found here can inspire action and reveal an intrinsic motivation that can act as your anchor to developing life transforming habits.

Grab all the free professional advice you can get

Most Americans today have confessed that they don’t understand their debt. That is sad considering all the free information resources scattered around. The next time you walk into a bank take a moment to ask a few questions to the staff. These are professionals with careers they have formed around finances and they have dedicated their life to that. It will serve your interests to talk with someone who understands money.

Make use of online literature

You will be startled to learn that there are tons of online platforms that offer a wealth of information on money. The best thing is that you get to learn almost any topic for free. Most financial blogs are updated on the current financial knowledge and well laid out in simple language.

If budgeting it the target topic, there are blogs that will go as far as providing templates and suggest workable ideas on budgeting. In addition, becoming part of a budgeting community on the platform provides the moral support necessary for success.

There are also some experienced journalists that are dedicated to educating the public on the recent trends. Also, it will be great to follow them online and the lessons you can learn will be worth it.

Enroll in a course

We are in the digital age and that means you can learn just about anything in the comfort of your home. Platforms like Udemy are never short of resourceful courses that you can take anytime. If you want a different approach, there are comprehensive books on personal finance and most will come with worksheets to track your progress.

The government has partnered with local institutions and you can get educated for free. All that is required is to commit some time and the journey begins.

Start reading financial news and reports

In the business world, trends are changing every day and it is very easy to be left behind. To stay updated on the current trends, financial news should become a priority. Scanning through the pages only requires a few minutes but the insight can be priceless.

Determine what motivates your financial advancement

The world is full of useful advice and insight about money. While most people do listen, almost all of them ignore the lessons learned. In short, every great advice received is utterly useless until it is acted upon.

You must realize that there is a similarity between money matters and dieting. They both involve a change of habits that are deeply woven in a lifestyle. No matter how simple the implementation appears, habits are comfortable beds that are difficult to get out of.

If you will ever make any meaningful adjustments to your financial habits, you need some advice and action plans that anchor on your deepest motivations about money. It’s the only way to inspire a deeply rooted action that can stand the test of time.


Becoming smarter about money doesn’t require complicated approaches with long hours per session. Instead, taking a few moments regularly will lead to accumulation of a significant knowledge in finances. Every day ask yourself how much you know about a topic and work relentlessly towards mastery.

All that is needed is the right motivation and the process becomes effortless.

Ultimate Guide of Christian Financial Gurus- Who you should Follow.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

crossWhose wisdom you would follow in terms of financial advice is up to you and who seems to speak the truth for you. There are many financial gurus out there giving sound advice on living within your means and keeping away from financial ruin.

Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. –Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey has the largest following on the internet with “The Dave Ramsey Show” has many internet resources he uses to communicate

Active on Google Plus, Dave Ramsey recent post:


He had tips on making extra cash while you start changing your budgeting including:

  •         Cello lessons
  •         Making cakes
  •         Poop-scooping service
  •         You Pick It Pumpkin Patch
  •         Driving Seniors to Appointments

His Youtube channel has many stories of people who get debt free by using his advice as well as even the discussion section of Youtube filling with people asking questions on what to invest or what they should o in their circumstances.

You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you. –Dave Ramsey

With an Itunes Podcast , the Dave Ramsey Show, and on his website with books to sell on “The Legacy Journey”, what the Bible say about money and other books; classes on “Dave’s Plan –Take Control of Your Money!” which includes a DVD HOME STUDY kit “Financial Peace University”, online tools for creating budget,  newsletter and  speaking engagement tour. You can also get a “Total Money Makeover” with a software to carry on your laptop, mobile or desktop tracking your zero-based budget.

You can start with “Seven Baby Steps” and go on to create a budget and read about Budget basics and find out “How to Get Out of Debt” or “The Truth about Debt Reduction”.

It’s almost is easier to ask what software, hardware or media that Dave Ramsey doesn’t use than to list what he does with his Christian based financial business.  If Dave Ramsay resonates with you and his message of “Take Control of Your Money” then you should follow him.

so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17)

For a quieter Financial Freedom assistance, Rev. Bob Louder of Christian Financial Ministries with the motto “From Information to Transformation” can help with E-coaching on the internet with “Financial Freedom God’s Way On-Line Academy” in the privacy of your own home.  As well, you can hire Rev. Bob Louder as a personal coach or listen to radio seminars like “Financial Safety for Seniors” and read “A $ Word for Today” with a thought and a prayer for each thought.

Rev. Robert B. Louder, as mentioned on his website, is a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Nebraska, MBA through the air Force Institute of Technology from the University of North Dakota, Air War College. A Bible-based financial teacher, trainer, counselor, coach and consultant, Bob has worked with and/or developed and presented materials for organizations such as Christian Financial Concepts (Larry Burkett), Crown Financial Ministries, and the Lampo Group (Dave Ramsey).  His local, regional and national radio and TV experience including TV appearances on the 700 club, with the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, and on the nationally syndicated Fox TV Network.  Bob authored several Bible-based financial E-Books and a wide variety of articles and reports for the Christian Post, The American Family Association, and several Christian newspapers and magazines.  He provides Bible-based financial newsletters to subscribers in 19 countries.

Join a Community of Christians who want to Live Debt Free and Give More

Christian Personal Finance is a resource for Christians to get practical tips, biblical revelation, and wisdom about how to handle our money. According to Bob Lotich, you should appreciate your wealth.

Bob used his passion for personal finance to launch his award-winning blog,, in 2007.

The site has seen over 20 million visitors since inception and his writing and advice have been featured in

Men’s Health Magazine, Forbes, Real Simple Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and many others.

Bob has resources including a ‘Getting Started’ course. a FREE 4-week email course containing 20 lessons that will give you actionable steps to help you save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a year, get out of debt, better organize and manage your finances, and help you begin planning and preparing for the future. As well he blogs about finances including

5 Question to ask yourself before you begin budgeting

Is Refinancing your Mortgage always a good thing?


5 ways men and women spend money differently

The Female side of Finances

For a female perspective with a financial side, Deborah McNaughton of writes on how to get out of debt, credit repair, the mysteries of FICO score and starting your own business. She has written “The Essential Credit Repair Handbook” and “Money Trouble” both available on Amazon.

Deborah is a monthly columnist for First for Women magazine and has been interviewed on hundreds of national television and radio stations, including CNN, Bloomberg Television, and Good Day New York. She has also been quoted as a credit expert in many publications, including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Today ‘s Christian Woman.

These are some of the financial gurus out there on the internet who are giving money advice with a Christian theme.  Whether you will follow one of these gurus or others, it will depend on your beliefs and whether their message inspires you.  Do you have any other Christian Financial Gurus that you would like to include here?

Five Core Money Principles for Better Money Management

Your perspective about money speaks much of your capability to make the right decisions when it comes to money management. Many people find themselves in a financial mess, enormous debts and no retirement savings because they fail to live by the right principles when handling their finances.

To become better at personal money management, there are basic principles that you need to keep in mind, and they are the following:

Principle #1: Don’t Spend Beyond Your Means

This is the central idea in effective personal finance management—to spend less than what you earn, and to strive to earn more. Having the discipline to live below and within your means is crucial in budgeting, saving and investing. Make sure that you daily, weekly and monthly expenses do not go beyond what you paycheck allows, or you will find yourself in enormous debts and empty bank accounts when you need money the most.

Principle #2: Be Mindful of Your Expenses

Don’t let a single dollar out of your pocket without carefully considering whether or not you need to spend it. Cut off expenses where you can in all the areas of your life so you can make allowance for other needs, especially for your savings. Be critical in all your expenses. Here is a great FREE spending app available from Amazon for use on all Android devices that tracks your spending. It’s called Spending Tracker.

images (2)Principle #3: Eliminate Debts ASAP

Focus on eliminating your debts. Enormous debt not only cause stresses but it actually stops you from achieving the financial freedom you long for. They disrupts cash flow and their interests can accumulate overtime. So, strive to be debt-free!

Principle #4: Learn and Do Investment

Money-smart people know that they also need to make their money grow and not just keep them. Educate yourself about investment options out there. Choose low risk investments or reap higher rewards with higher risks. Whatever you choose, invest your money and let it grow. Read more on our review of Betterment.

Principle #5: Set Goals and Strive to Achieve Them Consistently

Make goals for yourself and stick with them. Create long- term, mid-term and short term goals and direct your every step towards achieving them. Having a set of goals will help you keep track in your effort towards better money management and financial stability. Once you reach goals, replace them with new ones. Don’t stop achieving!

Secure Your House, Land With Property Insurance

As a new owner of a small business you may have noticed the vast to-do list needed to be completed in order to run your business properly.  On that list you’ll come across the usual, hiring employees, finding a location to run your business, get financing for your new business and finally… getting all of the appropriate insurance coverage plans needed to secure the safety and longevity of your business and all of the its assets.

On that list of insurance plans you’ll notice a couple that may be a no brainer for you, general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance for example; but there is one more type of insurance plan that is just as important for the safety of your company, property insurance. Now, you may be thinking that because you do not own the building you would not or should not need property insurance, which is a common misconception unfortunately. Whether you rent, own, or lease the building you are working out of, having property insurance is imperative. Property insurance will provide protection against a large amount of risks that can harm property (including, but not limited to internal appliances as well as external, as in the building itself). These risks are usually fires, weather damage and even theft. That’s right, theft; so if your company is the unfortunate victim of a burglary and you have property insurance, your lost items will be compensated for and/or replaced. Now that’s that kind of protection that should provide you as an owner, with a little relief and less stress.

Property Insurance

Bottom line, property insurance does not just cover the physical property of your company but in fact it provides the coverage for all of the itemized property that your business is in possession of. No matter the type of business you own and/or run, property insurance is a form of coverage that should be a priority purchase. Protect yourself, you company and its longevity in every way possible.

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Car

saving on your carThis is a guest post by Stuart at Contract Hire a Car.

Everyone is concerned with how to save money; you probably have thought a million times about ways to cut expenses. One of the biggest ways to save money is by cutting back expenses on a vehicle. Here are the top 5 ways to save money on your car.

Do Your Own Repairs
The mechanic will charge an arm and a leg to do service work. They will add additional surplus charges to the parts and the other extra fees can be absorbent. A typical pair of brake pads and rotors can cost under $100, add labor to that and it can quickly increase to $200 or $300, depending where you live. There are online tutorials and various other websites that can help even the novice learn how to repair any part of their car. Watch a few online videos and soon car repairs can be a huge way to save.

Keep Up On Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is just that, it prevents a major occurrence. Routine oil changes and checking the air filter can save a great deal of money. An engine that has had the proper oil changes will always fair better than those who have ignored preventative measures. Maintenance makes common sense and it can prevent a costly mechanical breakdown. If a mechanical failure should happen on the road, adding a tow to the bill can be an absorbent expense.

Shop for Insurance
Insurance companies advertise on television all the time. It may pay to shop around and find a few good bargains to associate with current coverages. There is always a better deal, just be sure the coverage levels are the same or better than what you have now. If you have way too much coverage for an old beater, consider downgrading a bit for a big savings. Some cars are not worth carrying full coverage on, so weigh the costs and consider what the best option is.

Save On Gas
Gas is one of the biggest expenses there is in owing a car. Rather than driving everywhere, try carpooling or biking on occasion. The method a person drives can also be harsh on the gas mileage a car gets. Those who travel in excessive speeds or do a lot of in town driving may pay more at the pump. Always go the speed limit and avoid those busy streets when the freeway will offer premium mileage out of a tank of gas.

Wash and Wax  
While it may seem like a good option to drive through one of those washes where they do everything for you, clean your car yourself. If a person has a hose with a water saving nozzle, washing the car at home can be a big savings. The cheapest car wash is around $10.00 in most cities; add that up on a monthly basis and it can be quite expensive. Washing and waxing can be a costly expense, as well as detailing. Making a car shine with a fresh coat of wax and sparkling interior doesn’t have to break the bank.

photo by Moyan Brenn

How To Successfully Barter Your Services

barteringBartering is a form of payment that’s been used for centuries. Whether you are trading chickens for a goat or conducting a more modern day exchange, bartering is a great way to get what you need without having to pay cash. Of course, as with any form of payment, there are definitely some things to be aware of. So, below are some tips to make sure your barter goes as smoothly as possible.

Exchange Based On Time

When you are trading someone for completely different services, it can be difficult to ascertain what constitutes as an even trade. One of the best ways that you can barter evenly is to trade time. If it takes you two hours to do your handyman’s taxes, and it takes him two hours to tile your bathroom, then your time is traded equally. Each one of you is doing something that the other would prefer to avoid. This makes each person feel as though they are getting an excellent deal. If you feel that your service is worth more than someone else’s or that you had to put in more time and education to be able to do your service, you can always exchange based on value.

Exchange Based On Value

Sometimes, you will have to increase the quantity of your side of the barter in order to receive something of greater value. For example, you might own an art and framing business, but you might want landscaping for your home. You might have to exchange several pieces of art for a nice landscaping job. Similarly, you might have to detail several cars if you want a dental appointment in exchange. These are examples of exchanging based on value.

Make a Contract

Many people who barter make the mistake of agreeing to terms with a handshake. While you may trust someone implicitly, sometimes it’s simply helpful to write down everyone’s expectations so that no one gets a false sense of hope. This is also important if you are dealing with friends or family, just to have a signed record of the agreement. Remember that if there is a problem with your deal, a contract will be your only evidence of an agreement.

Agree On a Time Frame

Some projects and services take longer than others. If you are building furniture for someone, it might take a lot longer than someone completing an eye exam. Despite this, it’s important to remember that you are treating your barter as you would with any other business exchange. That means completing projects in a timely manner and ensuring that your client doesn’t have to call you and remind you that you owe them something.

Treat Them Equally

It’s easy to put a project on the back burner if you aren’t waiting for a cash payment, so it’s important to remind yourself that your clients are all of equal importance, regardless of their payment methods. If a job takes longer than you expect or becomes frustrating, just remember that you are also getting something you want out of your bartering deal. Treat them as you would want to be treated.


As evidenced, bartering is a great payment method that has been proven to work for hundreds of years. However, it’s not without its flaws. So, remember to think carefully about how you want to exchange services or products, write down your expectations, and treat each other with respect. Complete those steps, and you should have a great experience bartering.

Have you ever used bartering to get what you want? Were you successful in your exchange?

photo by vaticanus

Don’t Blow All Your Legal Funds Before You Get To Court

No matter what people think, there  aren’t  a lot of individuals who truly enjoy lawsuits. Yes, there are people who love justice, and those who enjoy the money they may get. But the process of a lawsuit can be daunting, dirty, emotional, and just plain exhausting. This is why you need to realize that if you’re going to enter into court as a plaintiff or a defendant, it will most likely be a marathon and not a sprint.

Famous Case

One famous lawsuit that changed how people received awards has recently come back into the spotlight. reported that nearly 50 years after the case was settled, German manufactures of Thalidomide came forward with an apology. The lawsuit decades before was because the un-recommended drug had been given to pregnant women for morning sickness and it caused birth defects that were:




The lawsuit became famous because when the amount of money awarded to the plaintiffs was so big that it would have put the distributors out of business. This suit was the beginning of  structured settlements.

Games People Play

The reality is, court is expensive for everyone involved even before a decision is made about who wins or loses. And larger lawsuits can drain individuals of their personal fiance just to keep fighting. In fact, this can be a tactic for some defense teams. reveals, the defense is unwilling to pay an appropriate sum without forcing the plaintiff to wait longer and incur greater expenses in preparing for trial. A Forbes article recently discussed Mary Brown’s bankruptcy while she waiting on her lawsuit against Obamacare.

The Cost of Court

The American Intellectual Property Law Association reveals that it can cost a plaintiff over a million dollars to pursue a case for patent infringement. For a start-up company, or midsized firm, this can easily bankrupt them. walks you through what a simple slip and fall case might cost you versus what you would win.

Sue for $15,000-18,000.

Contingent lawyer fee (only gets paid if you win) will be approximately 1/3rd or $5,000-$7,000.

Other costs:

Witness fees.

Wages lost while attending court.

Notice to attend fees.

Filing fees.

Extraneous court costs.

Having to pay for someone beingserved

Expert fees.

Enforcement of judgment if the person won’t pay.

How to be Prepared

If you do a little homework and make smart decisions up front and along the way, you won’t have to lose your shirt waiting for a lawsuit outcome. Some pre-lawsuit tips from include:

Make sure you have a good case to start with.

Make a final demand from the business or individual before you file.

Try to compromise or use mediation if the other side is willing.

Know for sure if you will be able to collect if you win the judgment.

Get an estimate from your lawyer for what they would charge, court cost, etc. Decide if it’s cheaper to settle.

Do the math on if you have the time and resources for a long, or drawn out lawsuit.

Are you able to meet the statute of limitations?

Is your claim small enough for small claims or conciliation courts?

Only you can decide if you would be able to afford a long trial, and if the lawsuit is worth it. Do the math, think it through, and make the decision that is best for you.

Easy Ways To Protect Your Money

moneyAre you doing everything you can to protect your money?

We spend most of our days working very hard to support our families and pay our bills, but a surprising few take the steps to ensure that their money and their credit is safe from those who want to abuse it. We currently live in a world where identity theft is rampant. Technology has advanced at a surprisingly rapid pace, and those who want to utilize it for harm can easily do so. So, what are we to do to ensure that our hard earned dollars are safe? Below are a few ideas.

1. Check your credit report every year.

It only takes a few minutes to get your credit report from This website allows you to view your reports from all three major reporting companies. You’re allowed to check it once a year free of charge, and you should. Just last year, I found out that I had a huge fee on mine for not returning an audio book to the public library. It’s a bit of a long story, but essentially, I moved and never got the notices. I was able to pay the fee and get it resolved on my credit report. That was a small blip on my credit, but there could be larger problems on yours caused by identity theft that you might want to rectify. That’s why you have to be vigilant about checking it every year.

2. Use cash.

We’re so used to swiping credit cards and debit cards everywhere we go, and that’s a great way to track your spending. However, this is the easiest way for someone to get your credit card information. Once, my husband paid for dinner at an airport, and the waiter wrote down his credit card information and tried to use it to spend $400 at Wal-Mart. Luckily, our bank blocked the payment, but the downside was that they froze my husband’s card. This meant that he had to wait for a new card to be shipped internationally, since we live outside of the U.S. This annoyance could have been avoided if we would have just used cash.

3. Use PayPal for Internet purchases.

PayPal certainly has pros and cons, but the biggest pro is that they provide a secure way for your to purchase items from people you don’t know. I’ve noticed over the past year or so that more and more companies are allowing PayPal as a payment option. While they do have plenty of fees, they also allow you a voice to contest payments and get your money back if you never received an item.

4. Keep your receipts.

There have been many times where I was able to get a few dollars back by noticing discrepancies between my online bank account and my receipts. All you need to do is carry a small envelope with you marked “receipts” and simply check them against your bank account once a week.

5. Store your documents in a safe place.

If you keep important records at home like your tax information, make sure that you keep them in a locked file cabinet or in a safe. If your documents are out in the open, your social security number might be visible to others and thus more susceptible to fraud. If you like keeping online records better, just ensure that your documents are kept secure with an excellent password that preferably has a mix of upper and lower case letters and symbols.

By doing the tasks above, you will be well on  your way to protecting your hard earned money against simple mistakes and indentity theft.

Another way to protect your money and your investments is to choose gold as an avenue for investing.  Consider US Money Reserve if you are thinking about breaking into the gold market.

Are they are any other methods that you can use to protect your money? Please share in the comment section below.

photo by MollyDG

Changes to The Law Regarding No Win No Fee

no win no feeNo win no fee solicitors have represented a viable and beneficial opportunity for those with a litigation case to claim what they believe they are owed. The no win no fee service has become an especially popular model with those individuals looking to contest personal injury claims of all sorts. Such personal injury claimants can include those that have been injured in a car accident or road accident as well as those that have slipped, tripped, or fallen. However, no win no fee is used in other instances too.

What Is No Win No Fee

No win no fee, as the name suggests, is a service which means that the individual does not pay a fee unless their solicitor is successful in winning their case. The fee is typically taken out of the winning compensation and the claimant does not have to risk any of their own money using a service like this.

Case Confidence

Solicitors that offer this type of service will usually only be willing to take on those cases that they are confident of winning or that have a potentially high enough pay out to take a calculated risk on that case. It is obviously in the best interest of the solicitor and their company to win the case; otherwise they will have provided their service without recompense.

If You Lose

You should be aware that if your solicitor does lose the case while they are not permitted to claim a legal fee for their work from you, according to the terms of a sound legal contract, they are allowed to claim any reasonable expenses that they faced. If they had to pay a fee to collect your medical records or to complete any legal search then you may be expect to pay this. Your solicitor may arrange for After the Event❠insurance to cover the cost of paying the other party’s legal fees and disbursements.

No Win No Fee Services

A successful claims with a reliable no win no fee solicitor can enable you to contest a compensation claim that you would not have otherwise had the money to contest. This means that you could claim back thousands of pounds of money that you are entitled to without having to risk any of your own money.

A Bank that Pays Down your Student Loans?

Smarter BucksHave you heard of SmarterBank ®? Probably not, and that’s unfortunate because it could change the way you pay off your student loans. We’re talking an online bank that actually helps you get out of debt instead of into it. Weird, we know. Here’s how it works:

Better online banking

Online banking is practically standardized these days. SmarterBank is no different, coming with all the features you want. You get an online checking account with no monthly fee for active users, a SmarterBank Visa ® Debit Card (with a network of over 40,000 free ATMs), free checks, free online bill pay, and more. Their banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, the same bank behind PerkStreet and Simple.   SmarterBank, however, distinguishes itself with SmarterBucks, their free rewards program.

Rewards that become extra student loan payments

SmarterBucks allows you to earn rewards on the money you’re already spending. But here’s where things get interesting: SmarterBucks rewards become extra student loan payments that are used to automatically pay down any student loan you choose, whether it’s private or federal. And redemption is automatic. Every month you have an earned reward balance of $15 or more, they’ll make an extra loan payment on your behalf. It’s a value proposition we’ve never heard before. And it’s one we like.

The secret ingredient

Traditional rewards programs offer points or dollars you use to purchase something. SmarterBucks, on the other hand, uses those rewards to pay off your student loans faster. This actually increases the value of the rewards you earn. Here’s how: if you earn $15 in SmarterBucks and contribute that toward a student loan, you’ve not only paid off $15 in debt, you’ve avoided paying accruing interest on that $15 for the rest of your loan’s repayment period. Depending on your interest rate and where you are in your repayment period, your $15 payment could reduce the total cost of your debt up to 2-3 times that amount. They harness the power of interest to make your rewards worth more than they’re face value. It isn’t just a good idea. It’s a brilliant one.

Plus, earning rewards is easy!

With SmarterBank, you can earn rewards on everyday spending like groceries and gas, or coffee, or movie tickets, or restaurants. You get the idea. You get rewarded for the spending you already do. What’s better than that? Or earn bonus rewards in the SmarterBucks Marketplace by shopping with your favorite brands, including the Apple Store,, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Groupon, and more. You can even invite family and friends to contribute directly to your rewards balance via their credit or debit card. That means things like birthday presents, Christmas gifts, or any other special occasion can help you get out of debt faster. What’s even better? Come February, SmarterBucks will be giving you the power to have what they call Giftersââ”people who sign up and use SmarterBucks to earn rewards on your behalf. Basically your family and friends can soon earn rewards on the money they’re spending then give those rewards to you.

A company dedicated to college affordability

SmarterBank and SmarterBucks are brought to you by the team at SimpleTuition, a company that’s been dedicated to college affordability since 2006. They’ve already helped millions of students and families better afford their college education by teaching them to search and compare student loan options. Now they’re helping those same students get out of student debt faster. Now go sign up for Smarter Bucks!