It's Your Money

Knowing Your Net Worth: It's Not Just for Millionaires

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PHOTO: AK ROCKEFELLER

When you hear the words "net worth," you might picture people in limousines or country clubs. But many money experts say knowing your net worth—that's the value of all your money and possessions, minus all your debts—is valuable no matter what your financial situation is.

Your goal is for your net worth to be higher rather than lower, of course, but even if it's a negative

Smart Investing: Grow Your Money the Solid, Research-Based Way

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If you've thought about growing your money through investments, IU Professor of Finance Richard Shockley has some bad news: successful investing isn't very exciting.

The reason? The most reliable returns on long-term investment, Richard says, are very, very simple to achieve. No gimmicks, no magic formulas, no insider tips on hot stocks—and he's got decades of research to back him up.

Now for the good news: Richard shares his strategies for investing with you at Smart Investing: The Basics, a free presentation Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Main Library. To join us, call the Library at (812) 349-3050 or register online.

College, Cars & Cribs: Indiana Money Smart Week a Big Success!

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Lots of folks in our community are thinking about affordable education, transportation, and housing, but with their price tags going steadily upward, they're becoming less and less accessible. Knowledge is power, though—so arming people with information on these topics was the goal of the Library's events during Indiana Money Smart Week 2016.

A display highlighting MSW greeted visitors to the Library, featuring high-quality books and videos on money topics, free brochures and workbooks on getting smarter with your money, and information on the week's events. We were also fortunate enough to find real live experts to present at each of the three programs we offered last week: College & Your Kids, Rent Smart!, and Buying a Car.

At each event, practical, in-depth information was offered, and there was plenty of time for our experts to take questions from the audience. People who attended expressed their appreciation for the chance to get free, unbiased advice, One attendee told me, "These kinds of programs should be offered to people in every city in every state."

Thanks to everyone who came out to programs, and to the Indiana Daily Student for the nice article they published about our Money Smart Week offerings.

Indiana Money Smart Week: Free Library Events to Make You a Wiser, Happier Consumer

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It's here! We're looking forward to helping you become a wiser, happier consumer at three programs this week at the Main Library:

College & Your Kids: How Will You Afford It? | Monday, April 25 6:30–8 p.m. With the cost of higher education going up with no end in sight, parents need all the help they can get. Learn from an expert about the various options for paying for college—including taking advantage of Indiana's 529 savings program. This presentation is geared toward parents, but kids are welcome too—Money Smart Games for Kids, hosted by the Library's Children's Services staff, will be held at the same time.

Rent Smart: Apartment-Hunting Workshop | Wednesday, April 27 6:30–8:30 p.m. If you're planning to sign a lease this summer, this is the head start you need to find the best place for you and your budget. Learn how to find an apartment at the right price, evaluate leases and landlords, and avoid costly mistakes. A local property manager and landlord will also be on hand to answer your questions.

Buying a Car: Don't Get Taken for a Ride! | Thursday, April 28 6:30–8 p.m. An automobile is a major purchase you can't afford to make without arming yourself with information first. A former car lot sales employee walks you through the process of buying a car the smart way—where, how, when, and how much—without getting scammed. Teens welcome too!

Signing up is easy—just click on the program titles above, then look for the "Register Now" button. Or you can call 812-349-3263 or email money [at] mcpl.info. See you there!

Are You Ready? Indiana Money Smart Week Is Almost Here!

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It'll soon be Indiana Money Smart Week again this year, which means that starting this Saturday, free events will be offered all over the state for people of all ages. Here at the Library, the It's Your Money Project is on board too, with three programs next week aimed at helping you get smarter with your finances:

College & Your Kids: How Will You Afford It? | Monday, April 25 6:30–8 p.m. With the cost of higher education going up with no end in sight, parents need all the help they can get. Learn from an expert about the various options for paying for college—including taking advantage of Indiana's 529 savings program. This presentation is geared toward parents, but kids are welcome too—Money Smart Games for Kids, hosted by the Library's Children's Services staff, will be held at the same time.

Rent Smart: Apartment-Hunting Workshop | Wednesday, April 27 6:30–8:30 p.m. If you're planning to sign a lease this summer, this is the head start you need to find the best place for you and your budget. Learn how to find an apartment at the right price, evaluate leases and landlords, and avoid costly mistakes. A local property manager and landlord will also be on hand to answer your questions.

Buying a Car: Don't Get Taken for a Ride! | Thursday, April 28 6:30–8 p.m. An automobile is a major purchase you can't afford to make without arming yourself with information first. A former car lot sales employee walks you through the process of buying a car the smart way—where, how, when, and how much—without getting scammed. Teens welcome too!

Signing up is easy—just click on the program titles above, then look for the "Register Now" button. See you there!

Cable-Cutting 101: Try These Alternatives to Expensive TV & Movies

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PHOTO: KAT (FLICKR)

According to our friends at Consumer Action, the average American's cable bill has jumped nearly 40 percent since 2010. That really adds up over a year's time—up to $1100 for many households—but with less expensive options becoming more popular (the Library's DVDs and online videos are free, for example!), there are more ways to enjoy your favorite shows and movies without breaking the bank than ever before.

You can read more about which alternatives to cable and satelite are out there, and how they work, in the Spring 2016 issue of Consumer Action News.