Learning about personal finance today is confusing. There are more options than ever; credit unions, banks, savings and loans. Even the old sock drawer and under the mattress are still being used by many for saving their money. Almost everybody has a large bank or jar where they save change and small bills. This may not seem like serious saving, but it’s easy to have a sizeable chunk of change in that piggy bank!
Banks are more than the place we cash our paychecks and have our checking account. We should have a savings account, at the very least, but there are all kinds of other services that banks offer. Want to buy a car? How about a house? Do you need a loan to take a trip, go to school, or maybe you want to pay off all of your credit cards? Banks can provide loans for a myriad of reasons. Banks also have many other services available.
So, where do you begin to learn about your financial health and financial future? For something so important to our wellbeing, it is really unfortunate that we aren’t taught how to manage money in school. In many families, money is a somewhat taboo subject, too. Parents don’t discuss financial issues with their kids, and other than opening a saving account for their children, many adults have not prepared their children for their financial future. I bet that a majority of adults don’t even know how to balance their checkbooks!
So, where should you go to get some financial education? The first stop would be your local bank! They should be ready and willing to discuss your finances with you, and also help you to plan for your future needs and wants. They should be able to assist you with your retirement planning, too. I know, you’re probably thinking that it’s a long time away, but trust me, start planning now. If your bank is unable or unwilling to answer your questions, it might be time to find a new bank. Most young people start out, at least, using the same banking institution as their parents; but your needs are vastly different than your parents’ needs. Another bank may better provide the services you need than the old ‘family’ banking institution.