NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — April is Financial Literacy Awareness Month and money experts say knowing how to manage your finances in these tough economic times is more important than ever.
Inflation is at an all-time high in the United States. In the DFW metroplex you can include a frenetic real estate market with booming values.
To add insult to injury, financial experts agree that personal and household incomes are simply not keeping up.
Rod Griffin, senior director of education and consumer advocacy at Experian, said they “try to empower people to be financially successful.”
Ken Molestina: “Why is it so important right now that people take financial literacy seriously?”
GRIFFIN: “71% of people told us that their salary wouldn’t keep up with inflation. So when three-quarters of the population say we’re in trouble because of what’s going on. Three out of four people tell us they fear they won’t be able to make ends meet.”
Griffin says sticking to budgets or expense lists is crucial. However, he says too many Americans don’t know how to do this and many don’t understand how credit works.
In fact, Experian estimates that 28 million Americans are considered dark credit, meaning they have no line of credit available.
“I can tell you that industry testing indicates that financial literacy levels are pretty dire,” he said.
So where do you start if you want to upgrade? Well, Griffin says look for information.
“Visit experian.com,” he says. “You can visit the Jump Start Coalition for Financial Literacy. They have thousands of resources that are verified and approved.”
And if you have good credit, Griffin suggests you can use the website to take advantage of discounts.
“If you’re able to go to a credit card company and say, ‘Look, my credit scores are really good. I’m really reliable. What can you do for me in terms of a better rate? of interest?’ It can save you money,” he said.
And that’s just a starting point according to Griffin. He says the most important thing, however, is that you start now.