Marcia's Blog

Three ways to get a better grip on your finances today

Since April is National Financial Literacy Month, here’s a question for you. How much do you know about your finances? If you’re like most Americans, you don’t know as much as you should. Here are three ways to start changing that today.

A recent survey by RetailMeNot found that:

  • 20 percent of people have no money in a savings account.
  • Of those who do have savings, only 25 percent know how much they have saved.
  • 92 percent of people think parents should be the ones to teach children about finances.

All of those findings are problematic.
If you have no savings, what are you going to do when – not if – an emergency occurs?

If you don’t know how much money you have saved, how are you going to know if you’re on the right path to achieving your financial goals?

And if parents are to be responsible for teaching their children about finances, what happens when those parents know less than the children?

So what should you do instead? Here are three actions you can commit to today so that when National Financial Literacy Month rolls around next year, you’ll be much better off financially.

  • Be honest with yourself. Write down how much you’re spending. Keep a journal. Add up how much you really owe. You have to acknowledge your missteps before you can correct them. Commit to learning your own financial behavior so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
  • Read one personal finance book. One of the best ways to gain a new perspective on something is to read somebody else’s take on it. Go to the library, visit a bookstore or download a book on your Kindle about a financial topic that you want more insight on.
  • Sign up for one personal finance class. You can never know too much about managing your money. Sign up for a financial management class either in-person with a nonprofit homeownership organization or take a class online from the comfort of your own home.

By taking steps to improve your financial literacy, you will pave the way for a brighter financial future for yourself and for the generations to come.