What good is a book if you cannot read? Literacy is key. Financial literacy, or knowing what to do with our money, is far more important than having the money.
The financial well-being of our households is not only based on the amount of money we have available to us, but it is also affected greatly by the knowledge we have about what to do with that money.
The National Urban League defines financial literacy as “combining financial knowledge with attitudes, skills, and behaviors, which are essential to make a financial decision based on personal circumstances.”
Financial knowledge, as with any other type of knowledge, would come from passing along vital information from one person to another. Yet, money is one of the most important topics we are not discussing. Long thought of as impolite to discuss openly, we rarely talk about money until it is too late. We often find out about our loved ones’ finances after they have passed. At that point, we are left to rush through untangling a lifetime’s worth of finances when we are least able to think and plan clearly.
Our community does not benefit from all the money talks that we do not have. We do not talk about salaries and contract negotiations. We do not talk about investments. We do not talk about saving and budgeting. We do not talk about interest rates. We do not talk about finding a good financial planner and planning for our financial futures.
It is crucial, especially as the Black community strives to close the racial wealth gap, to be financially literate. According to the Federal Reserve, “the average Black and Hispanic or Latino households earn about half as much as the average White household and own only about 15 to 20 percent as much net wealth.”
It is time to talk, openly, honestly and frequently about money. Sharing knowledge about budgeting, salaries, investments and financial planning is vital to our overall advancement. Gaining the skills to manage and grow our money is to all our benefit.
Contact Editor-in-Chief Camike Jones at 317-762-7850 or by email at CamikeJ@IndyRecorder.com.