Financial Literacy Month: 4 Tips to Strengthen Your Financial Situation

Financial Literacy Month: 4 Tips to Strengthen Your Financial Situation
Topics BudgetingCreditSaving

Each April marks Financial Literacy Month in the United States and serves as an opportune time to refocus your finances and sharpen your financial acumen.

Thirty eight percent of respondents in a recent WSFS Bank Money Trends study are spending more money now compared to the prior year, while only 21% in the region are saving more.

Here are tips to help you strengthen your financial situation.

Revisit Your Budget

Even the strongest budget needs reevaluated periodically – particularly during periods of rising prices and interest rates. Revisit your budget each month to identify any deficits so you can adjust as needed.

Make sure you’re setting actionable financial goals – like saving for a vacation in a set period of time – and monitoring your progress. There are many great budgeting methods out there, so the important thing is finding one that works for your finances and your goals.

Take Advantage of Elevated Interest Rates

Elevated interest rates have provided an opportunity to grow your savings through higher interest-bearing accounts.

If you have extra money in your budget each month – or have already built a rainy day fund – consider utilizing savings vehicles like certificates of deposit (CDs)money markets and high-yield money markets. These accounts tend to offer a higher interest rate than standard savings accounts and can be a good way to take advantage of elevated rates.

Keep an Eye on Your Credit

While higher interest rates have presented an opportunity for savers to grow their nest egg, it has also made the cost of borrowing more expensive, making it even more important to keep a close eye on your credit.

Ensure you know your credit fundamentals like your credit score and what impacts it and have a clear picture of your existing debt.

If you have multiple loans and lines of credit, consolidating them using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or personal loan can provide you with one monthly payment and potentially reduce the interest rate you’re paying overall. Speaking with your local banker can be a great way to evaluate your options and determine your best path forward for your financial goals.

Leverage Online and Mobile Banking

Online and mobile banking are powerful tools when you take advantage of their various features, including the ability to:

  • Track your transactions and balances in real-time
  • Set account alerts for card activity, bill pay, fraud alerts and more
  • Set card controls for where your card can be used and lock it if misplaced or stolen
  • Deposit and transfer funds with mobile deposit, bill pay and Zelle®
  • Access your monthly statements, tax documents, check images and more.

Financial Literacy Month can be a great time to refocus your finances, but it is important to stay on top of your financial situation all year. If you need more help defining your financial goals and putting a roadmap in place to reach them, consider reaching out to your local banker for assistance and recommendations.

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