It has been an exciting two months since we began this journey toward financial literacy with our readers. Thus far, we have introduced topics related to establishing a financial blueprint or foundation. We have been building on each pillar one week at a time and decided now was a good time to pause for reflection.
- The Inauguration:
According to a survey conducted by the Investor Education Foundation, about 3 out of every 5 Americans are financially illiterate. The goal of The Clever African is to share knowledge on finances through personal experiences as fundamental tools.
- Financial Blueprint:
The wise man builds his house on solid rock while the foolish man builds on sand. Building your financial blueprint on a firm foundation is what will pave the way for financial success. Many African Americans do not have a financial plan of action for the use of their money, do you?
- Pillar I: Budgeting:
How much do you spend each month? What exactly do you spend your money on? What is your net worth? What are your financial goals? If you hesitated to answer any of these questions, then you need to create a budget!
- Budgeting Tools:
There are various applications that assist us in performing tasks more efficiently, especially in this digital age. Of these applications, there are several that provide tools for effective financial planning; we discuss three (Mint, Personal Capital, and Shoeboxed). Let’s take a look at these budgeting life hacks as tools for financial success.
- Pillar II: Expense Management:
Each individual must evaluate their situation and accurately distinguish between their essential needs and their desired wants. The key is to reduce the costs associated with your need-based expenses, while also placing limits on desired purchases. Once you are able to comprehend the secret of expense management, you will be on your way to becoming a Clever African.
- Pillar III: Saving:
Short term savings, long term savings, and emergency funds- all this can sound intimidating and unappealing to our craving for instantaneous pleasure. The most important aspect of saving is your mindset. The vast majority consider saving to be a luxury, whereas we would like to submit to you that it is an absolute necessity. A change of the mindset to making it a need will allow you to follow through on your savings plan.
- Pillar IV: Loans:
Often times small amounts of money can be forgiven amongst friends, we must come to the realization that this is the exception to the rule. In the real world, you must repay whatever you owe. Remember that debt is almost inevitable, but we must learn how to minimize and manage it properly in order to be set free.
We look forward to continuing this journey with you. Be mindful of our weekly postings as we will unveil a new post every Sunday morning. If you have not yet subscribed to the website, please do. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @thecleverafrican. Finally, if you have not entered our raffle for a chance to win free money, today is the last day!