Allison’s Story: No Such Thing as Over-Prepared

Blonde haired woman in glasses wearing a white tee shirt and black blazer sitting at her desk and smiling

Meet Allison, a Data Analyst who lives in Winooski, Vermont with her three roommates. What do you do? I am the Manager of Data Analytics for a home health and hospice agency. I’ve been here for a year and a half, and really love my job. I have a lot of autonomy, and I get…

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Buchi’s Story: Experiences Instead of Material Items

Headshot of an African-American man in a professional studio who wearing a yellow polo and smiling

Meet Buchi, a self-employed bookkeeper who lives and works in San Francisco. What do you do? I’m disabled and I’m self-employed with bookkeeping. I do that on the side. It’s been good for these last 9-12 years. What did your upbringing teach you about finances? (laughs) Well, to manage money responsibly. Here in the US,…

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Barbara’s Story: A Penny Found is a Penny Saved

Red-headed woman in a ponytail wearing her glasses while smiling and taking a selfie

Meet Barbara, a happy retired grandmother who lives in Eugene, Oregon. What do you do? Before I retired, I worked as a cashier and gas station attendant. I also volunteered a lot. I have five grandkids and they all live in Eugene. They’re 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11. There are two boys and three…

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Andrew’s Story: The Pursuit of a Minimalist Lifestyle

Andrew and his wife and son sit on a couch together with their son

Meet Andrew, a recent newlywed living in Daly City, CA with his wife and their 13-year old son. What do you do? I work for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission in the Water Resources Department. I’ve been at this position for a little over three years, but I’ve been with the company for over…

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Daisy’s Story: Dreaming of a Purple House with Chickens

A woman with curly hair and glasses wearing a black dress and light green jacket side hugs her daughter who is wearing a teal blue jacket and backpack in front of their apartment

Meet Daisy, a part-time lecturer and breastfeeding peer counselor, living in San Francisco with her 5-year old daughter. What do you do for a living? I currently have two jobs and might pick up a third. I lecture a weekly class at San Francisco State University and I also have a part-time job as a…

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How much should I put in my 401(k)?

Yellow toy van carrying luggages placed on the sand of a beach with the waves crashing in the background

If you’re fortunate enough to have an employer who offers a 401(k), you should seriously consider participating. A 401(k) allows you to lower your tax bill and potentially build wealth through the stock market. Here’s how to figure out how much you should contribute. The power of the employer match You should contribute at least…

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Pashen’s Story: Lessons for My Boys

A black woman with pearl necklace wears a long white, pink, and black dress while smiling

Meet Pashen, a Florida native currently living in Lake Wales with her three sons. What do you do? I’m a paraeducator at my local school district. I help my students who may have learning disabilities. What did your upbringing teach you about finances? As a kid, I was always worried if my parents were going…

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What is private mortgage insurance?

Scenic picture of the painted ladies in San Francisco as well as the Financial District in the background

If you get a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home price, you are required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender (not you) in case you fail to make your mortgage payments. Banks, savings associations, credit unions, and mortgage companies make conventional loans…

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