FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – April is national financial literacy month. It’s a reminder to know your budget, manage credit, and create financial stability.
A budget is a general plan for your money. This includes the money that is coming in and going out. Finance Coach Rasheena Cole says It’s important to have a budget and know where your money is going to make the best decisions for current and future plans.
“You need to know what your money is doing, where you’re spending it, if you have enough, if you don’t have enough,” Cole says, “it helps you achieve your financial goals.”
Creating a budget doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, Cole suggests to keep it simple. It starts with knowing your numbers, like how much money you bring home every month, or your net income, and how much your expenses are. She says not to view budgeting as restrictive, and to be realistic.
“A lot of people are like, oh I don’t want to budget, it’s not going to let me buy the things I want when it’s actually the opposite, as long as you set money aside for those purchases” Cole says.
Another factor to financial literacy is understanding how to build credit. Cole says one way to do this is by paying your bills using a credit card and paying that amount off every month.
“Your budget will tell you okay these are the expenses I have, this is the amount that everything costs, now you can put that on your credit card and then at the end of the month or whenever your statement is due you pay it off.” Cole says.
There are no prerequisites to when you can start budgeting. Finance experts say to start now.