Finance A-B-C

Learn about Money

Knowledge is power

What is the difference between a prepaid card, a debit card and a credit card?

With a Credit Card, you pay after you buy something. Sometimes this can be helpful, but it can also be dangerous, if you spend more than you have. In those cases, you will build up debt, which can require monthly payments and interest.

With a Debit Card, you pay with the money in your bank and the bank may also lend you money, if you go over. Again, this can be helpful sometimes, but also expensive. When the bank lends you money on a Debit Card, many will charge a fee. The fees can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.

With a Prepaid Card, you pay with the money you have put on the card. In the case of the Univision Card, you never have to worry about the expense of borrowing money. You spend what you have and never have interest fees. In addition, we provide you with daily balance alerts via SMS*, so you can keep track of your money and spend it wisely.

*There is no cost for alerts from Univision Prepaid Card, however, messaging and data rates apply and your cell phone must be text message enabled. Please check with your cell phone carrier for rates and availability.

What does saving mean?

Saving is as simple as spending less than what you earn. But what sounds very simple in theory is very difficult in practice. You work hard for your money and it feels good to spend it. But the immediate satisfaction of buying that TV you wanted shouldn’t make you forget that saving has its rewards as well. Impulse purchases can get you in trouble, so make a spending plan and make sure you stay within your budget. Saving doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself everything. Go ahead and splurge from time to time, just make sure you won’t come to regret it later. Saving means having the resources to plan your future; it means being able to give your children and loved ones security; it means that you can rest easy in case of an emergency and, have the financial resources to face your future.

 

Simple ways to manage your money

If your aim is to spend less than what you earn, what’s the plan? You have to start thinking about simple ways of achieving this. Most importantly, keep tabs on what you spend. If you don’t know how much money you spend, how will you know if you’re saving?

  • First, write down how much money you get in a month.
  • Then write down your fixed monthly expenses, or what you have to spend every month to survive: housing, food, gas, etc.
  • Then, write down your flexible expenses, or how much you spend because you want to: on new clothes, going out, or presents. If your expenses are more than what you earn, then that’s where you need to make changes.
  • Take a look at your flexible spending to see what you can cut. Do you really need those new jeans?
  • Look at your fixed spending: can you reduce your gas consumption, for example? Is there a supermarket where you can find food cheaper? In addition, think about ways to increase your earnings.

Tips for Financial Success

Keep track of your expenses: write down what you spend and how you spend it. That way you’ll notice if you’re going over your budget. You can also use a Prepaid Card to keep track for your expenses.

Look for ways to save: search for sales, buy in bulk, find generic or store brand products. Try to put off expenses that are not urgent.

Say no to temptation: if you don't have the money to afford something, try not to buy it. It can be dangerous to go into debt for flexible spending items (like new clothes).

Pay your bills on time: when you’re late paying your bills, you’ll end up having to pay interest and penalties. And those will start adding up very quickly.

Ask for advice: navigating the American financial system can be complicated, but there are a lot of resources out that offer advice at a low cost or for free. Go online or to a community center nearby to find financial advisors.

Avoid paying in installments: if you can’t afford a purchase in its entirety, try to avoid making it. When you buy in installments, what you eventually end up paying is a lot more than if you paid in full.

Shop around: whether you’re looking to buy a box of diapers or a car, you’ll be surprised to discover that prices can vary from store to store or even online. So do a little legwork to find the best deal out there.

Take a deep breath: if you don’t need an item immediately, you should try to wait a couple of days before making a purchase. During this cooling off period you might decide you don’t need to make that purchase right now.

Set goals: when you’re making your monthly or weekly budgets, figure out how much of your income you can save in that period. Keep that amount in mind and make an effort to achieve that goal.

Write down good ideas: keep a "savings journal" to write down ideas on how to save and reduce your expenses. There are many financial experts, but you know your situation best, so trust your instincts on how to achieve financial success.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a measurement used by banks and other financial institutions to determine if you’re a good candidate for a loan or a mortgage. Each time you don’t pay your debts on time, or you miss a payment on installment purchases, you’ll be reported to the agency that prepares credit scores. You might not be thinking of buying a house or a new car right now, but you don’t know what might happen in the future. So it’s better to be safe than sorry: pay your debts on time and keep a good credit score.

Do you want to retire some day?

Saving, being careful with your expenses, keeping track of your credit score… Why are you making such an effort? Of course you’re doing it all because you want a better life for you and your loved ones right now. But you should also think about retirement. It’s never too early to start to plan what you’ll do when you reach an age when you want to stop working, or work less. And all the financial decisions you make today will affect the age when you retire and the quality of life when you do. Each time you think that it’s not worth denying yourself an expense or that you don’t have time to make a budget, remember that you’re making the effort to live well today, and in the future.