While not quite as longstanding a tradition as the two honorary months that just passed in the U.S. - Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March - there are nonetheless countless positives to be found in Financial Literacy Month. This occasion has been a tradition in America since its institution by a Congress resolution in 2004, and marks a time for everyone to take a closer look at their individual understandings of finance. It also affords consumers a great reason to examine their personal money situations and try to identify areas where improvement is possible.
"April has been Financial Literacy Month in the U.S. since 2004."
Examining the state of your savings
According to a survey conducted by GoBankingRates, approximately 57 percent of U.S. adults had less than $1,000 saved up and set aside for special circumstances as of 2017. In 2016, this figure was much greater - 69 percent. Ultimately, this signals that financial awareness among Americans is trending upward.
More likely than not, however, there's room for you to improve on what you have saved, or instill better personal practices in this regard. If you don't have a savings account or put very little in it, now might be the right moment to change this. Consider scheduling reminders for yourself to add a little to this account each month, or every pay period.
Investing for your eventual retirement
Just about everyone dreams of the ability to retire in leisure and security at their career's end, but the sum of people who actively plan for that occurrence is likely far fewer. Forbes noted that it's of paramount importance for individuals to begin saving for retirement as early as is feasibly possible, and Financial Literacy Month marks an opportune time to do that.
How to begin? According to Forbes, the optimal amount one should save per month to remain comfortable without working in their golden years is about $1,000. But this isn't feasible for everyone, of course - especially for the millions of Americans with student loan debt and plenty of other common obligations. Using this April as an occasion to start saving at a more manageable amount and putting more away when you can is a perfectly respectable way to start.
Check out financial education classes
Numerous institutions use Financial Literacy Month as a promotional opportunity to provide financial education classes and thus attract customers. Whether you end up patronizing these banks and lenders or not, it will certainly be worthwhile to see what the classes or seminars entail. Also, you can find a significant number of online finance webinars, which can be similarly beneficial, with a quick internet search.
Look into alternative credit
The overarching spirit of Financial Literacy Month involves learning about entirely new concepts, and if alternative credit data is something you don't fully understand, there's no time like the present to change that fact.
"Alternative credit assesses financial solvency without the limitations of FICO."
PRBC's alternative credit scoring model enables hardworking Americans to utilize the information from transactions in everyday life - rent, utilities, insurance payments, student loans and more - to provide merchants proof of your financial stability when FICO provides too narrow a view.
It's clear that credit card payments and other traditional measurements of creditworthiness aren't complex enough for today's society. Contact PRBC to learn about how alternative assessments can help you move toward obtaining the financing or credit you need.