Thank you to MassMutual for making this post possible. All opinions and my love for being financially literate is 100% my own.
April is financial literacy month. To some that may sound kind of boring, but to me, financial literacy is crazy important. Little known fact about me, I had to file bankruptcy back in the day, and so did my husband. Now before you judge, the reasons for each of us were different, but neither time was it a case of frivolous spending and living beyond our means, or simply not paying bills. Life threw some curve balls and left few options. Those experiences though, made us very aware of how important planning for the future and the unexpected are because neither of us ever want to have to deal with being in that situation again.
Part of what I learned was because of the tools and resources made available by companies like Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Now when you hear life insurance you may be thinking well, I already have a life insurance policy, but how does that help me now? The fact is, MassMutual has a variety of financial products that help you plan for the future, including, but not limited to life insurance. Each of the tools and resources available is a small step toward gaining a better understanding on your current financial situation and also gaining insight on what you can do now to make sure you and your family are taken care of in the future.
I’m sure you’re a little curious about what hubby and I personally have done to help ensure we don’t end up where we did ten years ago. Well we’ve worked really hard at following these tips for increasing our financial literacy:
1. Identify Your Financial Goals – that means both short-term and long-term goals. Right now our short term goal is paying off student loan and credit card debt so that we can save for our long term goal, building a new house. For others it may be retirement or long term care savings.
2. Get Organized – This is super important. I wasn’t always very organized in the past. I didn’t know how much I owed and I basically kept a running tally of my checking account in my head. I just made sure I made payments by the due date and figured that was good enough. Wrong! I was never going to get ahead if I didn’t know where I stood. Now I am very strict with myself about keeping tabs on balances and payments and use a color coded spreadsheet each month to determine what bills need to be paid from each paycheck. It’s allowed me to make extra payments to pay things off faster and squirrel a bit away into savings because now I always know where I stand.
3. Use Tools to Help Project Your Savings Needs – This is where the online financial tools from MassMutual come in handy. You can plug in the numbers and see where you’re at and what you need to to do get to where you want to be. This can be saving for college, retirement, or even a large purchase.
4. Teach Your Kids Early – Teaching doesn’t always have to be “work”; there are many fun activities out there that help those kiddos become financially literate. With my own son, we give him an allowance, which he earns each week for chores. The more he does, the more he makes. Once he spends it, its gone. If there’s something big he wants, he has to save for a few weeks or even months. He understands the concept of a budget and is much more responsible with items he’s purchased on his own. Our three year old is just starting to “earn” a $1 to put in her piggy bank here and there, but when the time comes, we’ll use some of the same methods with her.
5. Find the Right People to Help You – Understanding all the financial and investment options out there isn’t easy. There’s so much to consider and an uninformed decision can hurt in some cases. That’s why it’s important and advised to seek out help from the professionals when beginning the journey of financial literacy or future financial planning. This is where MassMutual comes in. Their strong team of professionals can help you stay on track and informed so all you have to do is carry on and enjoy life.
Do you have any financial goal? What’s your biggest financial concern in the present or in the future? Which of MassMutual’s financial tools do you think would be most helpful? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!
This is s sponsored post written by me on behalf of MassMutual.