Your financial future matters this and every month

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No matter if it’s Financial Literacy Month or any other time of the year, now is the time to get your fiscal house in order.

“A basic understanding of personal finance enables you to make good financial decisions throughout your life,” said Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian, the leading global information services company.

Financial Literacy Month is an annual reminder to help people learn complex financial terms and implications. Here are key points.

Financial literacy helps people understand how money works. That includes benefits from saving and investing as well as staying out of debt and life-killing interest.

Expert advice

Self-assessing financial literacy is tough. You might assume you know more than you do. The best option is to talk with your CPA or financial adviser who knows how to navigate through the swamp.

Financial literacy gives people the power to read and understand money fundamentals. Following that map can lead to the promised land of financial freedom.

Raise financially literate children by setting good examples. You can’t teach what you don’t understand. Your children’s education starts with your education.

Make financial matters part of the routine family discussion with no deep dark secrets. The type and quality of conversations will set the tone.

Financial literacy sessions should be offered with no strings attached. People have become justifiably leery about invitations to financial meetings that turn into timeshare presentations.

No secrets

Too often, money matters are treated as black magic that only financial sorcerers understand. Financial literacy needs to become part of everyday conversations, not as something reserved for one month when taxes are filed.

“Hurdles include lacking basic knowledge to make sound financial decisions,” Griffin said. “Learning early helps prevent financial difficulty later in life.”

To learn about money management, you can read books. However, you really need to hear from people who can drive the points home. That can be an accountant, those mired in debt and those who freed themselves. Learn their lessons firsthand.

Take the initiative to learn about money matters. Ask those in the know who don’t demand your business in exchange. You should only pay a price if you willfully ignore what is freely available around you.

About The Author

Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.