Financial literacy, according to Webster’s Third New Collegiate Dictionary, defines financial knowledge as “knowledge of financial matters”. This definition is very broad, because financial matters refer to a wide range of subjects including banking, economics, finance, accounting, investment, insurance, retirement planning, public policy and more.
Financial is obviously a general term for related issues concerning the study, control, creation and management of funds and assets. Specifically, it covers the questions of who, why and how an organization, government or individual acquires the needed resources and how they spend and invest them. For example, when an organization needs money to grow, they may decide to borrow some from a bank or other financial institution, or they might get a loan from another source, such as a private investor or another group of lenders. A business owner may also need money to expand his business and hire more employees. The type of funding required will depend on the type of business, the amount of assets owned, the expected level of growth in revenues and any other factors that influence the decision making process.
One important topic that should be addressed when talking about financial literacy is the impact of the current economic climate on our economy. We all know that the United States economy is facing serious problems, but what are some of the possible solutions? President Obama is calling for major changes in the way the federal government uses tax dollars. He has proposed eliminating the corporate income tax and other indirect taxes, as well as eliminating the estate tax and reducing taxes on capital gains and dividends.
On the other hand, the proposed cuts would have a significant effect on the financial situation of taxpayers by reducing overall debt burden. According to the Tax Policy Center, nearly half of the revenue loss would result from eliminating or reducing certain personal tax benefits. These include tax breaks for student loans, student health insurance, and home mortgage interest.
Financial literacy must also address the subject of money management. Most people think of this issue in terms of credit cards, cash in the bank and other debt-related issues. However, money management also includes how you manage your savings account and the way you budget your expenses. It is crucial for you to understand what your budget and savings goals are, how to keep track of your spending and income, and how to set aside money to cover unexpected expenses.
There are many financial education courses available online that can help you in these areas. One such course is the Bogle Guide to Investing. This guide provides an overview of the subject, including a detailed discussion of investment options, including investments that are considered conservative and risky. You will learn about various investment choices, how to select a plan or strategy, and the basics of financial management.
Good financial education is vital for the future. Having a solid knowledge of financial planning will enable you to make the best financial decisions. In today’s society, your financial future and the financial security of your family’s future depend upon you and your ability to handle your money wisely.
Financial education involves learning about how to properly budget your money, manage your finances and live within your means. As I mentioned before, the best time to take up financial education is now, as we face an uncertain and volatile economy. Take the initiative and begin today. There is no better time than now.
When looking for financial education, look for a program that is designed for beginning investors and those with little to no experience. Many books written for experienced investors are also available. Check to see if the book is written for a specific age group or if it is geared towards investors of a particular profession. The book should be comprehensive and provide clear, easy-to-understand instruction.
Financial literacy is a critical part of financial education. A well-rounded course program will teach you how to develop financial management skills, how to identify risk, and how to effectively plan for the future. By practicing these skills and habits you will have a better understanding of the concepts underlying investment strategies. and a greater ability to manage your money.
Don’t wait for today to get started on financial education. Start saving today!