The Financial Facts of Life

couple looking at budget

It's a buzz word you shouldn’t ignore: financial literacy. Why? Because it's essential for financial survival in today's world.

It’s never too late to begin learning the financial facts of life. If you’re unsure how financially literate you are, ask yourself three questions:

1. Do I have a good handle on the financial facts of life? People with a good understanding not only shop wisely for everyday purchases, but they also make smarts decisions when shopping for a mortgage or other loan, they reconcile their accounts, regularly contribute to their retirement plan, and compare insurance policies to determine which fits their needs best. If you don’t practice these good financial habits, you may be wasting money on expensive alternatives, paying for services you don't need or want, or making yourself vulnerable to identity theft or other forms of fraud.

2. How can I boost my financial IQ? The Federal Trade Commission has a consumer information website where you'll find an array of resources that answer questions about many common topics. It addresses topics like money and credit, mortgages, and online security. Your credit union is another solid resource for personal finance education.

3. What's my best line of defense? Educate yourself. Learn how to create a spending plan, use credit cards wisely, compare prices for everything you buy, and learn how to spot a good deal from a bad one.

Make smart decisions now and you'll have a solid financial foundation in the months and years ahead.

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