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Apr 9, 2024

The Need for Greater Financial Literacy

Sponsored Content provided by Sarah Stone - VP Retail Experience, Excite Credit Union

Financial literacy isn’t something they teach in school, but they should. Understanding how to manage your day-to-day finances is an essential life skill everyone should master. Grasping the fundamentals of personal finance not only enhances financial literacy, but also cultivates engaged civic participation.
A growing number of Americans are having financial challenges as a result of inadequate financial education. Access to financial education can open up opportunities and pave the way to financial stability. 
Here are some facts to keep in mind:

  • 70% of Americans believe owning a home is out of reach.
  • Half of those who rent pay more than 30% of their income on housing.
  • Almost 60% of Americans don’t have enough retirement savings.
  • Social Security will only pay about 40% of preretirement income.
  • Student loan debt is at an all-time high of $1.727 trillion in 2023.
Knowing how to manage your money empowers you to make better financial decisions to care for your family and plan for retirement. 
Lessons for Every Stage of Your Life
Financial education is ongoing. Learning the basics of personal finance in your teens to form the foundation for future best practices and sound financial decisions at different stages of life.
Basic concepts like managing debt are essential to build wealth, buy a home, or start a business. The secret to achieving your financial goals is to begin with the basics of personal finance and add to your financial knowledge as your goals change.
Effective retirement planning, wealth management, and long-term care decisions can be complex. With proper financial education, you can seek the help you need and successfully navigate the most complicated financial decisions.
Excite partners with BALANCE, an expert in financial counseling and education, to provide educational resources to help Members achieve their financial goals. BALANCE offers help with budgeting, dealing with debt, and managing your credit scores. It also offers help with financial milestones such as student loans and home buying.
Taking Charge of Your Money
Many people find it intimidating to talk about money, but once you understand that money is a tool, you can learn how to use money to achieve your goals.
Everyone should understand the basics of personal finance, such saving, budgeting, and borrowing. These are fundamental to financial success.
For example, before students start accumulating student loan debt, they must understand how loans will impact their credit and cost of living. They should also understand concepts such as how credit scores affect loan rates and their ability to borrow money.
Financial institutions are increasingly providing financial education programs to help students understand personal finance. For example, Excite Credit Union offers programs like Banzai, a fun financial education program used by teachers and students to teach real-world financial lessons. The program is available in several languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese.
Empowering Your Community
Personal financial education is also a contributing factor that benefits the community. 
Financial literacy is the basis for financial advancement, such as promoting inclusion and reducing inequality. For employers, promoting a company culture that supports financial education and good financial habits increases success. Workers have reduced stress about finances, which improves productivity.
Empowering communities through financial education stimulates economic growth, showing individuals how to build new businesses and participate in the local economy. It promotes prosperity, secures food and housing, and provides a more educated workforce. 
At Excite Credit Union, “The Community’s Credit Union," our goal is to provide economic opportunities to everyone. We believe that financial education is a stepping stone to prosperity and financial well-being. That's why we're dedicated providing the financial resources needed to help build stronger communities.

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