You're Invited to Play Moneytopia!
Moneytopia is an immersive game that helps you learn more about managing your money while having fun. The loftier and more costly your big dream, the longer the game will last. Play the game—or, for a quick overview of different topics, check out the Moneytopia Tutorials.
|Play the Moneytopia Game!|
|Welcome to Moneytopia! Your goal is to successfully manage your money throughout life, until you achieve your Big Dream. To win, keep careful track of your finances, pay your bills on time, and take care of all the little day-to-day things that can impact your finances. Want to know more, check out the preview or dive in and play a round of Moneytopia then tell us what you think.|
What Are You Worth?
Your net worth is the amount of money you have when you add up everything you own and subtract all your debts. Many factors influence whether your net worth goes up or down. This tutorial includes a blank worksheet to help you calculate your personal net worth.
Monitor Your Financial Health
It's important to monitor financial ratios that will tell you if you have too much debt. Lenders use financial ratios to predict your ability to pay back a loan. Monitoring these ratios yourself will help you avoid surprises when you need a loan, and will enable you to spot the warning signs of debt before you get in over your head.
Avoiding Consumer Scams and Ripoffs
According to a survey by the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 25 million adults were victims of fraud during that year. Financial fraud can be sophisticated and trap even experienced consumers. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
What Makes Up a Mortgage?
Many people think a mortgage payment consists of only two parts: principal and interest. However, there are two more parts: taxes and insurance. Lenders use PITI—principal, interest, taxes, and insurance—together with the borrower’s income to evaluate the borrower’s capability to repay the loan. This tutorial includes a worksheet to help you calculate how much house you can really afford.
Preparing a Spending Plan
Creating a spending plan shows you exactly how you spend your money. A good spending plan allows you to see where your money is going so you can pay your bills, cut expenses and save and invest. It can also help you spot problems with your finances and identify the warning signs of too much debt.
Avoiding Deceptive Credit Practices
It’s tempting to do business with companies that offer a quick fix to debt or credit problems. But the truth is, there is no quick fix, and the solutions they offer may make the problem worse. If the promises a company makes seem too good to be true, they probably are, and in some cases they may even be illegal.
Saving for College
College costs continue to rise, so it’s never too soon to start saving for a child’s college education. Once you determine how much you need or can afford to save for college, the next step is to decide how you want to save. In addition to regular savings and brokerage accounts, there are a number of college savings alternatives that also provide a tax advantage.
Setting SMART Goals
To get what you want financially, you set goals. You stand a much better chance of reaching your goals if you have a plan—one that maps out action steps, timelines, and milestones. This tutorial includes a worksheet you can use to set SMART goals for yourself.
What’s the Risk?
Investing always involves taking on some degree of risk. It’s important to go into any investment with a full understanding of where it falls on the continuum of risk versus return. The higher the risk, the greater the potential return; the lower the risk, the less the potential return.
Assessing Whether to File Bankruptcy
Dealing with debt can be a very stressful, trying time. People sometimes think they need to declare bankruptcy when all they need is some help to get out of debt and make better choices on where they spend their money. But there are some situations where filing for bankruptcy may be a viable alternative.
Cash or Credit?
Credit cards can make it seem easy to buy things when you don’t have the cash in your pocket—or in the bank. But credit cards aren’t free money. This tutorial includes a worksheet that can help you track your use of credit and keep you aware of outstanding credit obligations.
Managing Debt Problems
If you are having trouble with debt, there are alternatives to bankruptcy that can be better for you, and your credit, in the long run. Bankruptcy will affect your credit for years, so it’s an option you should turn to only as a last resort. Alternatives include negotiating with creditors, seeking help from a professional credit counselor, and committing to a debt management program.
Buying or Leasing a Vehicle
Transportation is very important. Next to buying a home, purchasing a vehicle is likely to be the largest expense you’ll make, so there are major issues to weigh and decisions to make.
Comparing Financial Products
The investment landscape is filled with a wide range of different products, so before you invest, it’s important to have a good understanding of what’s available to you. Before you invest in a particular product, take time to understand it and assess whether it is a suitable product for you.
Avoiding Deceptive Investment Sales Practices
With the popularity of the internet and cell phones, old investment scams, such as Pump and Dump, as well as new schemes, are being pushed out to potential investors every day. But you can avoid becoming a victim by remembering a few simple rules.
Comparing Retirement Plans
It's critical to start planning for retirement while you are young. You will need to build your retirement nest egg with other types of investments during your working years in order to generate an adequate income stream after you stop working.