AMEX National Money Talk Night $100 Giveaway!

As we mentioned in our last giveaway, we’re hosting giveaways around family finances in celebration of the National Money Night Talk! For those of you who don’t know, American Express teamed up with personal finance expert Jean Chatzky to launch the “National Money Night Talk” program, encouraging parents around the country to have “the talk” about financial responsibility with their young adults.

Congrats to our winner Jared, you’ll be receiving an email from American Express shortly to claim your $100 gift card!

The National Money Night Talk is this Thursday, September 16th! Are you prepared? If not, don’t fret! For this giveaway, we are giving our readers the opportunity to submit a question to Jean Chatzky to answer! Jean Chatzky is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author that has created a global platform that is making significant strides to help millions of men, women and families battle an epidemic with a devastating impact – debt.


To enter, post your questions in the comment section. Jean will review the top 3 questions prior to Money Night. Not only will you be entered to have her answer any of your questions, but you can also win an $100 American Express Gift Card as well as a copy of Jean Chatzky’s new book “Not Your Parents’ Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Your Own Money” – courtesy of American Express.

The winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday, September 16th at 8amET and your email address will be furnished to American Express.  They’ll take it the rest of the way.  If you’re loaded with tips, you can also check out two other personal finance blogs that are hosting this giveaway.  Make sure to leave unique tips on each, as any duplicated information will automatically be disqualified.

For more information, check out the National Money Night Talk website or follow the “talks” on Twitter leading up to the night with #TheTalk hashtag.

Topics: Financial News

65 Responses to “AMEX National Money Talk Night $100 Giveaway!”

  1. Epsilon12

    I am ready to begin our debt snowball. Along with medical/credit card debts, we have payments to the IRS due to an error on our return. Should we put the IRS at the top of the list even though they fall 4th if listed in order of balances to be paid off? Thanks!

  2. Do you have any advice on how to “delicately” let a friend know you are concerned with their self-destructive financial habits? For example, I have a good friend who feels the need to spend money as soon as he gets it, often on things he doesn’t need. This leaves him strapped at the end of the month and scraping together change for gas money. Do you have any tips on how to broach the topic without straining the friendship?

  3. Question on paying off a mortgage or investing it?

    I have a balance of $128,000 on a 20 year fixed mortgage at 5.125% and could pay this off. I have no other debt, have an emergency fund of 2 yrs, 401k is maxed out, and invested in the market with a 60% invested in stocks, 20% in bonds, and 20% in cash (outside of the emergency fund).

    The cash is generating a low percentage 1-2% in CDs, so would it make more sense to pay off the mortgage? I do realize the yearly deduction for the mortgage is great on your tax return however what is your opinion?

    Thank you!

  4. Karin Sullivan

    What’s a fun activity that we can do as a family to help the kids understand the value of a buck? I’m thinking of something different than shopping for items on sale or using coupons for theme parks, instead something like creating a game where each participant (parents, too!) can earn money for completing tasks (not chores, but something fun, like friendly competitions). After the competitions are over, the whole family would go to dinner but everyone can only eat what they can spend based on that day’s “earnings”. Would that be a good way for kids to learn about money?

  5. What are some tips you might have for making suggestions to my adult children (early 20’s) regarding investing/saving…without sounding like the preachy mother? Where would you recommend they start, other than 401K?

    Thanks very much!

  6. My husband and I make a combined income of $85K a year; we have no car loans and credit card debt is about $7500. I’d love to be able to move but we have seen homes in our neighborhood going for less than what we owe on our house; we’d have nothing to put down on a new house. I guess this term is called “underwater” although it really feels like we’re drowning. Our current interest rate is fixed 6.875% through Bank of America . I read something online about an FHA refinance opportunity for underwater borrowers. If my lender participates, would it be worth it to consider this option? If we do, will this hurt our chances of buying another house in the next year? Our ultimate goal is to move but it won’t that be impossible unless we have a downpayment for a new house?

  7. My twin daughters are six years old. I started them a 529 college savings plan back when they were born. I haven’t made any contributions to their accounts since. The account value is around $15,000 each. I have $5,000 to invest. Do you recommend I put the $5,000 into their 529 college savings plan or deposit it into a CD so I don’t lose any principal? If a CD is recommend, what term?

  8. Charles Porter

    I’m 71 years old, still working and in good health. I would like to leave about $15,000 to each of two grandchildren not 2 and 8 years old. What should the money be invested in and when should it be available to them?

  9. Mary Talukder

    What is a good option for savings for your kid, if you are unsure if they will go to college or not. 529 plans are only for college purposes..what if they want to start a small business once they graduate from highschool?

  10. Yiling Fu

    I am living in a rented apartment. There are lot of topics about renting or buying–whicn one is better. Let’s say the morgaege is around 4-5%, and I don’t have enough cash at hand for the down payment but can manage to get it, should I buy a house now or wait until I can get enough money by myself?

  11. Michael Bennett

    Is is legal for a credit card company to dig up negative things which used to be on one’s credit report, but no longer are, in determining whether or not to raise your credit limit? I currently have a $13,500 limit on my VISA. An increase was denied because of something which dropped off my report in 2004. My current FICO score is 783.

  12. Over the past five years or so my husband and I have taken on considerable debt by a few real estate purchases. Does the concept of “good” debt with regard to housing still apply in today’s housing market (fortunately all properties we own all have positive equity positions, none are in the “underwater” category).

    One of our purchase decision rules is to go forward only if we can afford to hold on the the property as rental, we are not into buying for quick sale (we are not that handy). We are now considering another purchuse (great foreclosure deal) that will generate a nice equity position, when/if housing rebounds and a nice positive cash flow but we are concerned for our debt:income ratio. Should we be?

    Also, we have been putting extra money into RE purchase and pulling from accounts that should be our emergency liquid cash accounts to take advantage of the latest “good buy” opportunity. Is this a no no? (I think I know the answer to this last question).

    Thanks, Maura

  13. Teens and allowances…UGH! My son turns 13 years old soon. He does not currently get an allowance, have a cell phone, a savings account, or manage any $ or bills. However, we would like to start him on one soon. I believe he should have to do chores to earn the allowance. However, I also want him to have a budget for how he will spend his allowance. I get stuck n several areas. There’s the traditional matters of what allowance to set, what chores are reasonable and how often to pay. Then there is the problem of how to encourage saving? This is a biggie for me. My son burns through any gifts of $ he gets unless we strictly prohibit spending, which I don’t think builds his confidence and judgment on how to spend wisely. What is exactly the rule of thumb on why he needs to save in the 1st place? Since he is working for his $, and he wants to enjoy the benefits of his labor, why would a kid his age need to save anything? Should he be saving for savings sake? Or should he be saving for a big ticket item like a car when he grows up? Or both? What % should he save for long term, what % should he be allowed to blow (even if he spends it all on junk food in one day) and what % should be for short term spending? Is there a category I am leaving off? I have heard of having a % go to household expenses (akin to paying taxes) and a % to donate. I can’t believe that allowances can be this complicated…or, am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I just want to make sure I set my son on the right path to future money management. Thanks!

  14. I keep money in a savings account and it seems to be yielding very little interest. Is it worth it to shop around (usually new) banks and put money in when they offer deals on higher interest? Or is that risky to move money around often? What’s a safe, easy-access, way to get a better return? How much interest SHOULD my money be making in savings?

  15. Is there a way to save/invest for ones future when one is on SSD and is going w/o necessities to try and make the bills? Is there a program I’ve missed? I do fill out surveys and I’ve tried selling a few things on eBay… any other suggestions? Thanks so much.

  16. I and my wife are at odds over what to do with our house, we are currently facing foreclosure, but have the ability to put the house on the market and sell it. She says that she does not want people to come and view the house, she can not stand the thought of that, since we built the house. I think this is totally crazy. Please tell us what you think.

  17. My daughter just hit 16 and I’m trying to teach her to be a financially responsible young adult. With all the media selling and peer pressure I’m having a hard time keeping her on the straight and narrow. Do you have any advice or tips on how to get through to kids so they see the importance of saving over the having the item(s) they “can’t” live without that week?

    Thanks in advance!

  18. Cilla Franco

    Hello Jean,

    I have a two year old daughter and a three year old son. How can I begin to introduce my children to the concept of money, spending, and saving money? I have not talked about the subjects at all to my children.

  19. Christine G.

    Question: How do I communicate a sense of urgency/importance on [nearly] debt-free living and on simple investing to my teen?

    My daughter is 12 y/o, in 7th grade. I have been working with her on saving/tithing/spending (paying bills) with any money she receives. I don’t pay an allowance (I’m in full-time grad school – no budget for that). She has been quite good about it, but how best to go about enlightening her on credit reports/FICO scores, investing, paying for college, budgeting for the independent life she’ll have in 6 short years? And to give her a sense that it’s an important life skill?

  20. I want to become debt free, what strategy should I follow –

    Here are my stats:
    I have 3 months worth of emergency funds saved up.
    No credit card bills.
    After I pay off my car loan (2 more years left) I will have no other debt except for a 15 year mortgage.
    I have over $200K saved up (401K, IRA, and Roth)
    Should I continue to contribute to my 401K (currently 12 percent of my salary) or reduce my contribution and pay down my mortgage?


  21. I have a 401k from my old company that closed down.
    I have until december to move it to a different brokerage. I have been approached by insurance companies like Allstate offering 5% bonus if i move my 401k with them into an IRA.

    But my mind tells me there’s no such thing as free money. They’ll give me 5% for rolling over my 401k with them, then they’ll charge me management fees to make it up.

    So now im choosing between vanguard or fidelity.

    Any thoughts on sign-up bonuses from insurance
    Companies to entice potential 401k roll-over?

  22. I’m 32 single self employed and have a house. Business is very slow. I’m not sure what to do to generate business or if i should get a job instead? However it is challenging to make enough employed to cover all payables AND live. Thank you!

  23. Ted Hawkins

    I currently owe $82,000 on my mortgage. The loan has a 5.25% interest rate on a 30 year fixed loan which I purchased in April, 2009 with and original balance of $115,200. I have been paying extra on my principal each month and in less than 1 1/2 years have been able to lower my principal by $33,000. Should I continue this plan which will allow me to pay the mortgage off in about 10 years or should I refinance at a lower interest? One bank said the closing costs would be around $3000. How can I decide which route would save me the most interest over the life of the loan?

  24. When is helping a friend become enabling? I have a friend who I have helped financially in the past. Recently this friend asked me for money to buy food because after the rent and the rest of the bills were paid, there was no money left. I don’t mind helping but how far is too far? My gut tells me that if you don’t have enough money to buy food, it’s time to take a serious look at your bills to see which ones you can eliminate.

    How do I say no and not preach?

  25. Claudia Marie Lee

    How do I deal with people/companies in the private sector who will not pay me the salary I am worth beacuse they consider my heritage and/or skin color as not such that should earn what European ancestrials earn who have the same educational background and 30+ years experience as me.

  26. Brittany September 16, 2010 at 12:01 am
    When you have a family member who just doesn’t “get” personal finance despite being taught throughout life, what’s an alternative to bailing him/her out if he or she gets in another bind?


    Estela September 16, 2010 at 3:31 am
    When is helping a friend become enabling? I have a friend who I have helped financially in the past. Recently this friend asked me for money to buy food because after the rent and the rest of the bills were paid, there was no money left. I don’t mind helping but how far is too far? My gut tells me that if you don’t have enough money to buy food, it’s time to take a serious look at your bills to see which ones you can eliminate.

    How do I say no and not preach?
    Both of these people said what I wanted to say.
    Can I vote for their questions to be chosen to be answered?
    We have friends/family members in both situations yet they are not smart with their money and would not want to do what we do to stay in the black.

  27. do i use some of my emergency fund to pay off a $10,000 loan and then put the money i was using for the loan into the emergency fund or continue paying off the loan monthly while continuing to add to the emer fund?

  28. Evangelina

    I have a 3 year old grand daughter, we started a savings account for her since she was born. Every year she turns a year we increase the biweekly deposit. Half is put put in by her mom (which I collect from her) and the other half is from my husband and I (her grandparents) I control the account and had put the monies in the Ing Direct when the interest was looking better. What is the best way to handle the monies? I’m sorry I failed to say that it is for a college fund. I looked into a “college program” of sort but what if she decides not to go to college? what alternative is there if the money is not used for college. My thinking is that if she does not go to college she would not receive any $$. What’s my best option? We are currently depositing $140 a month. Thank you.

  29. How do I convince my 21 year old son of the importance of saving, I have always tried to get him to save. I set up a Roth IRA for him. I bought him cds and I’ve put money in savings for him as insentive to have something to add to and watch grow. He has spent all the money on frivilous things.

  30. carl minton

    What a very,useful topic just what my daughter and I need we were having
    arguments over $ until we watched together the money talk article amd now have a budget to go on and I am sure my daughter will do much better now .

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