Collection of notes for managing money

Table of Contents


Choose a Bank

  • Look for banks that participate in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Need to verify participation on FDIC's Bank Find
  • What is the process and options for withdrawing money
  • Look up the reputation of the bank for its services if possible
  • Look for "account terms" or "disclosures" or Truth in Savings Disclosure for information on accounts

Physical Banks

Small Town Bank

  • Probably limited hours and ATM fees for ATMs that do not belong to that branch
  • Lower overhead can lead to better terms on accounts

Large Chain Bank

  • Probably large extensive ATM network with fewer fees but not as competitive terms on checking and savings accounts bc of the overhead of additional branches and ATMs.

Online Banks

  • Lowered cost of business (no branches to maintain) can lead to better account terms.
  • Convienent to access without having to go into bank. (Physical banks may offer online services too and so this may be a moot point)

Alternative Banking

Credit Union

  • Due to income tax exemptions Credit Unions can sometimes offer good deals on accounts
  • Not necessarily available for everyone.
  • Find local credit unions here

Account types

Checking Account

  • Generally earning low to no interest
  • Easy to use for transactions
  • Have to give permission in advance for overdraft protection

Credit Card

  • Avoid like the plague

Savings Account

  • Higher interest earnings than checking accounts but historically less than money market funds
    • Good banks now can offer competitive rates on savings accounts
  • Easier access to money than other options


Start Investing or Pay Off Debt

  • Debt with high interest rates should be payed off before investing as you would otherwise have to make enough on your investment to compensate for this loss
    • Example: Consumer credit ~18% interest you'd have to make more than 18% post tax to not lose money

Student Loans vs. Investing

  • No tax benefits to paying down student loans faster
    • Federal tax reduction under very specific circumstances (not a dependent and below a certain annual income)
  • Paying down student loans instead of investing reduces amount in emergency reserves
  • Depending on the interest rate on the student loans you could make more money from investing in relatively safe investments.
    • If you have a higher interest rate on your loans you might have to be ok with riskier investments to still outpace the interest on the loans

Pay Down Morgage vs. Investing

  • Like the student loans section you will need to compare the rate of return of your investments to the interest of your loans

Retirement Accounts

  • Give up front tax break but are taxed upon withdraw with the exception of Roth IRA's which do it backwards
  • Grow tax free


  • Generally for employees of larger companies
  • Employers will sometimes match a percentange of contributions
  • Can sometimes take out a loan against your account then the interest you pay goes back to you

403 (b)

  • Generally for non-profit organizations
  • Employer may match contributions

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)

Roth IRA's

  • Unlike the other retirement options a Roth IRA is included in taxable income when put in.
  • Also unlike other retirement account options a Roth IRA is not taxed upon withdraw


Long Term Allocation of Funds

Taken from Investing in your 20's and 30's for Dummies

For safe investors subtract your age from 100 and invest that in stocks and the remaining in bonds

  • ex. Age 25 \rightarrow 100 - 25 = 75% stocks \rightarrow 100 - 75 = 25% bonds

For safe investors subtract your age from 120 and invest that in stocks and the remaining in bonds

  • ex. Age 25 \rightarrow 120 - 25 = 95% stocks \rightarrow 100 - 95 = 5% bonds

Types of Investments

Type of investment Associated Risk/Return
Money Market Fund Low
Bonds Low-Medium
Stocks High
Real Estate High

Money Market Fund



Real Estate

Mutual Funds


Health Insurance

Disability Insurance

Life Insurance

Home Insurance

Car Insurance

Big Purchases

Car Purchase

House Purchase

Saving Money


  • Learn to cook and eat leftovers
  • Use store brands instead of name brands. The extra price for name brands is often advertising costs rather than food quality improvements. Sometimes the store brand is even the same product/recipe as the name brand.
  • Buy in bulk but be careful with spoilable items
    • Split the order with a friend to obtain the better price but not worry about food spoiling
  • Using a slow cooker can cut down costs
    • Avoid having to eat out on a busy night with a little prep time in the morning
    • Saves cooking time on non-busy nights too
    • Use less energy than stovetop or oven

Eating Out

  • Eat out for breakfast or lunch so that you can spend less for smaller portions

Reduce Taxes


Breene, Sophia. "13 Ways to Save Money With a Crock Pot." Greatist. N.p., 16 Mar. 2014. Web. 3 July 2015.

Tyson, Eric. Investing in Your 20s & 30s for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2013. Print.

Tyson, Eric. Personal Finance in Your 20s for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2011. Print.