Alert
Close

Watch the NASCAR race on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Join the Drive to End Hunger!

Highlights

Open

You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AARP Auto Buying Program

Contests and
Sweeps

$10,000 Winter Escapes Sweepstakes

Beat the cold and cozy up to a chance of winning $10,000! See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

10 Fun Facts About Money

Stump your friends with these delightful financial tidbits

Whether you’re a trivia buff or a financial geek (or both), here are 10 facts about finances to share with your friends … and accountant. Their reaction? Priceless.

See also: Will it hurt my credit?

1. Did you know that Wall Street is really named after a wall? It was a wooden barrier built in 1653 to protect the Dutch colonists who then ruled Manhattan from the British and Native Americans.

2. When planning for retirement, really plan for it: In addition to what you’ll need to live comfortably, factor in likely price and cost-of-living increases and those unexpected or splurge expenses that surely will come.

AARP 10 Money Facts- a man covered in dollar bills

How much do you really know about money? — Photo by Chip Simon

3. There are six federal tax brackets. 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent. But it’s a common misconception that all of your income is taxed at one of those rates, depending on how much you make. If you’ve got, say, $30,000 of taxable income and are filing as an individual, you’ll pay 10 percent on the first $8,700, then 15 percent on the rest (that’s the rate for income between $8,700 and $35,350). Even people who are in the top 35 percent bracket (making $388,350 or more) pay only the 10 percent rate on the first $8,700 of their income.

4. The Dow Jones industrial average is named after real people.
Charles Henry Dow and Edward Jones met while they both worked for newspapers in Providence, R.I. Dow left to take a job as a reporter at a financial news bureau on Wall Street, and the bureau hired Jones on Dow’s recommendation. In November 1882, they started their own financial reporting firm (Dow, Jones & Co.) in the basement of a candy store, publishing a two-page summary of the day's financial news called the “Customers' Afternoon Letter.”

5.  A credit report is a record of your credit activities, listing your credit card and loans, balances and bill payment history. It also shows if any action was taken against you because of unpaid bills. A good report means a higher credit score, which often results in lower interest rates.

6.  If your credit card is used to make fraudulent charges, you’re responsible for no more than $50 in liability, period. But timing matters if your debit card is lost or stolen, so notify your bank ASAP. The longer you wait, the higher your potential liability.

7. When it comes to your credit cards, the best thing you can do is pay your bill on time and in full every month — the money that your plastic provider puts upfront for charges will be interest-free. Don’t fret; your credit card company still makes money in “swipe” fees from merchants accepting your card.

8. The word “tax” is derived from the Latin word “taxo,” which itself evolved into another word: “taxa,” meaning “charge.” Taxa, meanwhile, is also the root of the word “taxicab,” which derived from “taximeter cabs,” fare-charging vehicles that were introduced in London in 1907.

9.  Sure, we’ve all heard the quote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” But Benjamin Franklin offered this wisdom in a larger context. The complete sentence that Franklin wrote in a November 1789 letter to buddy Jean-Baptiste LeRoy, a French scientist who studied static electricity, goes as follows: “Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

10.  If you’re offered $100,000 cash up front or a penny that’s doubled every day for a 31-day month, go with Abe Lincoln. Start with a penny and double its sum every day and you’ll accrue a lump sum of $10,737,418.23 at the end of a 31-day month. Now that’s compounding interest!

You may also like: The one time you can use retirement money to pay off debt. »

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling. 

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Exclusive annuities for members from AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Homeowners Insurance
Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points