Americans are looking to get their finances back on track as the economy gets going again. However, there's one thing many are missing: a financial education.
The economic decline caused by the shutdowns in 2020 might have a silver lining: More Americans now want to learn about their finances.
Financial experts say the pandemic has raised awareness of how we're spending our money. The economic decline for many exposed some financial vulnerability. Bruce McClary, Senior Vice President of Communications with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says education is key.
“Even though there’s awareness of what needs to be done to get through hard times, making the right financial choices, it may be hard for people to put those ideas into action for themselves if they’re missing that foundation of financial education,” McClary said.
Many Americans haven’t learned the basics like budgeting, investing, and compound interest. There are a growing number of investments apps, which help you manage your money, but McClary says they aren't all reliable. He recommends information provided for free by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“The best way to motivate yourself to find out more about managing money, is to just look at some of the examples of people who’ve made bad financial decisions and the stress and disruption that those decisions have caused in their lives,” McClary explained. “That’s motivation enough.”
Researchers also argue a population with a higher financial education is better for society as a whole.