Becoming Financially Literate, It Means More Than You Think

May 02, 2016
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If you haven’t heard already, April is Financial Literacy Month. But what does that mean? Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more), and how that person donates it to help others. It is about understanding the cycle of money and how that affects all of us.

Here are some things everyone should consider doing for themselves: 

Build A Plan. 
If your finances have recently taken a hit, what can you do about it? It’s a great time to start picking up the pieces and learn how to rebuild with confidence. After all, a little careful planning could go a long way. Take charge of your own “Financial Bailout.” If you haven’t put some thought into Asset Preservation Planning, now would be a great time to do that. It’s important to make sure you’ve taken the appropriate steps to aim to keep what you’ve built as secure as possible - for yourself, and for future generations.  

Set SMART Goals.
Are your financial goals well-defined? While “I want to have lots of money” may sound like a great goal, it’s just too vague. How much is “lots”? If you don’t know … how will you know when you have it? And will the “lots” of money today be enough for tomorrow?

In developing your financial goals, make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. …
   • Specific
   • Measurable
   • Attainable
   • Relevant
   • Timely

If you haven’t already taken some time to clearly define your financial goals, don’t put it off any longer. Well-defined goals are imperative for creating an comprehensive financial plan. You have to know where you want to go, have a plan to pursue your goal, and clearly know when you have reached your destination.

Aiming to Set Up the Younger Generation for Success.
The younger  generations are probably the biggest focus for financial literacy month as Millennials (1980 - 2000) and Generation Z (2000+) are not only wayward financially, but also pessimistic about ever becoming wealthy. Could it be that they just aren’t getting the financial education they need? This month is the perfect time to focus on your child or grandchild’s financial education. Help them understand what money is, and how to manage it. Setting a foundation today could make a big difference in their financial future.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some great online resources: 
   • themint.org
   • feedthepig.org
   • 360financialliteracy.org
   • financialliteracymonth.com

Seek Help.
It is important to be proactive in managing your money as well.  While you may have a plan and goals, and are doing your part to teach and help future generations, you need to continue to build your educational foundation as well.  Today’s financial future can be confusing, so don’t overlook the major benefit of some professional advice.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.