What is Financial Literacy? Why is it important?

Financial literacy is knowing how to handle your money and use it productively in more than one way. Often we spend our money carelessly and regret it later. Utilising your money in a way that proves useful in the present or sometime in future is why financial literacy is important. This is just a brief description of it. In a real sense, it is a very vast subject. 

Financial literacy involves things like budgeting, saving, investing and loans and interest. This skill is developed when one gets involved in financial transactions. 

What is financial literacy?

It is the ability to understand and effectively use financial skills. Financial skills include:

  • Budgeting 
  • Saving
  • Investing 
  • Credit management 
  • Financial management

You might deal with these in your day to life. But to acquire these skills one needs to understand the basic financial concepts. These financial concepts include the time value of money, compound interest, annualised returns and opportunity cost. 

Why is financial literacy important?

The answer is very simple. You are financially literate, you can manage your money more effectively. It increases your confidence to manage your money and allocates it towards your goals. 

  • Distributing your income in a way that your expenses get paid without disturbing your budget. Note how much income is coming in and distribute it accordingly. And make sure to keep a track of your expenses and make changes in your spending plan now and then. 
  • If you are financially literate, you know that while seeking a loan you look at for the one with the lowest rate of interest. Comparing different loan plans is very important. You also are well aware that paying credit card bills on time is for your good. Because after a certain time you get charged with interest. This will only increase your expenses. time
  • Emergency funds are very essential in today’s uncertain time. Start saving little by little separately for emergencies. If you are already a financial literate you know that saving money equivalent to your three or six-month income is a must. Use it when you are in dire need of money. 
  • Everyone has to stop working after a certain age. Maybe because of health issues or because of retirement. Thus, you need to have a retirement plan. You should be well aware of which accounts will help you secure a good life after retirement.

How to improve financial literacy skills?

  • Manage your bills properly. Use the auto-debit option for recurring bills. Don’t postpone paying bills for late as it may affect the entire budget.
  • Maintain a good credit score. If you have a good credit score you can secure low-interest rates on loans and credit cards. 
  • Manage your debts properly. Stop spending lavishly and start saving and increase repayments. This will reduce your liability and pay off loans with high interests first.
  • Start saving and investing more. Investments are a good way to increase your saving. Invest where the rate of return is high. Also, don’t spend needlessly and save that money for something better and use it effectively. 

Lack of financial literacy will lead to budget mismatch, higher expenses, accumulation of debt, poor credit score and financial frauds. 

Acquiring financial skills will help you make major financial decisions. It ensures that you have a stable present as well as a future. It is a necessity.