Financial literacy is the understanding of financial components and skills such as budgeting, investing, borrowing, taxation, and personal financial management. Being financially literate allows an individual to be better prepared for their personal financial troubles as well as global recessions.
The absence of such skills is referred to as being financially illiterate. Being financially illiterate can lead to a number of pitfalls, such as being more likely to accumulate unsustainable debt burdens, either through poor spending decisions or a lack of long-term preparation. This, in turn, can lead to poor credit, bankruptcy, housing foreclosure, and other negative consequences. Today’s world is full of things such as student loans, mortgages, credit cards, investments, and insurance, which makes it necessary for everyone to be financially literate. Credit card companies, banks, and other financial institutions are secretly trapping consumers with credit opportunities—the ability to apply for credit cards or pay off one card with another. Without the proper knowledge, it is easy to get into financial trouble.
Thankfully, there are now more resources than ever for those wishing to educate themselves about the world of finance. The following are fundamental components of financial literacy that should be learned:
In budgeting, there are four main uses for money that determine a budget: spending, investing, saving, and giving away. Creating the right balance throughout the primary uses of money allows individuals to better allocate their income, resulting in financial security and prosperity. In general, a budget should be composed in a way that pays off all existing debt while leaving money aside for saving and making beneficial investments.
Some of the components that should be learned to ensure profitable investments are interest rates, price levels, diversification, risk mitigation, and indexes. Learning about crucial investment strategies allows individuals to make smarter financial decisions that may result in an increased inflow of income.
In most cases, almost every individual is required to borrow money at one point in their life. To ensure borrowing is done effectively, an understanding of interest rates, compound interest, time value of money, payment periods, and loan structure is very important. With this, an individual’s financial literacy will increase, which will provide practical borrowing guidelines and reduce long-term financial stress.
Gaining knowledge about the different forms of taxation and how they impact an individual’s net income is crucial for obtaining financial literacy. Whether it be employment, investment, rental, or inheritance, each source of income is taxed differently. Awareness of the different income tax rates results in economic stability and increases financial performance through income management.
Achieving an in-depth knowledge of the financial components discussed above guarantees an increase in an individual’s financial literacy, allowing them to make decisions safer and more profitably.