The Ins and Outs of Financial Literacy – What Should You Know?
The first thing that usually pops into people’s minds when they think of “financial literacy” is usually an endless Excel spreadsheet filled with numbers that are impossible to understand. Only one-third of adults in the world understand basic financial concepts, and 4 out of 7 Americans are considered financially illiterate. However, financial literacy is a crucial tool that isn’t all that hard to learn! Below, we talk about some of the most important tips that can help you strengthen your knowledge of personal finance.
- Keep a Budget: Keeping a simple budget is a great way to stay on top of your personal finances! It’s okay if you’re not a math wiz – you can set up a simple spreadsheet to record your income and monthly expenses, and there are great tools and websites to help you stay on track, like Mint.com!
- Prioritize Saving: If you’re trying to save up for something big, do it step-by-step! Save small amounts over a longer period of time – this will help you track your budget and make sure you can afford bigger-ticket items.
- Watch Your Credit: Don’t get caught up in crazy credit card offers! Be sure to stay on top of any line of credit that you open. It’s much easier to keep up a good credit score if you don’t have any blemishes or late payments on your credit history. Using your credit cards regularly with small expenses is a great way to build credit! Consistent, timely payment is key.
- Keep Your Finances Secure: Make sure to keep any information related to your personal finances private. Don’t input your credit card information on a public device, and don’t share your passwords to bank accounts with other people! The stronger the password, the better, and be sure to change it every so often.
These are just a few tips for keeping your own personal finances on track. HMFI offers a series of modules for more detailed information on how to take your understanding of personal finance to the next level and improve your ability to budget, save, and build credit. Check it out now!
Georgie Wilson, SFS ’24