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April is Financial Literacy Month, and a great time to get your personal finances on track. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Create a budget. The first step toward taking control of your financial life is to find out how much money you take in and how much you spend. Use our budget worksheet to get started.
  • Pay yourself first. Consider using a payroll savings plan to automatically deposit a certain amount of money into your savings account each payday.
  • Keep credit card use under control. Got a credit card? Remember, incidental purchases add up. Paying only the minimum amount due each month can result in finance charges that quickly make small purchases very costly. Your credit also can take a hit. If possible, pay your full balance every month.
  • Protect your personal information. Reduce your risk of identity theft. Here’s how: Ask questions before sharing your personal information and know who you’re sharing the information with; store and dispose of your personal information securely; and maintain appropriate security on your computers and other electronic devices. While you’re at it, check out the warning signs that someone might be using your personal information.
  • Order your credit report from Make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a mortgage or other loan, buy insurance, or apply for a job. If you find errors, dispute them.
  • Learn about your options, and what to expect at the dealership, before you lease or finance a new or used vehicle.
  • Comparison shop for home loans and mortgages. A mortgage is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating can save you thousands of dollars.

Please share our resources with friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. And if you have a financial tip of your own, post it in our Comments section.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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March 29, 2018
Previously closed credit card accounts and accounts at one financial institution because of identity theft and unremediated loss of $5K caused at their end. This month deleted individual data, to limited extent allowed by Facebook, after receiving dumbfounding death threats from an unhinged Facebook "friend of a friend of a friend..." and reporting that to the FBI. Other than what FTC also has blogged / posted to date, what does FTC recommend for consumer protection and security re other social networks, e.g. Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., and to prevent hackers etc. from stealing personal data kept at banks, medical portals, etc.??
Scam buster
April 02, 2018
Reporting a bunch of scams i did that then my life got bad and the stock markets got well you know and i am still broke
Scam buster
April 02, 2018
Where can i find grants for individual personal use
Scam buster
April 02, 2018
Does this site show where funds get deposited and how can i find where funds in my name might have been transfered in 2015 2016
FTC Staff
April 03, 2018

In reply to by Scam buster

Are you looking for a refund from an FTC case? The FTC has a list of cases that resulted in refunds. Look at the list of cases. There is a phone number you can call if you have a question about one of those cases.

April 03, 2018
Please help me out with my future?
FTC Staff
April 03, 2018

In reply to by castello7670

This website has articles to read and videos you can watch to help with your future. Look at the list of words on the left. If you click on Money & Credit you'll see a list of articles to help you learn about saving money and using credit. There are more articles about other topics. Click on the words Video & Media. You'll see a page with many choices of videos to watch.

October 09, 2018
Credit card controlling is always very tough for me. To keep the budget in control is also difficult for me. thanks for sharing financial information.