Financial decision-making often occurs in murky waters. We try to make sound, educated decisions, but all of the choices we face create complications we don’t necessarily know how to handle. So instead we usually spend a huge amount of time and energy correcting past mistakes or missteps – tackling debt that shouldn’t have been allowed to accumulate, creating a retirement plan when retirement should have been just a few short years down the road.
I see Financial Literacy Month as much more than teaching the basics of money management – that information is shared by a million different resources in a million different ways every day. Instead, it’s about learning to be proactive instead of reactive with your money.
It’s about being empowered and educated enough to make your money work for you, not handling situations that arise when it works against you.
A recent Stanford study examined how feeling a sense of power changed the way participants managed money, and the results were significant. One of the exercises required one-third of them to write about a time they felt a sense of power while the others wrote about a time they felt a lack of power, or wrote nothing at all. Those who wrote about feeling powerful saved, on average, 71.20 euros out of the 100 they were given; while the other group only saved 48.73 and 51.69 respectively.
Part of feeling empowered is fully understanding the pros and cons of where you keep your money – looking into the fees and practices of all those who handle your hard earned cash. We’ve written about this topic extensively on The Dime, and we’ve compiled them all here so you can start your journey to feeling in control – a real POWERHOUSE when it comes to money management.
Investing, Retirement, and the Fees You Pay
Investment Fees and Your 401(k) Returns by Anne Bandy
What Are the Fees I Pay for My Investment Fund? by Chris Dunmall
Should You Cash Out Your Old 401(k) or IRA? By Kim Gardner
Do You Actually Know How Your Investments Are Doing? by Chris Dunmall
Banking Practices Behind the Scenes
The Cost of Opting In: The Slippery Slope of Overdraft Fees by Chris Hardenberger
Debit Card Purchases: Is It Better to Choose Debit or Credit? by Chris Hardenberger
What to Look for When Choosing a Credit Card by Kayla Albert
Keeping Cash Under Your Mattress? Keep It Here Instead by Elliot Goldbaum
Things to Look for When Choosing a Bank by Kayla Albert