Come to find out, April is financial literacy month. Since the world has slowed down and we may have more time on our hands, we can spend some time becoming more financially literate. Knowledge is power as cliche as this is.
To me, financial literacy means learning about how to manage what I earn well. It means being intentional about my money by planning for it using a balanced and realistic budget. Financial literacy also involves learning about how to manage your money, to spend it wisely and also to save and invest it with discipline. Developing literacy of any kind requires sustained work, the building of good habits through practice and using what is learnt to strengthen this.
We prioritise literacy – the ability to read and write well, as well as, the knowledge to do this in different contexts. We should also do this with financial literacy. Parents should teach their kids and it should be taught in schools. We should also seek how materials to help us learn more and improve this knowledge.
How to Start on the Road to Developing Financial Literacy
Be inquisitive. Search on Google. Search on Twitter and YouTube as well as other platforms. We all know that once we search for something Google starts throwing it in our faces again and again. Use it in your favour.
Check the different platforms like Coursera where universities offer free courses. You might be able to learn about basic accounting or something to aid in your financial literacy. Come out of this time with knowledge to help better manage your money, so you can save and have a solid emergency fund for hard times to come. As we see now, hard times do come and like now may mean job loss, income stagnation or some other financial hardship. Learn how to plan well and give yourself any kind of buffer you can.
Why Financial Literacy is Important for All of Us
On my financial literacy journey, so far, I have learnt the importance of being disciplined and managing my money so I can save. There are all kinds of popular sayings to make us want to spend what we earn and more. We often hear to work hard and play hard. If you work for it, it’s yours to spend as you please and some even believe it’s normal to have debt.
Financial advisors exist for a reason. The good ones help to guide people to healthy financial lives. We may not all have one but we can seek out information and learn.
Financial literacy goes beyond being able to read and write. We aren’t all naturally able to manage our money, talents and resources. How do you know how to monetise your ideas, skills and the like? How do we know how to negotiate for a better salary, mortgages etc? We have to learn about specific industries that interests us, know how to read different financial reports to a degree and make necessary decisions intentionally.
At some stage we will all retire. How do we plan for this? A bit of financial literacy is important and goes a long way to helping us prepare and plan for this. It is a major key to enjoying retirement. We are never too young to start planning for retirement.
In this financial literacy month, start searching and developing knowledge. Become more financially literate and enrich your life in the process.