Financial Literacy: Why It Matters and How to Improve Yours Today
In a rapidly changing world, people are less confident than ever with their money managing skills and their financial literacy. Even though thanks to the power of Google, information is at our fingertips, many people of all ages don’t know where to start in terms of improving their own financial literacy. Luckily, financial literacy is an easy skill to gain once you’re pointed in the right direction.
What is Financial Literacy?
Financial literacy is not only your knowledge of financial tools such as credit cards, debit cards, checking and savings accounts, pensions and 401k plans, budgeting, and emergency funds, but it is also how you put that knowledge to good use in your everyday life. Unfortunately, most people are unaware or unable to successfully budget and use these financial tools to their benefit to avoid accruing debt. It’s never too late to improve your financial situation by learning and implementing financial planning techniques for your life.
Why is Financial Literacy Important?
Financial literacy is an important life skill that can reduce stress and improve your overall quality of life. Although financial literacy is very important for young adults to learn early on in order to put them on the right financial track, financial literacy is forever evolving to keep up with the changing world and marketplace around us. Staying sharp and up-to-date with all of the latest financial tools and ways to use them is important for people of all ages.
Financial Planning and Debt in the Digital Age
With the increased use of online shopping and the decreased use of cash, it’s easier than ever to rack up debt and go over budget very quickly. Online stores never close and purchases are only a quick click away. On top of that, more and more online sources of credit lines and credit cards are available as well. If you are struggling with smart budgeting or don’t know where to start with a budget, you’re not alone. The majority of Americans don’t follow a monthly budget. The first step towards financial literacy is creating and following a budget. It’s easier than you think. Check out this blog for 3 tips that can help you build a budget you can live with.
Saving for a Rainy Day
A May 2019 survey conducted by Charles Schwab found that 59% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Many don’t know how to improve their situation. Once your budget is in place, you can start saving. There are many options for ways to save and different kinds of accounts that could make sense for your situation and goals. You can have a general savings account, an emergency fund, a retirement savings fund, etc. AmeriChoice offers members a variety of saving options, see which option is right for you.
Finding the Right Checking Account
Just like all savings accounts aren’t equal, checking accounts differ as well. Depending on what you’re looking for from a checking account, finding one to fit your needs is simple after a little bit of research. Knowing how to balance your checking account on a day to day basis and understanding how to use your debit card is a crucial component of financial literacy. To learn about the different checking accounts and how to use them properly, click here.
Not all credit cards are the same. Credit cards can be used to build credit, offset the cost of emergencies, or can be used to redeem rewards if used in the right away. Many people fear opening a credit card because credit card misuse can lead to debt. Choosing the right credit card for your purposes can be daunting. Help is available. Click here to learn more about different credit card options and how they can improve your financial situation.
Financial Literacy Tools
Remember that you are never alone in your journey to improve your Financial Literacy. You’re never too young to start learning about the different tools used to manage finances, and you’re never too old to learn new techniques to improve your understanding of your finances.
There are many tools to assist in Financial Literacy, such as the ones offered by AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union. AmeriChoice members also have access to FOCUS, a free personal financial management system within the Online Banking platform. With FOCUS you can see where your money is going and manage your budget electronically. See what a difference FOCUS has made for one member.
AmeriChoice is also happy to work with you to arrange Financial Literacy seminars for your community groups or businesses. Our committment to the community includes making sure that everyone has a chance to build a more solid financial tomorrow.
Click here to see more of the resources AmeriChoice helps to make available to you or to request your Financial Seminar.