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3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Literacy

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Do you struggle with poor money management skills? Perhaps you’re newly married or at the late stages of your career and are wondering how best to manage your finances going forward. You’re not alone.

In fact, this is something many individuals and families of all ages struggle with. Case in point: More than 53% of adults say merely thinking about their financial situation causes anxiety, while two-thirds of all U.S. households lack an emergency fund.

However, being financially savvy not only can help you navigate daily life more easily but also provide you with the necessary skills during times of uncertainty. Here are three proven ways to develop your financial acumen.

1. Don’t be Afraid to Get Your Feet Wet

While many Americans can quickly gain knowledge and build skill sets, it’s fair to say we’re not a nation of expert money managers. Not to mention, financial literacy isn’t something that can be acquired overnight; you have to be intentional about it.

To get started — now is as good of a time as any — know how to create a budget, plan for retirement, manage debt, and, most importantly, track personal spending. But be mindful to not overwhelm yourself with new information. Tackle one topic at a time, something that fascinates you the most, and then build from there.

2. Learn from Industry Thought Leaders

Like anything in life, it takes time and dedication to hone your craft and become an authority. Thought leaders aren’t your ordinary C-suite executives, start-up founders, public speakers, and authors. They’re tried-and-true figureheads with expansive knowledge and industry experience in a given space.

Through a precise and passionate approach, they push people toward attaining more knowledge, insights, and skills in their personal and professional lives. The best part? Learning from thought leaders like East West Bank Chairman and CEO Dominic Ng means you’ll get nothing short of unique viewpoints, curated guidance, and innovative solutions. 

To that end, you won’t just walk away with a solid foundation of financial expertise; you’ll also have all the tools needed to grow and excel in matters of budgeting and money management.

3. Take a Financial Literacy Class

How-to books and online resources are a great first step toward gleaning knowledge. Oftentimes, however, learning from an industry expert — either one-on-one or in an in-person or online class — offers a more hands-on and practical approach. Plus, you know the information you consume will be up-to-date, practical, and engaging.

On top of that, financial literacy classes offer a great sense of community and belonging. When you learn alongside people who share a common interest in money management — and want to find solutions to old habits and past mistakes — making connections feels natural. And who knows? Surrounding yourself with like-minded people may make comprehending new ideas and information easier.

Financial Literacy is Crucial and Attainable

When setting out, it may be overwhelming to learn the ins and outs of financial literacy, especially if you need to get your own house in order. With time and intentionality, though, you can increase your knowledge of budgeting and money management to make more sound decisions. Finance is the language of everyday life, and to succeed, you need to become fluent, regardless of age or career status.

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