April is the month some financial big whigs decided to make the official month for Financial Literacy. So what does “financial literacy” mean anyway, and more important, why should we care?? Well, in my opinion (if you really want it), now more than ever before our debt stricken society NEEDS valuable information and resources to better improve financial situations. From the government to our kids, education is KEY (I sound like my mother!!). Taking one of Oprah’s favorite quotes, “when you know better, you do better”, so I guess April is a month to learn better in our finances in order to do better.
Now, even though April is the designated month, you can certainly gain control of your hard earned money ANY month and ANY day of the year.
So to get you started I’ve collected some pointers that have helped me personally!!!
- Make a conscious decision to make a change! I heard a great phrase that went something like ‘you can’t fix a problem doing the very thing that created the problem in the first place’. Change your mind on how you handle money- you’ll see dramatic results!
- Know what’s in your backyard!! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again (it’s worth repeating *smile*), KNOW what your debts are! Look at credit reports, go through your bank statements, understand where your money is going and who you’re giving it to! You will never believe how many people are clueless on what they owe. How can you move forward when you don’t know and haven’t taken care of the things in the past.
- Make a plan of ACTION- Be S.M.A.R.T!!! Once you understand what you have working with (income minus outgo), create SMART financial goals. S- specific, M- measurable/meaningful, A- attainable, R- results oriented, T- trackable/time-based. Being SMART with your money is key to financial success!!!
- Get Your Spending Under Control! Telling your money what to do is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can do in your finances (it’s the dirty little word- BUDGET). Be the BOSS of your money. Would you hire YOU to manage your money??? If your answer is ‘heck no!” then you have some work to do. If you make $3,000 a month, spending $3,001 is just asking for trouble!!
- READ, READ, READ (and then READ again!!) I tell ya, one of the best ways to gain knowledge is to READ. So much information is out there it just takes us opening up a book to gain it. Some of my favorites are Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, David Bach, and Robert Kiyosaki. Don’t like to read?? I have a solution!! Suze Orman has a t.v. show that comes on Saturday night (got to love the segment “Can you afford it?”) and Dave Ramsey has a radio show that comes on 5 days a week!! I just gave out free advertising for the both…but the point it both avenues are GREAT sources of information. Practical advice is what I’m after BABY!!!
- When You Know Better, You Do Better! I absolutely LOVE this phrase. When you know better, aren’t you supposed to do better? So, when you know your debts, have a budget, have a PLAN you are creating a path of doing better with your money. This phrase really puts the icing on the cake for me. I’ve heard doing the SAME THING over and over again and EXPECTING different results is the definition of INSANITY!! Let’s not be insane with our finances! We can do this- Woo-Hoo!!
I’m in the Carnival this week!Tweet