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The goal of financial literacy is to establish a feeling of control over your finances while also using money as a tool to freely make choices that build greater life satisfaction, according to a 2015 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
What Does It Mean to Be Financially Literate?
Financially literate consumers not only manage money with more confidence, but also have a better chance of handling the inevitable ups and downs of their financial lives by understanding how to prevent and manage issues as they arise.
That can mean keeping a close eye on their bank and credit card accounts so they’re aware of potential fraud as soon as possible, or being able to recover from a costly unexpected car repair quickly thanks to ample cash savings.
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Look for free resources
To start, take advantage of free tools that might already be available to you. For example, your bank, credit union or credit card issuer might track your spending patterns on its website or app.
Check with your employer
Find out whether the company you work for offers free financial counseling or an employee financial wellness program. You may be able to speak with a financial professional as part of your suite of workplace benefits.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: This federal agency provides many online consumer resources, including guides on how to approach major financial decisions like paying for college and getting an auto loan.
Financial Planning Association: This membership organization for financial planning professionals posts resources with helpful information on various life events and complex financial topics, such as estate planning and divorce.