When you first get engaged, there is so much to think about. In addition to the plans for the wedding and the honeymoon, you have to consider changes to your living situation, legal issues such as changing your will, and—perhaps most important of all—how you are going to deal with your finances. Should you commingle your assets? What about opening a joint bank account? What are your goals for your financial future?
Everyone has a choice when it comes to where we keep our money. Many people use banks because that’s what they are familiar with. However, credit unions offer a different approach to banking, including many benefits for members. Before deciding where to put your money, you should understand the operational and philosophical differences between credit unions and banks.
Everyone strives for financial independence, but to achieve it you need to understand the basic principles of money management. That’s why teaching financial literacy at an early age is so important. You are never too young to start learning about budgeting, saving, credit, and the basics of personal finance, and because this is Financial Literacy Month, it’s an ideal time to start teaching financial literacy to your children.
There is no question that buying a new home is stressful. It’s even more stressful if you don’t understand the lingo. The world of real estate and home loans has a language all its own and you don’t want to need an interpreter when you are looking at properties or qualifying for a mortgage.
You can start learning about personal finance at any age, but most people really start to worry about personal money management when they reach high school. That’s when students start to open checking accounts to handle paychecks from part-time jobs, start using credit cards, and open savings accounts to put money away for a car or for college. Unfortunately, too many teenagers have little or no grasp of the basics of money management, which is why schools and parents are creating more financial literacy activities for high school students.
April is Financial Literacy Month, so this is a good time to review what we mean by financial literacy and see what tools are available to help you with your personal finances.
Crises like the coronavirus pandemic may create financial uncertainty as the global economy reacts. Family finances can be affected by layoffs, lost wages, job uncertainty, and other factors that make it difficult to stay afloat until the crisis diminishes. That’s why your financial well-being needs the same attention as your physical well-being.
Managing your money—and life itself—starts with financial literacy, or understanding how your personal finances and investing work. If you’ve got the skills and know-how to manage debt, build savings, and handle investments, then you’re among the 57 percent of Americans who are financially literate, according to a survey by Standard & Poor.
Every industry has its own unique language, and that’s certainly true in banking. Although managing money is a primary concern for everyone, not everyone is fluent in financial terminology. This puts you at a real disadvantage when you are talking to financial advisors or trying to make critical decisions about household budgeting, savings, investments, and retirement.
Money management is a frightening prospect for many people. Paying the monthly bills is hard enough, and planning for the future can be even harder. However, there is no need to be frightened about managing your personal finances. Everyone needs to have basic money management skills. Like learning how to read, financial literacy isn’t something you are born with; it has to be taught.