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Every year, on National Financial Awareness Day, we are reminded of the significance of understanding and managing our finances. This day serves as a gentle nudge to reflect on our financial habits, assess our financial goals, and take proactive steps toward achieving a secure and prosperous future. We will delve into the importance of financial awareness, offer practical tips for enhancing your financial literacy, and explore the benefits of making informed decisions about your money.
Financial awareness is more than just knowing the balance in your bank account. It’s about comprehending the broader financial landscape and understanding the principles of budgeting and saving while also being aware of your financial choices. Being financially aware empowers you to make informed decisions which can lead to better outcomes for your future.
An important part of financial awareness is identifying and avoiding potential scams. People fall victim to scams every day, so it is important to know what to do in these situations:
- Stay Informed: Staying up to date about the latest techniques used by scammers is one of the most effective ways to avoid scams. Some workplaces implement this by sending out emails on recent scams that other workers may have experienced. Regularly familiarize yourself with common scams with websites like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which provides valuable information about scams.
- Avoid Giving Personal Information: Never share sensitive personal or financial information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account details, or passwords. Legitimate organizations will never request such information through insecure channels. Some scammers will try to pressure you into giving them your personal information by threatening to call the authorities on unpaid debts, still do not give them your information.
Another important part of financial awareness is learning about budgeting. Budgeting isn’t just about tracking your expenses, it’s also about understanding your finances and making the best decisions with it. A budget that is well-structured and thought out will enable you to set clear financial goals and reduce debt. Here are some basic tips that can help you get started with creating a budget:
- Access Your Current Situation: Know about all the money you bring in versus all the money that you will be putting out (expenses, debts, etc.)
- Set Clear Goals: Understand what you want to get out of budgeting. Whether it be a vacation or getting out of credit card debt, it is important to know what you are working towards.
- Categorize Your Expenses: A large percentage of your monthly should be set aside for your needs or things you think are most important. Having money assigned to different categories will help you understand where your money is going. Always remember to put some money towards savings.
- Be Disciplined: Try to stick with your budget as closely as possible. Ignoring it might set back some of your financial goals.
By understanding some of the small things about being financially aware, you can set yourself up to be better off financially in the future. Receiving scam calls or mail is something that a lot of Americans experience but identifying it early can save you time and money. Budgeting is also a powerful tool for controlling your financial future. So start today to unlock the potential of your hard-earned money.
Visit our resource directory to find financial services and resources in your area. Or, contact our public health specialists to learn more about support and resources available to you!
Shajia Afrin, Public Health Specialist
Caleb Colbert, Public Health Specialist