MakingCents Resources to help your money grow


Retirement Planning

Ballpark Estimate® - Worksheet for calculating how much you need to fund a comfortable retirement.
Cornell University Legal Information Institute - The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University guide to estate planning.
Get Your Finances Ready for and Get out of Debt CC Processing - View videos and podcasts for debt consolidation purposes.
Health and Retirement Benefits After a Job Loss - Information from the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) on protecting health coverage and retirement benefits. - Official U.S. site for Medicare, with information on enrollment, eligibility, coverage, and claims.
Nolo: Wills, Trusts and Estates Center - Includes free legal information, articles, and FAQs.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation - Federal corporation protecting workers in defined pension benefit plans.
Plan Well, Retire Well - Funded in part by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust, this nonprofit University of Illinois site provides independent, objective investor education.
The Payment Guru - Information on payment gateways and reducing expenses for small business.
Moto Merchant Services - Information about small business services for credit card payment processors.
Smart 401k Investing - Step-by-step guide to starting, investing and managing your retirement account.
Social Security Administration - Use retirement planner and benefits calculator, apply for benefits, and find Social Security information and tools.
Top 10 Ways to Beat the Clock and Prepare for Retirement - Concise booklet created by the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, available in PDF format.
Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) - Fact sheets on saving & investing, retirement plans, health care, divorce & widowhood, and more.

Consumer Protection

2011 Consumer Action Handbook - Contains helpful tips on preventing identity theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint and more.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - The official government website.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) - Resources to educate and protect consumers about banks, internet banking, loans, mortgages and fraud protection.
Fighting Back Against Identity Theft - One-stop resource to learn how to deter, detect and defend against identity theft.
Financial Fraud - A list of helpful resources on financial fraud.
FINRA BrokerCheck - Check the professional background of current and former FINRA-registered securities firms and brokers.
Global Payments - Tutorial and information on high risk payment processors.
Identity Theft - Information from the FTC on defending against identity theft.
Investor Protection - The tools you need to be an informed investor and avoid problems in today's complex world of investing, from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Medicare Fraud - Tools, announcements, and information from the U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services and the Department of Justice.
Money Matters: Tips from the FTC - Get help weathering tough economic times and tackling money issues from the Federal Trade Commission.
OCC Fighting Identity Theft - Consumer protection information from the U.S. Treasury Department Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. - Practical tips from government and technology industry sources to help protect yourself against Internet fraud.
Online Banking - Tips on safe banking over the Internet from the FDIC.
Protect Yourself Online - Safeguard your money and personal information in online accounts.
Seeking Solid Financial Footing for the Next Decade: 10 Tips for 2010 - Sound advice for financial matters related to savings, retirement, college financing, emergency funds, insurance and long-term investing.
Stop Medicare Fraud - Tools, announcements, and information from the U.S. Departments of Health & Human Services and the Department of Justice on fighting and reporting Medicare Fraud.

Savings & Investing

Basics of Saving and Investing - A four-part investor education program that includes an Introduction to Financial Markets.
Choosing Investments - Learn the advantages, disadvantages, risks and costs of different types of investments.
Classroom Resources - Includes a list of Best Resources by topic plus games and educational materials.
Dollars from Sense - Designed by experts to help college students understand the basics of personal finance, reach their financial goals, and learn how to invest.
Feed the Pig - Free financial information and tools to empower 25-34 year olds to take charge of their personal finances and live within their means.
Merchant Services for Debt Collection Startups - Information on and payment processing tools to start your own collectiona agency. Resources for collection agency companies.
FINRA Investor Education Modules - Accurate, unbiased educational materials from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Getting Ready to Invest - Assess your current situation and create goals.
Google Finance - Features business and enterprise headlines for many corporations including their financial decisions and major news events
Investing in Bonds - Guide to investing in bonds.  Site sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Invest Wisely - The resources you need to learn the basics, protect yourself, and stay informed.
Moody’s - Moody’s provides bond information.  Free registration required for access.
My Retirement Paycheck - For middle-income consumers nearing retirement, whether they have made retirement plans or not. Answers questions on an array of financial topics such as insurance, debt and fraud protection.
Value Line (accessible from library computers) - For any investor, in any market, the essential key to success is information about companies, industries, markets and economies. Information that is complete, accurate, unbiased, timely, easy to access and easy to work with. For nearly 80 years the unquestioned authority for information of this caliber has been The Value Line Investment Survey - the cornerstone of the Value Line organization.  
Wall Street Journal - Covers primarily American economic and international business topics, and financial news and issues.
Yahoo Finance - Comprehensive free financial site, featuring economic news, personal finance topics, and information about investing. 

Social Security

Direct Deposit - Social Security or Supplemental Security benefits through
Health Care - Federal Government website with information on health insurance options, coverage and consumer rights under the new Affordable Care Act.
Medicare - Official U.S. site for Medicare, with information on enrollment, eligibility, coverage and claims.
Social Security Online - The online resource for everything concerning Social Security.

College Financing

College Savings Plans Network - A nonprofit association dedicated to making a college education affordable and accessible.
College Savings & Interest Rate Reduction - Learn about lowering interest rates,Plans and other college savings options.
FAFSA - Online home for Federal Student Aid.
Ohio River Bank - A free scholarship matching and loan processing service.
FinAid! Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid - Comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.
Going to College - A List of Federal Government resources for the college-bound individual. Saving for College - Saving for College - Guides, alerts, 529 Plan analyzer, tools and resources.
Saving for College - Top-performing 529 plans, financial aid basics, comparisons and calculators.
Payment Processing For Collection Agencies - Collection Agencies, Fees saving options, Startups and new business tips.
Student Aid on the Web - Federal student aid information from the U.S. Department of Education. - Free assistance for planning and paying for college.


2010 Frugal Living Guide - Money-saving tips from
America Saves - Savings tips, strategies and resources to help build personal wealth.
Choose to Save: Savings Tips - Helpful tips from Choose to Save®, the award-winning national financial education program created by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Feed the Pig - Interactive site designed to help young adults aged 25-34 gain control of their finances.
Get More Money Now - Savings basics from the Better Business Bureau.
Treasury Direct® - Comprehensive site for saving and investing in U.S. Treasury securities.
66 Ways to Save Money - Savings tips from the U.S. General Services Administration Federal Citizen Information Center.
Wise Bread: Living Large on a Small Budget - Personal finance, frugal living, shopping tips and consumer advice.

Kids & Money

BizKid$ - Companion site for the public TV series that teaches kids and teens about money and business.
Dollars from Sense - Created by experts and funded by the FINRA Investor Education, this interactive site instructs young adults in the basics of personal finance and investing.
Feed the Pig - Interactive money management and financial literacy site aimed at 25-34 year olds, but also useful for teens and college students.
Financial Football - VISA® and the National Football League offer this fast-paced, interactive game that engages students while teaching them money management skills.
Financial Futures from Marketplace Money - National Public Radio show addressing how to talk to kids about finances. Provides parents with the tools they need to engage their children in discussions about money and investing.
Generation Money - Videos, games, quizzes and activities to promote financial literacy.
GenIRevolution - Online personal finance game for high school students developed by the Council for Economic Education. 
Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy - Coalition of organizations dedicated to improve financial literacy of pre-K through college-age youth.
The Mint - Money management tips, games and tools for kids, teens and parents.
Money Smart for Young Adults - FDIC curriculum helps youth ages 12-20 learn the basics of handling their finances, including creating good relationships with financial institutions.
Moneytopia - Online interactive game to help teens learn to save and manage money.
NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® - Nationally recognized financial education curriculum created by teachers and financial professionals, supplemented by social networking options.
Teens and Money: Money 101 - Resources, games and activities for sound money management from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Treasury Direct Kids® - Excellent introduction to public debt, treasury securities and saving money.
U.S. Mint for Kids - Fun money facts and activities for kids, also includes financial literacy links for parents and teachers. 
What's My Score - Videos, games and guides to help college students establish and keep good credit.


Checkbook Balance - Fill in the blanks to balance your checkbook accurately.
Choose to Save - Wide variety of savings and financial calculators from Choose to Save®, sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the American Savings Education Council.
EDIE the Estimator - Calculate your FDIC insurance coverage
Financial Calculators - Tools to help you decide on things like which credit card to pay down first, what your payroll deduction should be and how much to save for emergencies.
Mortgage Calculator - A tool to help determine whether you qualify for a mortgage.
Retirement Calculators - Various retirement-related calculators provided by FINRA.
Social Security Benefit Calculators - Use to estimate retirement, disability or survivor benefits.

Credit & Debt

100 Questions & Answers About Buying A New Home - Home buying information from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
360 Degrees of Financial Literacy - Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage of life.
America’s Credit Unions - Website for the Credit Union National Association, offering information on locating and joining a credit union, as well as latest news in consumer finance.
Avoiding Foreclosures - Accurate, unbiased information from HUD for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Bankrate - Compare rates for checking, savings, CDs and mortgages. Also includes bank ratings and calculators to compare borrowing costs.
Credit and Debit Counseling Services - From the Consolidated Credit Counseling Services.
Cash Course®  - Free non-commercial financial education resources for colleges from the National Endowment for Financial Education.
Financial Capability Study - Through groundbreaking state-by-state findings, this study aims to assess and establish a baseline measure of the financial capability of U.S. adults. Commissioned by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Financial Literacy Center - Joint project of the RAND Corporation, Dartmouth College and the Wharton School to develop innovative financial literacy programs. 
Getting Through Tough Financial Times - Sound advice on coping with financial stress.
Help With My Bank - Created by the U.S. Treasury Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, this site reinforces the fair treatment of national bank customers and answers questions on credit cards, mortgages and loans. 
Making Home Affordable - U.S. government program providing support for homeowners, including mortgage and foreclosure assistance.
Mortgage Foreclosure Resources - Resources from the Federal Reserve System for consumers, small municipalities, housing counselors and community groups.
Small Business Administration - The voice of small business on Capitol Hill since it was created in 1976, the Office of Advocacy works to protect, strengthen and represent the interests of the nation’s small businesses within the Federal Government.
Washington State Library’s Hard Times Resource Guide - Resources compiled by the Washington State Library to help you navigate and succeed in a tough economy.

Financial Blogs

Wise Bread -This website began as a simple blog about how to live large on a small budget. It s now a large and very interactive website.
The Simple Dollar Blog -This blog's author was once in tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt when he decided to buckle down and change his financial situation. And he did! Now he shares information, stories, and links to all kinds of financial matters.
Get Rich Slowly Blog - Named one of Time Magazine's Best Blogs of 2011, Get Rich Slowly is full of tips on personal finance and investing. The author started writing the blog as he began paying off over $35,000 in credit card debt. He is all about sensible financial planning (which he says can only happen slowly, over time!).

Glossaries & Literacy

Basics of Money - How to budget, spend and manage your money wisely from Kiplinger’s.
Basics of Saving and Investing: Investor Education 2020 - Teaching guide developed by the Investor Protection Trust.
FDIC Money Smart podcast network (MSPN) - Listen online and follow along with the written script or download the audio files to your MP3 player. Topics include Banking Basics, Protecting Your Money, Checking & Savings, Budgeting and Credit.
FINRA Glossary of Financial Terms 
Money 101 - Step-by-step guide to gaining control of your financial life.
Money Matters: Tips from the FTC - Get help weathering tough economic times and tackling money issues.
Money Smart: FDIC Financial Education Program - Free, reliable financial education curriculum for adults and young adults available as computer-based instruction, CD-ROM or podcasts. - U.S. government site dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics of financial education.
Practical Money Skills for Life™ - Financial literacy program developed by VISA® in partnership with consumer advocates, educators and financial institutions.
Protect - Helpful tips, resources and assistance in observance of National Protect Your Identity Week, sponsored by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Save and - Free, unbiased financial information on saving, credit, car buying and protecting your money from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Smart About Money - Practical help and resources for making sound financial decisions from the National Endowment for Financial Education. 
Smart investing@your library® - Partnership between the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation promoting free, unbiased investor resources, tools and ideas for financial literacy programs.
Standard & Poor's Dictionary of Financial Terms - From Financial Literacy Now, a comprehensive list of the words you need to know in a language you can understand.

Games & Quizzes

Celebrity Calamity - Sponsored by the Massachusetts State Treasurer's Office. Become the business manager for three celebrities who spend beyond their means. Players must effectively use a bank account, debit card and credit card to be successful.
Financial Football - Test your money management skills by answering financial questions that allow you to move down the field and score touchdowns.
Financial Literacy Quiz - Consumer rights quiz created by KQED Public Television.
Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction - The Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) is a friendly and easy-to-use learning tool that teaches the 10 modules of the Money Smart curriculum through a computer. The CBI can complement formal classes or enable people to study independently at their own pace.
Reality Check - This quiz from the Jump$tart Coalition tests how closely your current spending habits match your plans for the future. - Use the calculator to find out how much money you are wasting and where it could be going instead. Upload a video to share your overspending story.
The Stock Market Game - From the Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education, an affiliate of the Securities Industry Association.
Wow Zone - An interactive site with information to help children and teens understand the value of money. Includes tips for Educators and Parents