Three Ways to Improve Your Financial Capability Now

By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®, Military Saves

April is National Financial Capability Month, when the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) and the Ready Campaign encourage people to improve their financial futures and to be prepared when disaster strikes. Here are three actions you can take now to make sure you are ready for any financial disaster, big or small.

  1. Have a Disaster Plan for Your Finances. Sure, you keep bottled water, canned goods, flashlights, and batteries close at hand, but you should also have a disaster plan in place for your finances. The first step is building and maintaining an emergency fund. Then you can make sure the rest of your finances are in order. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a Financial First Aid Kit that is great for identifying all your important financial information and then helping you keep track of it.
  2. Check Your Financial Well-Being. Just like you should go see a doctor once a year for a check-up, so, too, should you assess your financial wellness. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a nifty tool that lets you take a ten question quiz that not only evaluates your financial well-being, but also compares you to other Americans in your age group. Then it suggests ways to improve your score and where to find help.
  3. Make Sure You’re Properly Insured. Review your insurance coverage. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flooding, so you may need to purchase a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program. An inch of water in your house can cause $25,000 of damage and 20 percent of flood claims come from areas outside of flood zones. Think because you’re a renter you don’t need insurance? If you don’t have renters insurance, and you lose your personal property to theft or disaster, you will have to replace everything out of pocket. This is true even if you are living in the barracks or in military housing.

Want to improve your financial future? Military Saves can help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. Take the first step today and take the Military Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time.