Financial Literacy Year Round
April is Financial Literacy Month. Unlike the tax filing deadline that recently passed, financial literacy, or tax planning, is not a once-a-year activity. Rather it is something requiring constant attention.
Quite honestly, financial literacy is deeply rooted in common sense. Do you really need to be told not to max out all your credit cards and create a mountain of debt? How about living within your means? Spending more than you earn is a financial time bomb that will eventually explode. Is there anyone who doesn't understand that the sooner you begin saving and investing the better prepared you will be for retirement and other financial activities?
Yet it seems going into debt and postponing saving are financial rites of passage that each generation must experience to understand. A recent study of the financial habits of Millennials finds that they do understand the urgency of saving for retirement, yet they lack the will power to keep from binge spending.
Here's a suggestion I have offered many times: Pick up a copy of "The Millionaire Next Door," one of the most insightful books ever written on personal finance. To boil it down to just one word, becoming that millionaire requires you to lead a "frugal" life. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it? Yet, the long-term benefits of being frugal will pay off many times over and provide the peace of mind many believe is elusive.
One final thought: The earlier you realize the difference between saving and investing, the bigger your nest egg could be. It is very unlikely anyone could save a million dollars in their working life time. Yet, investing - and letting your money work for you - will allow your dollars to grow at a rate well above inflation, the true goal of investing.
Get more financial literacy tips that may help you manage your money year round on the SDCCU YouTube Channel.