Financial Literacy: Is your money working for you?

What is financial literacy? Why is it important? What is a CD? A personal banker? A good credit score?

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Hey Beaut’s! Financial literacy is so important and is a topic a lot of us (including myself) are ignorant to. We simply don’t know and don’t know who to ask so that we can know. I wanted to educate you guys on some of the things that I’ve picked up along the way along with some professional advice. 

Below are some basic definitions I got from Google of financial terms. These are terms that you should know and look into with a licensed investment banker. You can also check out websites like investopedia.com and accountingcoaching.com to self educate yourself on things financial. 

  • ROTH IRA: an individual retirement account allowing a person to set aside after-tax income up to a specified amount each year. Both earnings on the account and withdrawals after age 59½ are tax-free. 
  • IRA: allows individuals to direct pretax income towards investments that can grow tax-deferred; no capital gains or dividend income is taxed until it is withdrawn.
  • MONEY MARKET ACCOUNT: is a type of savings account that usually earns a higher amount of interest than a basic savings account. The minimum deposit and balance for this account is often considerably higher than the minimum balance of a basic savings account. 
  • STOCKS & BONDS: Stocks, or shares of stock, represent an ownership interest in a corporation. Bonds are a form of long-term debt in which the issuing corporation promises to pay the principal amount at a specific date.
  • PENNY STOCKS: a common stock valued at less than one dollar, and therefore highly speculative.

Beaut&Beast had the pleasure of discussing finances with Jalisa Robinson. She is a personal banker for one of the biggest corporations in America and will be sharing her advice on getting your financial life in order. 

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    1.  What is a personal banker? A personal banker is the individual who manages accounts (retail and small business) for clients. As a personal banker we are the direct form of contact for clients everyday banking.
    2. How can you categorize financial goals? When I work with my clients their financial goals fall into four different categories. Foundational Banking, Planning & Savings, Borrowing, and Small Business.
    3. What are some good, attainable financial goals that anyone can set? Everyone's financial goals can fall under the basic 4 categories but depends on the client which goal is actually the most important to them. Some basic goals for my clients age 21-30 are keeping personal debt (not including school loans) under 30% of credit limit, start building yourself a savings account (goal is to have at least 3x your paycheck as a basic savings) and successfully managing a budget (so not to live paycheck to paycheck) 
    4. How can we maintain a good credit score? Best way to maintain a good credit score is to keep debt 30% or under your credit limit, payback balances in full if you are able, and don't keep high revolving balances (balances close to the credit limit)
    5. What is the minimum or average credit score banks are looking for in regards to approving an auto or mortgage loan? 690 or higher for best interest rates. 
    6. What are some tips for saving and how much should a person be saving at minimum? Start somewhere !!! I tell my clients all the time, start out with a small amount and as you are able start increasing the amount you deposit in your savings each month. So if you put $25 in savings in January see if you can up it in February to $45. The best advice I can give for savings is be realistic. If you are realistic about your savings goals the less inclined you will be to dip and pull money out whenever your checking account gets low. As a personal goal I wold advice keeping a savings of at least 3x your paycheck at all times. Money that you keep away and do not touch! You never know when you might get sick, need to buy a new set of tires, or whatever and you need money fast. It's best to already have it saved than using you bill money in your checking account or taking out a loan. 
    7. What is a CD and what are the minimum requirements to invest into one? A CD is a certificate of deposit. It's also known as a time deposit. It works a lot like a regular savings account. The difference is that the deposit you make is termed meaning that depending on the type of CD opened you will not be able to take money in our out for a certain amount of time without a penalty (Usually 10%) but you do gain higher interest than a basic savings. There are 3 types: Fixed, Featured, and Risk Free. Each bank has their own terms and deposit limits that they require to open these types of accounts. I've seen CDs used for various reasons from saving for a home down payment to a dream vacation in Mexico. CDs are a versatile option for money that you will need at a later time that you want to earn on.
    8. Are there any financial resources that can be utilized at the bank? Whether you bank with Bank of America or not a very helpful resource that I use with all of my clients is called BETTERMONEYHABITS.com which goes in more depth what I discussed today and even touches on some of the investment and retirement questions.  

    If you have more questions about money market accounts, ROTH IRA's, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds, and the minimum amount needed to start investing contact your local bank and visit a licensed agent. for additional tips on savings check out my other blog post: tricks to save money under Beaut on a budget.