How to use Financial Literacy to Combat Financial Anxiety
Financial anxiety is common in the Latinx community. It can set us back and prevent us from reaching success. However, financial literacy is the tool you need to combat it. It can be the difference between financial success or financial ruin.
Financial Literacy: What the Heck is it?
What is Financial Literacy? You constantly hear about it and that it is important. It may seem like it is a huge subject to learn. However, once you take the time to learn it, you will realize it is not that bad. Not to mention, financial literacy will put you on the road to financial stability and freedom.
Financial literacy is the skill of understanding the various areas of finances and being able to use that knowledge to make educated financial decisions. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission breaks it down to five main sections.
|5 Principles of Financial Literacy|
|Earn||Learn & understand how your earnings (pay & benefits) work|
|Save & Invest||Learn how to save and invest for retirement or other financial goals|
|Protect||Learn to protect your finances with insurance, emergency saving and educated financial decisions|
|Spend||Learn to make better financial purchases by shopping around and finding the best deal|
|Borrow||Learn how to use debt to your benefit (build credit/invest) and the best way to borrow|
Low Financial Literacy causes Financial Anxiety
Financial Literacy is an umbrella for a ton of finance subjects. It can be difficult to navigate for Americans in general. First generation Latinx, have to assimilate to the United States and learn about their finances. For many U.S.-born, their families can help with that. However, First Gen are the trailblazers and often have to learn these things on their own.
As a result, Latinx First Gen, struggle with financial anxiety. This is because WE are the ones who end up being responsible for our family’s financial success in a new country. The little guidance we do get from our family, is to work hard, get an education and get a great job with benefits. Not to mention, financial literacy is not a main focus in public schools!
Therefore, many of us grow up to learn that we know nothing on how to handle our finances. Not only that, but that finances are super complicated and that there is so much to learn!
Why it matters
The ability to make better financial decisions is so important, especially for First Gen. We are already so behind others and start further behind from the starting line. As trailblazers, the world rests on our shoulders!
Previous generations would have pensions after retirement. Now, it is rare to have pensions and instead have to navigate 401(k) plans, or other retirement accounts. Therefore, we have to learn about these plans and how stocks work.
In addition, cost of goods and inflation are on the rise. This results in an increase in the use of debt. Student loans, credit cards, car loans, and other forms of debt make it easy to fall into huge amounts of debt.
Even saving money has become more complicated. You have to choose between a huge pool of banks, learn how much to save without losing it to inflation, and how to budget your money.
The amount of financial decisions you have to make is overwhelming. When I was thrust into the “real world,” it hit me hard! All of a sudden, I had to figure out college loans, car loans, bills, savings, 401(k) plans, and on and on.
Even now, you go on tiktok or other social media, and you’re bombarded on how much you don’t know. It really adds to your anxiety and makes you feel the need to bury yourself in books to learn about it.
Well, you don’t have to become a master of all of them. Instead, become a jack of all trades. Learn a little about each subject. Start with those that will help you right now. We don’t have to know it all!
Rather, learn enough to be able to make better financial decisions. For example, you don’t need to have an accounting degree to understand how your pay and basic taxes work. Learn enough to get by with a basic tax return and know that at some point you need to get an expert.
Likewise, learn the basics of stocks and the platform you want to use. You do not have to be an expert to trade stocks. Youtube and social media are full of “stock bros” that teach you “daytrading.” However, the average person does not have the time to spend trading multiple stocks a day. Not to mention, the money is in the course and not from trading stocks all day.
Keep It Simple
Finally, just keep it simple. Finance is a huge area and there are so many subcategories. This is why there are specialized experts. As you learn about your basic finances, you can then expand on your skills. Taking small steps is a great way to start your journey with financial literacy and will put you on the path to financial stability.
Check out my 12 Personal Finance Books Written By Women blog post, for a reading list!
- Empowering Her Finances: 7 Personal Finance Books for Women to Unwrap this Holiday Season
- Hustler to CEO: How to Automate Your Business and have a CEO Mindset
- Balancing Business Growth with a 9-5 Job: 5 Essential Strategies for Success
- MoneyChisme Founder Violeta Sandoval
- Fannie Mae and their Game-Changing Move: 5% Down Payment for Multifamily Homes