Financial literacy: It’s important for everyone

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Edward Jones - Chad Choate, AAMS

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Posted on

Apr 25, 2024

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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April is National Financial Literacy Month — a good reminder that all of us can benefit from boosting our financial knowledge.

But what is financial literacy? There’s no one single definition, but the term certainly covers these areas:

Saving – Most of us would probably agree that saving money is important, but actually doing it can be challenging given all the expenses of modern living. Still, techniques are available that everyone can follow, such as having money automatically moved each month from a checking or savings account to a financial account that’s not used for daily expenses.

Budgeting – Budgeting isn’t necessarily a fun activity — but it’s an important one. And it’s easier than ever these days, given the variety of budgeting tools available online. By tracking your spending every month and organizing it into categories, you may be able to find areas where you can cut back, such as on streaming services you rarely use.

Borrowing – Virtually all of us carry some type of debt at various times in our lives. But it’s important to manage your debt load so it doesn’t become too burdensome. One way of achieving this goal is to use “good” debts wisely — such as a low-rate mortgage on your home — and avoid “bad” debts — such as high-rate credit cards used for unnecessary purchases.

Investing – As you go through life, you’ll likely have a variety of financial goals, such as making a down payment on a house, sending your children to college and attaining a comfortable retirement lifestyle. And to achieve these goals, you’ll need to invest for them. That’s why it’s important to learn about different types of investments and how to develop an investment strategy that’s appropriate for your objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon.

We aren’t born with these skills — we have to learn them. Unfortunately, as valuable as they are, they aren’t widely taught to young people. In fact, according to a 2023 Edward Jones study conducted with Morning Consult, only 20% of respondents reported receiving financial education in school. This situation may be changing, though, as many states are now requiring or recommending personal finance education before high school graduation.

For now, though, if you have younger children, try to teach them money management skills. You will likely find that they enjoy learning about these matters. You can make it fun for them in different ways, too. For example, to teach them about investing, why not buy them a share or two of stock of a company with which they’re familiar? Charting a stock’s progress and learning something of the factors affecting its price can help children build a foundation in investing, which will be valuable when they reach the age when they can invest for themselves.

But financial education isn’t just for kids. If you feel that you are lacking somewhat in any of the key financial management areas mentioned above, you can always educate yourself by reading or talking to people knowledgeable in these subjects. You also might find it valuable to work with a financial professional — someone who will take a holistic approach to your finances and make appropriate suggestions.

National Financial Literacy Month will end on April 30, but the benefits of financial literacy can last a lifetime.

 

Chad Choate III, AAMS

828 3rd Avenue West

Bradenton, FL  34205

941-462-2445

chad.choate@edwardjones.com 


This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. 

Edward Jones, Member SIPC

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Local Services By This Author

Edward Jones - Chad Choate, AAMS

Financial Advisor 828 3rd Ave. W., Bradenton, Florida, 34205

Hello, I'm Chad Choate a dedicated financial advisor in Bradenton, FL, I began my career with Edward Jones in 2017. As a financial advisor, I want to find out what's important to you and help you build personalized strategies to achieve your goals. As a lifelong Manatee County resident, I graduated from the University of South Florida and was a teacher in Manatee County before joining Edward Jones. My driving force is to change people's lives in a positive way, and what better place than my home to do that. Whether you're planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. We will also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. Throughout it all, we're dedicated to providing you with top-notch client service. But we're not alone. Thousands of people and advanced technology support from our office can help ensure you receive the most current and comprehensive guidance. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to work with your attorney, accountant and other trusted professionals to deliver a comprehensive strategy that leverages everyone's expertise. Working together, we can help you develop a complete, tailored strategy to help you achieve your financial goals. I currently volunteer with the Manatee Hurricane football Broadcast and Booster Club, serve on my church's trustees council and have previously served as a leader in Young Life. I am a member of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and an alumnus of their Leadership Manatee program. I have been married to my childhood sweetheart, Ashley, for 15 years and we have a son, Wesley, and daughter, Camryn. We enjoy watching our children play their sports and traveling as a family.