First and foremost, we would like to thank everyone who participated in the Financial Literacy Month activities and conversations. A special thank you to everyone who participated and shared resources on The Black Coffee Community Facebook Group.
Go ahead and take a Victory Lap! But....the work is just beginning.
Fiscal responsibility, financial well being or whatever is the trending term of making everyday smart financial decisions, is a life-long commitment. Laws, policy, consumer behavior and trends are constantly changing and evolving, thus you must constantly update your strategy.
We hope increased financial discussions/engagement in group settings will lead to healthy financial behavior.
Day 21: [Activity] Check your Credit Report
Obtaining your credit report only takes 5 minutes and it is FREE!. To obtain a free copy of your credit report, go to www.annualcreditreport.com and answer a few questions such as social security number, current mailing address, birth date, and personal/security questions like what is your current/previous employer.
Once you have report, head over to Credit Karma where they breakdown "How to Read a Credit Report."
Day 22: [Activity] Talk about your student loans
Student loan debt exceeds $1.3 trillion and is the 2nd largest class of consumer debt after mortgages. The average student loan debt for a student graduating from a university is now $37,000 and rising. This is a growing problem for many. We encourage all who feel that they will never be able to payoff their student loans to take a breather. You can do it! One step at a time. Student Loan Hero as tons of information about student loans. Talk to your family/friends/peers about their strategy of paying off their student loans. We know the student loan problem is impacting many of us, but no one talking about it.
Day 23: [Activity] Open an investment account
An investment account, also known as a brokerage account, is used to invest in a variety of investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Nerd Wallet does a good job describing what is an investment account, how it works, how to open an account, and provides a list of investment account options ideal for beginners.
Day 24: [Information] Investment Strategy: Dollar Cost Averaging
Once you open an investment account, you do not want to "jump" into the investment(s). History has shown that investing over time is one of the best strategies. This strategy is called Dollar Cost Averaging. Lucky for you, we have written about this simple strategy in another blog post titled "Simple Investment Strategy: Dollar Cost Averaging."
Day 25: [Information] Popcorn Finance Podcast
We really enjoy the Popcorn Finance Podcast. It is a short form podcast, discussing finance in about the time it takes to make a bag of popcorn. If you have an extra 5-10 minutes throughout the day, we encourage you to give it a listen while you are commuting to work, working out, or tidying up your house. Short and to the point. An easy way to learn about finances. Below are a few of our favorite episodes:
Day 26: [Activity] Make finances part of your daily routine
We believe in simple, daily, and intentional actions can lead to a healthy financial future. We encourage you to make finances part of your daily routine. A few things you can do daily and/or routinely are below:
Track your spending
Check your retirement account(s) performance (how are they performing? do you need to change your investment portfolio?
Automate your savings/investments
Discuss finances with spouse/family/friends/peers
Check your investment account(s) performance
Ask questions (no question is basic or stupid)
Review your budget
Financial awareness and literacy is a life-long process. Take a victory lap, but please continue to educate yourself on finances. There are tons of topics we did not cover in this series, but our hope is to continue to create and share financial tools, resources and content.