Written by: Pier Alsup, American Eagle Credit Union, Chief Community Engagement Officer
National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in the U.S. in April as a way to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.
American Eagle Credit Union is highlighting financial literacy month by sharing financial literacy tips on the KTRS blog each week during the month of April to share basic principles on savings as well as spending and borrowing—and how to choose the right accounts and services to fit your individual needs.
Below are 8 steps you can take to increase your financial IQ:
Read articles about money and finance
One of the best ways to improve your financial knowledge is to read books and articles about the subject. Whether it is a book from the library, or an article on a well-sourced website, you can never know too much about money and savings.
Use a mobile budgeting app
Most of us are visual people, so having a useful mobile budgeting app right on your fingertips can show you how much money you are spending your money on. You might be surprised at how much you paid in total last month for those lattes before work every morning.
Take a class or attend a seminar
There are wide varieties of financial literacy classes and seminars from certified professionals who can help you be money smart and more knowledgeable with your spending habits.
Decide to live on less
We can’t stress this enough—-living below your means is critical if you want to save money that builds over time. Making the decision to live on less may seem hard in the short term, but has many long term benefits for you and your family.
Create a savings plan
Without a plan, you are doomed to make financial mistakes. Create a realistic savings plan and stick to it—you’ll be surprised at how those dollars add up.
Study your bills
Taking a good hard look at your bills regularly can help you save money and even improve your bottom line. Are you paying for cable channels that you no longer watch? Are there extras on your wireless bill that you simply don’t need? Look at your bills and see where you can lower them, and then consult the billing company.
Review your credit card agreement
Your credit card company may have annual fees or charges that you aren’t aware of. Check your credit card agreements and if there is a service charge or annual fee, call to cancel—they may waive it to keep you as a customer.
Saving is our motto, so make it as easy as you can. Have funds automatically deposited in a savings account to take the guesswork out of it.
American Eagle Credit Union focuses on financial literacy YEAR ‘ROUND with:
- Seminars (for adults) – topics including budgeting, home buying and college planning
- Teaching (for grade school & high school students) – our in-house programs plus with partners such as Junior Achievement
- Free online suite of tools, calculators, and tutorials
- Free financial counseling programs, debt management plans and credit report reviews with our partner, GreenPath Financial Wellness.
More info: ameaglecu.org/