Trust Matters  
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April is Financial Literacy Month, a national campaign to raise awareness about financial literacy and promote financial education. In this month, organizations nationwide carry out a variety of events, learning opportunities, and initiatives to improve financial literacy, especially among our nation’s youth. Financial ignorance can lead to a variety of negative future consequences, including irresponsible spending, dangerous debt levels, and high amounts of stress, especially for financially vulnerable populations. Education is key; making informed financial decisions is more important than ever.

Read financial books and newspapers (and listen to podcasts)

Dive into newspapers and magazines (think the financial section of local/regional newspapers as well as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’sFortuneForbes, and Money) as well as books geared toward money matters. Also, there’s a podcast for every subject nowadays, and the arena of finance is no exception. Just want the basics? Try Planet Money or So Money. What about info on investing? You want Money for the Rest of Us or The Disciplined Investor. Woman-focused financial info? Look for Women & Money or The Fairer Cents.

Utilize social media and your network

Make your social media time more industrious by following financial experts on Twitter or LinkedIn or joining a personal finance / support Facebook group. Also, don’t overlook the knowledge you have close at hand through your immediate network; utilize the financial expertise (and lessons learned) of your circle of influence successful friends, family members, colleagues, even your boss.

Ask the experts

Who better to turn to with your burning financial questions than a professional? They can listen and assess your current situation and how you are handling credit and debt; uncover solutions, whether about day-to-day money situations or more complex, long-term scenarios; make suggestions for how to pay off, consolidate, and manage finances; and help you plan for future financial needs and stay on track going forward.
A study undertaken by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2019 showed that rates of financial literacy among Americans have taken a nosedive since the Great Recession, yet, for many, financial situations are more complicated than ever, between retirement accounts, investments, student loans, medical debt, credit cards, pandemic stimulus payments, and mortgages/rent and other household expenses. It’s crucial to keep our financial literacy knowledge base growing as aspects of our health, career, family, and living situation change over the years. Knowledge is power!
About our guest author: Shauna Osborne published this article in Treesdale Life, April 2022.

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