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April is Financial Literacy Month – a perfect time to start building a foundation for a healthy financial future. Good financial health is the foundation on which strong and resilient households, communities and economies are built, but the reality is, many struggle to manage their financial daily lives.
In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, Andy Keller, who leads the Private Bank for JPMorgan Chase in Wisconsin offered top financial tips to help achieve financial freedom and build generational wealth.
1. Small steps lead to bigger opportunities: No matter what amount of money you have, taking small steps towards building a solid financial foundation is key. Whether it’s saving a little more each month, starting to save for the first time or monitoring your credit score, these steps can help you prepare for the unexpected while setting you up for long-term success.
2. Establish good credit: The main elements of securing a good credit score include paying your bills on time, the length of time you’ve had a credit history, and the amount and type of accounts you have. Potential lenders will use this information to determine your credit risk. Managing your finances wisely will help you establish strong credit, a practice that will pay off when you want to make larger purchases like a car or a home.
3. Embrace digital tools: Apps, online goal sheets and budget builders are a great way to manage your finances. Look into what digital tools your financial partner offers. Whether it’s credit and identify monitoring, or setting up repeating automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account, these tools will help keep you on track with your payments and savings goals.
4. Include the whole family in the process: It’s never too early to get kids started on their financial journey. Ask your bank about opening up a joint checking account geared towards children to help them establish good financial habits. A joint account can offer features designed to help kids learn the importance of saving and meeting their financial goals, whether it’s tracking their spending, creating recurring payments and setting spending limits, or being rewarded when completing chores and earning an allowance to deposit. Once your child understands the importance of saving the money they earn, they can begin to build savings habits that will last a lifetime.
5. Ask for help: Whether it’s meeting with a banker or talking to friends or family, conversations and advice can be critical to improving financial health, from building a budget to more complex matters like saving for retirement.
6. Keep the conversation going: Talk with your partner or other family members regularly about your financial goals and how you plan to achieve them, and check in with your children to discuss their financial activity – whether it be what or where they’re spending, how much they’re earning, or their savings goal. These discussions all provide opportunities to keep money as part of your family conversations.
Establishing solid financial habits can be a lifetime process, but it’s easier if you learn the fundamentals as early as possible. It’s never too early, or too late, to begin your journey, and this month is a great time to get started or recommit to your financial health. For more financial health tips, visit chase.com/financialgoals.