April is recognized in the United States as financial literacy month in an effort to highlight the importance of establishing and maintaining healthy financial habits.
What is financial literacy?
Financial literacy is when an individual has the knowledge and skills to make eduacted decisions with their financial resources that will lead to their success.
Money affects every person in this country. We all use it for better or worse and we can all learn to create better habits.
The US congress showed it support for this idea in 2003 by passing resolutions for the yearly celebration.
Have a plan.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to create a money plan. MyMoney.gov has all kinds of money resources to help you maximize your plan.
There is nothing more powerful than education. The more information you have the better decisions you will make.
Track your spending. Being able to see how and where your money is being spent will keep you informed about your financial position and will help you make better spending choices.
Your wealth depends on how much you earn and how much you spend. Maybe you need to earn more. Maybe you need to spend less. It is all about balance.
Financial literacy is about education and resources.
Here are some of the best financial resources I have found.
The Best financial books I found so far:
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Richest Man in Babylon
- The Simple Path to Wealth
- You are a Badass at Making Money
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence
- Playing with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early): How Far Would You Go for Financial Freedom?
- The Automatic Millionaire
The Best financial blogs:
- Clever Girl Finance
- Financial Samurai
- Dough Roller
- Mr. Money Mustache
- Money Saving Mom
- Get Rich Slowly
- Budgets Are Sexy
- Money Ning
- The Money Habit
- Early Retirement Dude
- Our Next Life
- Mr. Free at 33
- Can I retire yet?
- Root of Good
- Think Save Retire
- Millennial Revolution
- My wife quit her job
- Mad Fientist
High Interest Savings Accounts:
Low Cost Brokerage Accounts:
Jobs in Finance:
- Investment banker
- Financial Analyst
- Financial Planner
- Budget analyst
Here is a great article about the 30 Steps to take to reach financial wellness
The financial industry is massive. They intentionally make it looks complicated and difficult to understand. That way you feel you need a “professional” to take care and grow your wealth.
This is not true. With a little bit of time and knowledge you can understand how money works and invest it with confidence.
Here are some things you can do TODAY that will improve your financial literacy:
- Be honest with yourself. Take a look at your current financial position.
- Know that no one can predict the future. So do not let anyone try to convince you that they know what is best for you. Only you know what is the best decision for you.
- Be proactive – Educate yourself and then take action. Time is of the essence.
- Pay down debt – Debt is bondage. Do not work your whole life only to be in debt. Start small and ramp up payments over time.
- Create money goals for yourself – Do you want to go to Hawaii or visit Europe. Start planning for it today.
- Create an emergency fund – Life is unpredictable. Money cannot buy happiness, but it can provide a certain peace of mind and it can solve a lot of problems.
- Teach children and others about the basics of finance. Share with others what you know. It will reinforce your current knowledge.
- Check your credit. Keeping an eye on your credit and improving your score is just plain smart. You get better rates on loans and you make sure no one has stolen your identity.
Taking these steps today will put your far ahead of the majority of Americans. And if you feel like you are living paycheck to paycheck, know that things can be different. You have the ability to change your life.
Once you have the knowledge it is just a matter of implementing what you know and letting time do the rest.
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