Miron Lulic is the founder and CEO of SuperMoney, a leading tool for comparing financial services. We recently spoke with Miron the various aspects of personal finance from budgeting and debt to insurance and debit cards.
Tell us a little about your background. Why did you decide to start SuperMoney?
I started SuperMoney because while there were many sites promoting financial services, there wasn’t a comprehensive tool to really compare them on an apples-to-apples basis. So we built the “Yelp of financial services” – a place where people could easily get all the data they needed to make informed financial decisions.
Finish this sentence: “The biggest myth about personal finance that I hear most often nowadays is…”
…buying a home is better than renting. The truth is that, from a financial perspective, that’s not always the case.
If someone is feeling overwhelmed by debt, what are some options they should consider?
The truth is that consolidation lenders, credit counselors, debt settlement firms, tax relief attorneys, and bankruptcy attorneys all offer unique solutions catered to niche segments of debtors. While there have been a small number of unscrupulous players within each of these verticals, there are also some really great companies that have helped many Americans correct major financial issues. The key is to do your research to find a reputable company and the right solution for your particular circumstance.
Under what circumstances could it be better to obtain a prepaid debit card instead of a credit card or conventional debit card?
Since prepaid cards are loaded with a finite amount of money, they can be a great way to control spending. If you need to stick to a specific budget, a debit card can help you do so. Another related use case is teaching kids how to spend money within set limits. Just remember that some prepaid cards do have fees.
What are the key components of a good prepaid debit card if the goal is to get one’s finances under control?
If your goal is to get your finances under control, it’s important to use a debit card that provides transparency into your spending by category, budgeting features, and balance alerts. These features will help you stay on top of your finances.
How can a prepaid debit card be incorporated effectively into an overall money management plan or household budget?
A prepaid debit card could be the foundation of your household budgeting program. While you’ll need to start with establishing your budget by assessing your expenses and cashflow, once you set your budget, a prepaid debit card can provide the “forcing” function needed to help you stay on budget.
When shopping for an insurance policy, what are some suggestions for lowering the premium?
Many people over-purchase insurance. So the place to start is to make sure you have the right amount of coverage. This varies by the type of insurance, so make sure to do your research and understand what you need. A financial advisor can be a big help in this area. The other key suggestion I have is to invest in shopping around. It takes time, but you will end up saving money.
Finally, name one thing that most people can start doing today to reduce their monthly expenses.
The thing I did about six months ago to reduce my monthly expenses was to “cut the cord.” I canceled my cable TV services, and I have never looked back. An Amazon FireHD with a Prime and Netflix subscription is more content than you will ever need. You can get your local news for free with an HDTV antenna that will cost about $20, and you can also stream national news to your FireHD from network-branded apps or from apps like Pluto.
Need a prepaid debit card to help backstop your budgeting? Check out a wide array of options here.
Disclaimer : “The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Green Dot Corporation.”