Financial Basics for Money Smart Week with Karen Chan


Financial Basics for Money Smart Week with Karen Chan

Money Smart Week was started by the Chicago Fed in 2001 to share resources with individuals and help them become more educated in their personal finances. It has grown to be a national event with classes, seminars, and programs offered all over the United States.

Our guest today is Karen Chan, a Personal Financial Educator working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to promote Money Smart Week.

When it comes to educating others about money, Karen Chan says budgeting and tracking expenses is critical to financial success – especially at times when changes to your life have occurred. Going over in one budget, or even two, doesn’t mean the budget failed, it just means you need to make adjustments to your other categories to make up for the short fall. Budgeting allows you to do this and keep you from spending more than you make.

It may seem old fashion, but it’s something that is a very usable tool to help you look at where your money goes: Break your budget into three buckets: Fixed expenses like rent and cell phone payment, variable expenses like clothing or groceries, and non-monthly expenses like car registration or emergencies.

The easiest way to build up savings is to do it in such a way that you never see the money to start with. Have money automatically withdrawn from your paycheck into a separate savings account or set up contributions to a retirement plan at work.

When it comes to credit for beginners, Karen Chan says get a department store credit card. You have no credit, so you available credit line will be small and the interest rate will be large, but Karen says you only use the card to start building a credit history.

Applying for multiple cards can indicate to a lender or landlord that you might be likely to over extend yourself.

Our show sponsors

Proudly sponosred by Buzz indexes (BUZ on the NASDAQ)

health iq sponsor of money tree investing podcast


Today’s guest, Karen Chan:

Karen Chan is a Personal Financial Educator, providing non-commercial educational information to groups. She is also a Certified Financial Planner, although she uses the experience for training instead of practicing.

Karen’s website:
Get involved with Money Smart Week:


Today’s Panelists

Miranda Marquit | Planting Money Seeds
Doug Goldstein | Goldstein on Gelt
Linda P. Jones | Be Wealthy and Smart
Joe Saul-Sehy | Money in the Morning


For a quick bio of each of our show participants, head on over to our panelists’ page.

Send us your questions for a future Listener Letters episode


About our sponsor, BUZZ Index

Proudly sponsored by Buzz indexes (BUZ on the NASDAQ)

Ever wonder if there were a way to capitalize on all of that online chatter made by millions of investors on social media? Well, your wait is over, because now advances in Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technologies are at your fingertips…. even if you personally don’t use social media! The BUZZ Index, licensed to an exchange traded fund and trading under ticker symbol BUZ, provides investors with a portfolio of securities that delivers a basket of large cap U.S. equities exhibiting the highest degree of positive investor sentiment. No surveys. No guessing. BUZ only tracks what’s volunteered – and if you ARE online, you know that a lot of information is volunteered: millions of posts, comments and blogs are analyzed each month!

Here’s how it works: First, BUZZ targets the most mentioned large cap U.S. stocks across the Social Media landscape. The more active the conversation, the greater the reliability of the BUZZ.

Each of the most-mentioned stocks is then given an insight score based on BUZZ’s proprietary analytics and the 75 stocks with the most Bullish scores are included in the Index. Each month the BUZZ is tracked to capture the latest Big Data driven insights and then the 75 companies with the most Bullish scores are selected, positioning BUZZ to capture the highest return potential.

Invest in the wisdom of crowds. Visit for more information.


About our sponsor, Health IQ

health iq sponsor of money tree investing podcast

HealthIQ is a sponsor of the Money Tree Investing Podcast.

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  • Like saving money on your car insurance for being a good driver, Health IQ saves you money on your life insurance for living a health conscious lifestyle.
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