According to the Federal Trade Commission, April is Financial Literacy Month, which emphasizes ways to spend money wisely. The FTC provides regular information on consumer protection, credit, finance debt, loans, insurance, investments, and other services that will assist you in building wealth.
“The FTC has information for you if you want to learn about every day financial issues like saving and shopping, credit and debt, buying a home or car, looking for a job, or paying for school,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. According to a press release, “Financial Literacy Month is an ideal time to learn.”
Starting a savings plan can provide the young adult with his or her first steps toward purchasing a home or assist the Baby Boomer in reorganizing finances for a more relaxing retirement.
Financial literacy will help you build wealth regardless of your age or savings advantage:
- Create a chart that shows your monthly expenses. Don’t try to figure it out in your head. Detail your food and utility spending and round up to the nearest dollar.
- Many employers allow you to designate a portion of your paycheck to be deposited into a savings account only.
- If you work more than one job, say a full-time job that only pays your monthly expenses and a part-time job for extra money, try to put the extra money directly into savings.
- If you get a raise, put the extra money towards debt repayment or into a savings account. Consider buying an annuity, a Roth IRA, or a life insurance policy. Consider contributing more to your 401(k).
- Reduce your morning coffee purchases by making your own. Prepare your own lunch. According to the FTC, spending $6 per day on lunch will cost $800 per year.
- Be wary of scams such as phony IRS collectors on the phone and foreign lottery scams.
- Pay off library fines and parking tickets as soon as possible because they can be reported and lower your credit score.
- Resolve medical debt by making phone calls to determine a more affordable payment. Most medical professionals will work with you.
- Buying and maintaining a car can be costly. Leasing a vehicle is sometimes a better option.
- Learn how to protect your privacy and keep personal information safe.
Financial literacy is an important life skill to master. Everyone must do their part to ensure their financial security and independence from others. Financial literacy is essential in a thriving nation.