More About National Financial Awareness Day 💵
Do you lavishly spend money like they did in “The Great Gatsby”? Are you saving for retirement but uncertain where every penny is going? Do you live from paycheck to paycheck? Whatever your financial situation may be, it is time to look at the big picture and commit to becoming more aware of your spending. Most of us like to wait until our birthday or the new year to plan our finances but today is a great time to start. August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day and a good reminder to take investing and saving seriously to build financial stability and prepare for the future. The origins of the holiday are unknown but the aim of it is to develop and instill good financial practices that will solidify a person’s current financial status and serve them through retirement. Investing will make money do the work for us, which will result in less time spent working and leave more time for us to enjoy our lives. David Ravetch, a senior accounting lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles, says, “We live in a world of financial illiteracy.” What he means is that most of us do not possess the knowledge and skills that are necessary to make informed and effective financial decisions with our existing financial resources. It seems overwhelming, but everyone has the capacity to learn sound financial principles and save up. Just making small changes to our daily habits can reap great financial benefits. Finances can be quite straightforward once we distinguish our wants from our needs and take inventory of our spending. Joining an investment or money management club or consulting a financial advisor is encouraged, and books and blogs on personal finance are promoted. 1946 Charge Ahead John Biggins, a banker in Brooklyn, introduces the 'Charg-It' card, believed to be the first bank card. 1950 Check, Please Frank McNamara and Ralph Schneider introduce the Diners Club Card as an alternative to cash. 1959 Put it on Plastic American Express introduces its first credit card in 1958 and the following year releases the first plastic credit card. 2021 Reddit vs. Wall Street Redditors blow up electronics retail company GameStop’s stock and upset Wall Street investors. BY THE NUMBERS 58% – the percentage of Americans who have less than $1,000 saved. 8% – the percentage of U.S. citizens who believe they will never recover from the recession. $2,000 – the average emergency savings millennial Americans have. 20% – the percentage of Americans who don’t save any of their annual income. 50% – the percentage of American households who live paycheck to paycheck. 32% – the percentage of U.S. families who maintain a household budget. $1 trillion – the total credit card debt held by Americans. 44% – the percentage of Americans who don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency. 24% – the percentage of millennials who demonstrate basic financial literacy. 40% – the percentage of student loan borrowers who aren’t making payments. 68 Cents – the amount saved by women in 2020 against a dollar saved by men, a decrease from 70 cents in 2019, according to a report by LT Trust. NATIONAL FINANCIAL AWARENESS DAY FAQS What is National Financial Awareness Day? National Financial Awareness Day is a holiday dedicated to understanding finances and preparing everyone for financial stability. What is meant by financial awareness? Financial awareness is the ability to effectively manage finances and means of income efficiently. How can I improve my financial IQ? Financial IQ depends on a person’s current finances and goals. The best way to improve this is by reading extensively about personal finance, comparing your net worth with your spending, meeting with an accountant or financial advisor, and simply penny-pinching and saving as much as is in your control. HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL FINANCIAL AWARENESS DAY Invest Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Instead of spending it on some fleeting luxury, why not get in on some of that sweet return-on-investment action? Very rarely do you get the chance to spend your money on something that gives a bit back — well, unless you take a trip to Vegas, but those odds are for suckers. In the end playing it safe is always sexier than spending it all. Use National Financial Awareness Day as an excuse to start investing. It’s sure to pay off! Take a trip to the U.S. Mint What better way to celebrate money than by finding out how it’s made? There are four U.S. mint locations: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point. If pennies aren’t quite as pretty as paper to you, head down to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing or BEP for short. Not only do they offer tours and rare currency products, but you can take any of those ratty dollars that accidentally got tossed in the dryer and redeem them for free. How’s that for smart money? Get smart about your money National Financial Awareness Day is the perfect opportunity to make a budget. We know, we know, it’s not an attractive task but it’s so important. Find out where you spend your money by making a spreadsheet or using one of the many online services and apps that will do it for you. The numbers may shock you but that’s okay — knowledge is power! WHY NATIONAL FINANCIAL AWARENESS DAY IS IMPORTANT It celebrates Easy Street As the saying goes, why work for your money when you can make it work for you? Sometimes in the seemingly endless race to chase that paper, we forget that we don’t always need to take the uphill course. With the right knowledge, you can make the road to riches far less bumpy and a lot more scenic. Sound investment practices can help you spend less time working and more time enjoying your life. It teaches us that finances don’t have to be confusing In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king and if there's one thing most people are clueless about, it’s finance. There’s no downside to having a bit of financial literacy in life. It’s a subject many people find daunting, but taking the initiative to learn how money works will make all your peers green with envy. Just like everyone flocks to that one mechanically-inclined friend when their car breaks down, you’ll be that guy — but for money. Plus, when your car breaks down you can just buy a better one! It reminds us to prepare for the unforeseeable future They say money can’t buy you happiness. Perhaps — but not having money can sure bring you a lot of sadness. That’s why it’s so important to make sound investment decisions now so you’re not suffering later. You never know what kind of pitfalls life may throw your way but there’s no better safety net than having a nice contingency fund in your pocket.