The Federal Trade Commission says April is Financial Literacy Month which highlights ways in which to spend money wisely. The FTC regularly offers information on consumer protection, credit, finance debt, loans , insurance, investments and other services that will help you build wealth.
“If you want to learn about everyday financial issues, like saving and shopping, credit and debt, buying a home or car, looking for a job or paying for school, the FTC has information for you,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Financial Literacy Month is an ideal time to learn,” according to a press release.
Starting a savings plan can offer the young adult his or her first steps in buying a home or helping the Baby Boomer reorganize finances towards a more relaxing retirement.
No matter how old you are and what your advantage is for savings, financial literacy will help you build wealth:
Make a chart that calculates your monthly expenses. Do not try to figure in your head. Detail what you spend on food and utilities, and round to the next dollar.
With direct deposit at many companies, you can designate a portion of your paycheck to be deposited into an account for savings only.
If you work more than one job, let’s say a full time job that only pays your monthly expenses and a part-time for fun money, try to put that fun money directly into savings.
If you get a raise, turn the additional money into paying off debt or again placing it into a savings account. Consider the purchase of an annuity, Roth IRA or a life insurance policy. Consider adding more to a 401K.
Cut back on that purchased coffee in the morning and make your own. Make your own lunch. The FTC comments that $6 dollars a day on lunch will end up being $800 a year.
Be careful of scams such as fake IRS collectors calling and foreign lottery scams.
Make sure you pay off library fines and parking tickets because these can be reported and lower your credit score.
Resolve medical debt with phone calls to determine a better payment that you can afford. Most health care providers will work with you.
Buying and owning a car can be expensive. Sometimes leasing a vehicle may be a better option.
Protect your privacy and learn how to keep personal information secure.
Financial literacy is an important life lesson to have a grasp on. Everyone needs to do their part in security themselves financially and remaining independent from others. In a thriving nation, financial literacy is a necessity.