Finances can be deceptively tricky to manage. They’re like part of a juggling act, where your mortgage, car payment, school loans, credit cards and other monthly expenses are all up in the air at the same time — and if one or two hit the ground, it sets the rest off balance.
With 62 percent of Americans having under $1000 in savings, and 37 percent thinking they’re too broke to save money, most people don’t know how to be financially prepared. And some people don’t understand how their money works at all.
Not having enough financial education or not knowing how to apply a financial education is a problem that can lead to people making a lot of uninformed money decisions. This can perpetuate a cycle of financial irresponsibility, and that’s why financial literacy is so important.
What Is Financial Literacy?
Financial literacy is all about getting educated on money and learning new ways to take control of your personal finances in every area of life. It’s not just about everyday budgeting, but about long-term goals and planning for the future.
According to a 2015 survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 59 percent of Americans would grade themselves an A or B on their knowledge of personal finance — but they’re open to learning more. That’s up from the C, D and F grades Americans gave themselves in 2013, which shows we’re improving drastically, but still have a little ways to go. In the same study, 75 percent agreed that they could stand to benefit from additional advice and answers to their everyday financial questions.
How to Manage Your Money: Today’s Best Financial Resources
With help from the biggest personal finance experts, blogs, apps and publications out there today, this is your guide to improving your financial literacy. With Financial Literacy Month upon us this April, now is the time to sharpen the saw. Whether you don’t know anything about personal finance, or just feel like you could always widen your knowledge, here are the best tools to help you with money management in your day-to-day life.