Kicking Assets

A young person's guide to personal finance

Category: Blog (page 1 of 2)

Banking, the how to’s and Need to Knows.

Finance with Confidence — DoverPhila

Banks V.S. Credit Unions

Essentially, banks are for profit institutions where credit unions are non-profit institutions.

Why choose a credit union?
  • Typically has higher interest rates on deposits as well as lower interest on loans.
  • Emphasis on customer service.
  • Non-profit
Why choose a bank?
  • More branches in the region or across the country.
  • Typically quicker to roll out new apps and other tech.
  • For Profit


Checking and Savings Accounts

This is what you need to know, you use a checking account to spend the money you earn. A savings account is what you use to, save and profit off the money you earn. Often, a checking account is linked directly to the payroll system at your work, called a direct deposit. the savings account comes in when if you decide to allocate a set amount per paycheck to be deposited into savings. Money is earned on this savings through yearly interest. You give the bank your money to use, they in turn pay you interest on the amount you keep in the account.


Great Way to Use a Savings Account

A great way to use a savings account is as an emergency fund. Maintain a balance which overs 3-6 months of living expenses. Because you are keep this money in savings, you are also earning interest. One important thing to note is that there is a legal limit of 6 withdrawals per month from a savings account.

A few great savings account options.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account


With $0 minimum balance

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™


With $0 minimum balance

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings


With $0 minimum balance

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings


With $0 minimum balance


Do You Need Checks?

Simply, you don’t need checks. However, think of a check as a more secure, though less convenient version of a debit card, both function the same way. Often times a check will be used to make large payments, larger than your debit card may allow. If you go to pay for a car in “cash”, what actually happens is you fill out a check for the total amount of the car and that is then pulled out of your account. If you live in an apartment, it is possible that you can bring in a check to avoid paying online processing fees when rent is due. You can even use a check in some grocery stores if you happen to forget your card.

Here’s an info-graphic you can use to learn how to fill out a check.

How to Write a Check - An Example With Six Easy Steps & Pictures

“Premium” and “Cheaper” Grocery Stores. Where Should you Shop?

Written by: Kristina

Everyone seems to have their “go-to” grocery store, but what leads them to choose that grocery store? Is it the unbeatable prices or quality of the food? This blog will go through the pros and cons of the premium grocery stores as well as the cheaper groceries. In the end, you can decide which is the best to shop at.

Pros of Premium Grocery Stores

Ultimately, one of the pros of going to a premium grocery store is going to be the freshness and quality of the food you are buying. If you’re paying the money, it most likely is going to be higher quality. For example, many prefer to shop at stores such as Whole Foods because of the freshness and health benefits such as the natural products. A lot of these products are vegan or vegetarian which is helpful when living that lifestyle.

Cons of Premium Grocery Stores

One of the more obvious cons is going to be the price. Price could be higher because of the quality of products, but there may also be some other factors that affect price as well. This includes distributor pricing. While the stores may be receiving the same product, some may receive it for less because the distributor offers them more of a discount.

Pros of Cheaper Grocery Stores

A huge pro of cheaper grocery stores is the price difference. Products can differ even a couple of dollars, but in the end everything adds up. In this case, you can buy more for your money or save some money that you won’t need to spend. Some of the cheapest grocery stores in America is Aldi or Walmart.

Cons of Cheaper Grocery Stores

If you’re going to a cheaper grocery store, odds are there is a possibility of the food not being as high of quality. While this isn’t always the case, there’s probably a reason the store is so much cheaper compared to other stores.

All in all, if you’re concerned about price and quality of food, it’s possible to find a grocery store who offers both! offers a list of the cheapest and best quality grocery stores. This includes Aldi and Trader Joe’s. Check out this list and see which grocery stores you think are the best!

#budgeting #personalfinance #groceryshopping #smartmoney

Edited by: Brianna

15 Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s

Your 20s are a fun and exciting time in your life but many important life decisions are made in your 20s and most of them revolve around money. There’s a lot of financial talk going around about what you should be doing with your money in your 20s, but don’t you want to know what not to be doing? In no particular order, here are 15 money mistakes to avoid in your 20s!

1. Spending too much money on rent
While rent prices vary depending on location, as a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t spend more that 30-40% of your annual income on your annual rent. Don’t rent beyond your means. Do your research and try to find roommates.

2. Not having an emergency fund
You never know what life is going to throw at you. It is very beneficial to have an emergency fund set aside in the event of a medical expense, a car accident, or even losing your job. It is suggested that you have 3 months worth of salary set aside but just start small and build it over time!

3. Not having insurance
Going off of the last point, get insurance! You never know what will happen. Whether it is health insurance or renters insurance, insurance is a very important investment. It is always good to be prepared.

4. Pretending you can afford expensive outings
FOMO is real and it may be hard to resist going out with your friends, but if weekly Sunday brunch is hurting your bank account, you may want to cut back. Suggest cheaper alternatives to your friends who may have higher salaries!

5. Not negotiating your first salary
Entering the workforce is really intimidating, and many young people make the mistake of not negotiating their salary. Even if it’s not that much more, it doesn’t hurt to try. Learn to say no and know your worth!

6. Not reading the fine print
When you are signing a lease, employer agreements, or any kind of contract, don’t forget to read the fine print. It is important to know exactly what you are agreeing too. It could save you a lot of money in the long run.

7. Not saving for retirement
Retirement seems so far away, but the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better the payoff will be in the end. If you have a full time job, see if you qualify for benefits.

8. Not having financial goals
Financial goals guide you in your money endeavors. It is important to know how you are going to save and spend your money.
Check out our last blog post to read more about healthy financial goals.

9. Failing to track your purchases
It is so easy to track your spending. When you see your purchases all laid out in one place, you are able to see where your money is going and what things are necessary and unnecessary.

10. Forgetting about monthly subscriptions
Monthly subscriptions can add up and oftentimes they are not all necessary. It is easy to lose money by forgetting to cancel subscriptions after free trials are over.

11. Committing to higher education without a plan
College is not for everyone, and graduate school is not for everyone. When considering going to school, think about whether your debt is going to pay off in the long run. It is important to have a long term plan.

12. Not having multiple streams of income
This may not be possible for everyone, but if you have the chance it is very beneficial to have multiple streams of income. These days, there are so many side hustles that can earn you extra cash, even from home!

13. Buying a new car
Buying a brand new car is a huge investment. Your car is a depreciating asset. Its value declines the second you drive it off the lot. Buying a used car can save you a lot of money and still gets you from place to place.
Check out our blog about buying a car.

14. Not comparing prices
When shopping, avoid automatically opting for the first thing you see. Do your research and find the cheapest option for what you need. While it may just be a one or two dollar difference, those few dollars can add up in the long run.

15. Avoid lifestyle creep
According to Investopedia, Lifestyle Creep is the phenomenon where discretionary consumption increases on non-essential items as the standard of living improves. Just because you get a higher paying job, doesn’t mean you can start spending more and buying expensive things. Always keep a frugal mindset and be responsible with your money!

Edited by Marcus

Setting Healthy Financial Goals

by Marcus

As a young person, managing your finances can be difficult. Having to pay monthly bills, file your taxes, and apply for loans can make managing your money very stressful. However, one way to stay on top of your finances and be prepared for the future is by setting healthy and realistic financial goals.


Why Set Financial Goals?

You may be wondering… Is it really necessary to set financial goals? For many young people the future seems distant so setting long term financial goals is oftentimes overlooked. It is hard enough to juggle everything that is presently going on in your life so worrying about the future seems pointless. I can assure you it is not.

In my experience, setting healthy financial goals is an essential step towards reaching long-term financial stability. Setting healthy financial goals can put you on a path towards success. When you set goals for the future it influences the way you act in the present. This means that if your goal is to buy a house in the future, your spending in the present will be affected by this goal. While financial goals may seem centered around the future they can actually help you manage your money in the present.

How to Reach Your Financial Goals... 1 Day at a Time - Due

Tips For Setting Smart Financial Goals

When setting financial goals there are a few things that you should take into consideration. Below are some tips and strategies to setting smart financial goals.

Financial goals should be realistic and achievable. Goals are something you work towards and hopefully overtime something you achieve. If you find yourself struggling to reach the financial goals you have set then maybe you should rethink your goals. I like to start my goal setting small and work up to reaching bigger goals. I find that doing this helps me stay confident and motivated. Setting a goal that is unattainable or just impossible can actually cause you more stress and have a negative effect on your finances rather than a positive one.

Poll: Are you confident about meeting your financial goals? | Loop ...

When making financial goals you should figure out what is most important to you and why. Having a reason and motivation for setting a goal ensures that your goal is practical and right for you. Separate your financial goals into a list of most important to least important. For example, achieving your goal of paying off your student loans may be more significant than achieving your goal of saving money for a summer vacation. Know which goals have priority over others so that you can make healthy financial decisions.

Hold yourself accountable when setting financial goals. Find someone you trust that is willing to help you reach your goals and lean on them for advice or when you find yourself lacking motivation. Sharing your goals with someone you trust will help you be accountable for your actions. If you are supposed to be saving money for a new car but have been spending an exorbitant amount of money buying new clothes having someone remind you of your goals can make all the difference.


Setting Your Long-Term Personal Financial Goals & Priorities ...


3 Ways You Can Save Money Under Quarantine

As Coronavirus disease arises worldwide, we are faced to stay home and be under quarantine to ensure public health safety. Now that we have some extra time in our day due to staying home, it’s important to practice real life situations that can affect you in the future (as boring as it sounds).

Here are 3 ways you can practice this by saving money while under quarantine. 

Be sure your credit card report is in solid shape

If you’ve paid off a loan recently, make sure to check your credit report. It’s important to regularly check your credit card report because of the situations you can be in and not even know! 

Your credit score can change as often as daily, depending on how often the information in your credit report changes. If you’re planning to buy a car soon, checking your credit score more often will help you be prepared.

There are many ways you can check your credit score for free. If you want to monitor your credit score regularly, using a free service is the best way. Sign up for and You’ll be able to view your credit scores regularly for FREE! 

 File your taxes

President Trump recently announced that the deadline to file your taxes has been pushed to July 15th, but if you are receiving a tax refund this year, you will want to get that filed ASAP.

Try to not wait, keep in mind the quicker you file your taxes, the quicker you will get your refund! Most tax refunds are issued within three weeks. Your tax refund does not affect your coronavirus stimulus payment, if you’re eligible.

Save money on your car insurance

Since you’re probably driving a lot less because of the Coronavirus pandemic and no longer driving to work, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance. 

Some car insurance companies acknowledged that they have been charging too much for policy premiums during the Coronavirus pandemic and want to give money back to customers. 

Liberty Mutual said it was giving its auto insurance clients a 15% refund on premiums for April and May. Geico followed with a different kind of discount, which is a 15% credit for auto and motorcycle insurance customers. Geico will have policies come up for renewal between April 8th through October 7. 


Take advantage at this time to save on your car insurance since you aren’t using your vehicle at this moment and look into switching to a different car insurance to save yourself money. 


Relax and Stay Safe
I hope these tips were helpful during these stressful times. Enjoy your time being in quarantine by calling a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, have a glass of wine while watching something on Netflix, read a book, or spend some time making a home-cooked meal with your family! 


Edited by: Kristina

Saving Money Through Minimalism

You may have heard of minimalism before. Minimalism is often misunderstood, and has the stereotype of owning very few things, living in an empty room, and only wearing black and white. However, that is not what minimalism is.

According to The Minimalists, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important — so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

What this means is the practice of minimalism can help you change your life by allowing you to intentionally evaluate the things you have and decide whether or not they add value to your life. Through this process, you can decide to keep what you have, or eliminate them. Minimalism is not only beneficial for your mind, but it can also really help your finances!

Here are four minimalist practices to help you save money. While may not seem like they are impactful in the moment, in the long run, these practices can save you a lot of money.

Make Intentional Purchases
When you’re shopping, take a moment to pause and ask yourself if you really need this thing. Evaluate whether it is a “want” or a “need.” Think about what value this thing would add to your life. This simple practice can prevent impulse buys and allow you to spend your money more intentionally.

Choose Quality Over Quantity
When making purchases, try to choose high-quality items that will last longer and be more worthwhile in the long run. Opting for the cheaper option may be the convenient route to take, but it is more likely to fall apart or wear down after a short amount of time. Investing in things that will last longer will save you money, as you aren’t trying to constantly replace cheap items or clothing.

Downsize if You Can
A big part of minimalism is decluttering and letting go of things you no longer need. Once you have gotten rid of a lot of your belongings, you may find yourself not needing as much room for storage. While this option may not be possible for everyone, I huge way to save money is downsizing to a smaller or home or apartment when you realize you don’t need as much space.

Change Your Mindset
Many of our spending habits depend on our mindset. When spending money, it is important to consider why you are spending and how it will impact your life. Try to avoid spending because you feel obligated to spend – such as when you’re meeting a friend at a coffee shop, to don’t need to buy a coffee just because you’re there. When you’re buying a designer bag or pair of shoes, think about if you want them for yourself, or if you’re doing it for the purpose of showing off. Lastly, try to value experiences over material things. Meaningful memories cannot be replaced or duplicated. Invest in trips and experiences rather than material objects that may not hold value.

These four practices may seem minor and insignificant, but over time, they can leave an impact on your bank account and save you a lot of money in the long run. Consider slowly incorporating minimalism into your daily life and see the benefits for yourself!

Edited by Brianna

Best Cars for $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 and How to Get Them

Buying a Car SUCKS!

Let’s just get this out of the way. No one likes to drop a load of cash on a car, or get locked into a terrible financing deal that lasts 5-6 years. Those who do like it generally have more money than they know what to do with. I’m in college, and I have owned 3 cars in 3 years. No they weren’t crashed, well one was. This may be because I’m impulsive and picky, but I’d like to think it took me a few tries to find the right fit. In doing this, I have learned may tricks within the car sales industry, and I wanted to share with y’all my “professional” opinions.

Basic Rules to Follow

Look Out! Know the Warning Signs of a Bad Used Car Lot | DePaula ...

  1. Only look if you are ready to buy then and there.Sales people are there to sell, going to a dealership not ready to buy wastes your time and the time of your salesperson. It sounds redundant, but the dealership is there to make a sale out of you. Yes they want to develop a customer relationship, but lets be honest here, you’re always a number in their system.
  2. Make the biggest down payment you can! The ideal situation is that you can pay in full, ideal is the key word here. Make yourself follow the 25% rule. Have enough in pocket to pay for 25% of the car you want. $5,000=$1,250 / $10,000=$2,500 / $15,000=$3,750
  3. If possible, do all your negotiations via email.I have had the most success when I negotiate my price and options over emails with a salesperson. This can be done through basically any dealer website. Reach out when you find the one, ask what deal they can make you, and NEVER give them a price. You will be asked, “what do you want to pay” you answer should be “not that”.

So you have $5,000

Any car person will tell you, buy a Camry or an Accord, and they have a point. When your not working with a large sum of money, you need to consider cost or ownership and reliability. The Camry and Accord will check both of those boxes. However, they’re boring, and who likes boring. Here are three options that I have found on CarGurus which I think are good all round choices.

  1. 2011 Ford Focus Vehicle Full Photo
  2. 2012 Mazda3Vehicle Full Photo
  3. 2012 Ford Fiesta HatchbackVehicle Full Photo

Author’s Note

Notice you don’t see any European car. Cars from Europe are, in most cases, feats of engineering. That engineering costs money to maintain. Do yourself a favor, stick to American or Japanese, parts run cheaper on average, and they are much easier to service.

What About $10,000?

  1. 2011 Toyota Prius Five Vehicle Full Photo
  2. 2008 Infiniti G37Vehicle Full Photo
  3. 2016 Hyundai VelosterVehicle Full Photo

Let’s Go for the Big Money! $15,000

  1. 2019 KIA Forte
  2. 2018 Ford EcoSport
  3. 2018 Buick Encore

Be Smart

A car is the worst thing you will ever buy, period, but most of us need one. Don’t get bullied into payments you cant afford, and don’t look until you are absolutely ready. Make sure that you know what you want, you know what is going to suit your needs, and it is something you can afford. Most importantly, when in doubt, get an Accord or a Camry. 😉

It’s Time to Say Good-bye to that Debt

Written by: Kristina

Whether it’s credit card debt or student loan debt, debt is horrible and is something nobody wants lingering around their life. Unfortunately, as the years go on debt continues to rise more and more. According to NPR, national debt is expected to reach $28.7 trillion by 2029.

Although debt can be a burden, there are some ways you can relieve yourself of debt more quickly. (And no, one of these tips is not to take classes for the rest of your life so you never have to pay off loans!)

Pay More than the Minimum

Let’s say the minimum for your credit card payment is only $50.  Having a credit card in the first place probably means you have a decent income in order to have gotten approved. If possible, try paying more than that $50 to reduce the debt faster. Even doubling this payment to $100 will significantly reduce the amount needed to be paid.

Not only will this help with debt, but it will also help with interest rate. Most credit cards include an interest rate and the longer you don’t pay something, the more interest you will collect ultimately paying more than you would have in the beginning. An awesome tip when dealing with credit cards is to only use it if you know you can pay it off right away. This can almost completely avoid interest all together and keep you out of as much debt as possible.

Focus on the Debts with the Highest Interest Rates

The goal here is to be debt free, but to do that you’re going to want to start paying off the debts that are accumulating the most interest. This sounds like common sense, right? Rather than allowing more interest to add up, just knock these out first. This is not to be confused with the debt snowball method. This method suggests you should start with the smallest payment and slowly move up. Though this may sound like a good idea, in the end I’d want to insure that I paid the smallest amount I had to.

Get a Side Job

In the end, if nothing else works for you, you may decide it’s time to just get a side job. This can be something temporary just to give that extra push to pay these off faster. To discover new ways to make some money on the side check out, Finance Buzz.

While there are so many things you can try to pay off debt faster, these are just a few to help get you started.

Edited by: Victoria

#debt #studentloans #personalfinance

How To Build A Good Credit Score

Written by: Brianna

I know what you’re thinking, what the heck is a credit score? That is the same thing I thought going into this too. Here are some tips I found and thought I would share so we can all learn together! It’s good to find out how to start a credit score before adulthood comes into place, since you need a credit score for your future adult purchases. 


“A credit score is a statistical number that evaluates a consumer’s creditworthiness and is based on credit history: number of open accounts, total levels of debt, and repayment history. Lenders use credit scores to evaluate the probability that an individual will repay loans in a timely manner. A person’s credit score can range from 300 to 850; the higher the score, the more financially trustworthy a person is considered to be.”


Five tips to help you build a good credit score

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Use your credit card on important transactions only
  • Maintain your credit cards and pay it on time
  • Don’t open several credit cards at the same time, space it out. 
  • Write down what you purchase on your credit card to avoid overpaying


What Is Considered A Good Credit Score?

So, there is a scale it ranges from 300-850, a good credit score starts at around 690. So automatically anything higher than 690 would be considered the excellent which is where we need to aim at. 

Aiming to achieve a good credit score can teach us responsibility that we know how to pay on time and eventually it will prepare us for the real world.  

You can check out this free app called Nerd Wallet to find out if you have a good credit score…. For free?? Sign me up!

The benefits to having a good credit score

  • You will qualify for the best interest rates
  • You can get a more affordable price on apartment/house payments
  • Employers can also look at your credit score to see where you stand
  • Approval for loans from bank won’t be a problem
  • Pay less on car insurance 


Here are only a few of the benefits you gain from a good credit score. But did I also mention the bragging rights? Who doesn’t want to brag about having a good credit score when it’s something to be proud of? Start maintaining a good credit score now the earlier you do it the better!


Edited by Victoria

7 Tips to Cut Back on Spending

Written by: Kristina

As a college student, money can get pretty tight (trust me I know). It can be difficult to go out and do the things you love when the bank account is saving no. This doesn’t have to be the case though! Here’s a list of helpful tips and tricks that’ll cut back on spending and allow you to still be young.

1. Plan your Week’s Grocery List

This may not seem like it would make much of a difference, but if you plan your grocery list and decide just how much you want to spend, then there shouldn’t be any reason to go over that budget. Blindly going into the grocery store may lead you to buying unnecessary items that in fact you don’t even need.

2. Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships

I know for me, I’ve allowed subscriptions and memberships to go on far longer than they should have. This can be a huge money waster especially when they’re not even getting used! Little subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, and Apple music add up, so be careful. That extra $10-20 can make a difference.

This goes for gym memberships as well. Once a complete month has passed and the membership hasn’t been used, save yourself that money and cancel the membership. You can even save yourself money just by going on runs at your local park or doing work-outs at the comfort of your home.

3. Eat at Home

Eating at home rather than spending money at restaurants is a huge money saver. Who wants to spend money on groceries just to spend money on food at restaurants too? If you lack the time to cook everyday, meal prepping is definitely something to consider. Cook your meals for the week that way all you have to do is pop it in the oven/microwave when you get home from school or work.

4. Coupon

Don’t pass up those coupons you see in the mail or at the grocery store. Using coupons for purchases you actually need can save you tons.

5. DIY

DIY (Do it yourself) may take some time and skill, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Why go out and buy something when you can just make it at home? It may sound easier to buy it, but where’s the fun in that. You may even discover a favorite hobby you never knew about.

6. Sell Unwanted Items

This is one of my favorite tips. Once you start noticing clothes or shoes sitting in your closet for months, maybe it’s time to say goodbye. There are many stores in the Austin area, such as Plato’s Closet or Uptown Cheapskate, that take unwanted clothes and give cash for them. You’d be surprised the pile of clothes you can accumulate.

7. Use Cash to Pay for Things

The last tip is to simply use cash to pay for things. This makes it so much easier to see exactly how much money you have and reduces the tendency to overspend. Swiping a card can be so easy, until you check the bank account and ask yourself where all your money went.

Money as a college student can be tough, but using some of these tips can help make it a little more manageable! Why not try them out!

Edited by: Brianna

#savingmoney #budgeting


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