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Financial Literacy

| October 17, 2017
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When I do research for my blog posts, I try to read from many different sources to get various perspectives. When doing research for this post, however, I found some frightening facts. The level of financial literacy in the United States is abysmal. We have a millennial generation that is making financial decisions without a solid grasp of what they are doing. With future blog posts, I am going to go more in-depth of financial terms, issues, and topics that people face every day. That said here are some quick hits of financial topics troubling Americans today.

Student Loans

Obviously, the cost of college is getting out of hand. Student loan debt is now at a record $1.4 trillion, with each student graduating with an average of $30,000 in student loan debt. Graduates now need to come up with a plan to pay down that debt.

Saving Money

The savings rate in our country is very poor. 26% of Americans have nothing saved for emergencies and 36% have nothing saved for retirement! Saving for anything, let alone emergency expenses and retirement is number one on how to get started with basic finance.

Investing

There are assumptions only wealthy people can invest or the stock market is an easy way to make a quick buck. Both are wrong. With all the apps out there, like Acorns, you can start with less than $100. Investing is not a guarantee that your money will double or triple. Investments go down and it takes time for you to increase your money in the stock market, but you need to do your research and get help from a professional.

Buying a home

Buying a home is most likely the biggest purchase you will make, but with it, comes some misconceptions. Though it is advised, you don’t need to put 20% down. Step number one should be reviewing your finances to see what you can afford.

Budgets

The first step when creating a budget is to track your spending. Figure out what you spend each month and see where you can make improvements. Mint.com is a good resource to use for getting started. There are also plenty of apps out there, like Monefy, which help you keep track.

Conclusion

Tackling debt, saving, investing, and budgeting are important cornerstones of finance. Getting a good handle on these will give you a great base of knowledge for further educating yourself. As I said in the introduction, I will continue with these posts weekly to help educate the general public on important financial issues and topics.

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