April is Financial Literacy Month and the perfect opportunity for those who are interested in establishing or improving financial habits to get moving! It’s one of my favorite months because I ramp up my community outreach on financial issues by doing more workshops, speaking engagements, media interviews, etc. My goal is to get as many people as possible aware and involved in the future of their finances.
While paying close attention to your financial habits should be monitored year-round, here are a few specific activities that you can do during the month of April:
- Check your credit score
When was the last time you checked your credit score? Your credit score not only determines whether you qualify for a loan and the interest rate, but insurers also use this magic number to set the premiums for your auto and homeowners coverage. Your credit score even determines how much of a deposit one may need to put down on utilities and the rate of your cell phone plan.
I share all of the above to emphasize that it is important to know where you stand in the credit game. Make it a habit to check your score at least 1 – 2 times per year. If you are looking to move, take out a major loan or make a major purchase, take time to get your credit score up before doing so. Sit with your financial advisor to get help on improving your score.
- Participate in a Financial Workshop in your Community
The great thing about Financial Literacy Month is that lots of activities and workshops pop up on the community calendar. A quick Google search should yield a list of events that you and your family can attend highlighting a variety of financial topics. You can also reach out to local financial institutions and inquire about the activities they have planned this month.
- Set a savings goal.
Financial Literacy Month is a great time to set a goal for your savings. Whether it’s $20 per week or something more ambitious, map out a plan and stick to it. At the end of the second quarter, do an inventory of what worked in your savings plan (ex. Save every payday instead of every week) make the adjustments, then keep going.
- Meet with a financial advisor.
The myth I am always trying to dispel is that you must be wealthy in order to have a financial advisor. That is not the case! Financial advisors are in place not only to manage wealth, but to help build it.
When selecting a financial advisor, be sure to do your homework. Get referrals from people you trust, do some online research and most important, develop a list of financial goals that you want to accomplish before meeting with an advisor. This will serve as a road map and can better determine if he or she can help you with your financial goals.
There are plenty more things you can do during Financial Literacy Month. These are just a few to get you started. Make it even more interesting by challenging your family and friends to get involved. Before you know it, your whole circle will be on the road to greater financial responsibility.
Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome! *Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.