Take time to improve your financial literacy

Improving your financial literacy can help create a sense of stability that ultimately leads to a healthier lifestyle. Here are some steps to consider to enhance your financial literacy:

Budgeting well

Whether you are 20 years old or nearing retirement, learning how to create and maintain a budget is important for your overall financial stability. A budget will help keep your finances on track and help you reach your financial goals.  

To get started, check out these recorded webinars and articles: 

Setting up an emergency fund

Emergencies can happen at any time and have the potential to derail your financial goals if you are not prepared. Financial experts recommend setting aside at least three to six months of living expenses as an emergency fund.  

Explore these resources to learn more about how you can start saving for an emergency fund: 

Paying off debt 

Getting out of debt can be a challenging process, but it is a crucial step to take on your journey to financial wellness — especially if you’re nearing retirement age. Whether you’re paying off student loans, credit card debt, a mortgage or other type of debt, establishing a solid financial plan to eliminate debt can help clear the path to financial well-being. 

To get started on your debt-free journey watch the Paying off Debt While Building Wealth workshop, led by ComPsych Facilitator Brian Coon, and review the EAP’s Financial Benefits guide

Improving your financial habits 

Developing healthy financial habits is a lifelong process that needs to be nurtured. What works for you in your twenties might not work for you in your thirties. Similarly, your financial goals will change as you move through life and your family grows. 

Below are several resources you and your family can explore to refine your financial habits: 

Building your credit score 

Your credit score can affect your mortgage rate and whether you qualify for an apartment lease as well as your qualification for the best interest rates when you need to take out a loan.

If you don’t know your credit score, you can take advantage of the free annual credit report offered by each of the three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to download your credit report. 

To learn how to build your credit, watch the Let’s Talk Credit workshop, led by Wells Fargo Campus Program Manager Jeff Vickers. You can also register for a homebuyer education workshop, offered on a monthly basis by the City of Gainesville.

Saving for retirement 

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the better off you’ll be once you’re ready to retire. As you plan for retirement, you’ll want to ensure your contributions and savings will be enough to support your lifestyle after you stop working. 

In addition to the three state retirement plans offered, the University of Florida also offers employees voluntary savings plans to supplement their retirement savings. Read this spotlight to learn more about each plan and visit the UF Benefits’ website to learn how you can sign up for a voluntary savings plan. 

You can also explore these resources to help you create a retirement saving strategy: 

Learning how to invest 

How much you can invest in traditional retirement accounts is often limited by state and federal laws. Learning how to invest your money outside of these accounts is an important part of your financial literacy journey. 

Explore the resources below to get started: 

Everyone’s financial literacy journey is unique to their personal circumstances. We hope these resources help you along your financial journey.