COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is highlighting the importance of financial literacy during National Financial Literacy Month. SCDCA is offering tips and webinars throughout April to help South Carolinians improve their finance skills.
The following are quick tips to keep in mind when following five money basics:
- Earn. Track your earnings and understand all deductibles, such as taxes and social security. Account for all streams of income, even if it is not consistent. This will help when preparing a budget.
- Spend. Create a budget by examining your income and expenses, then determine your wants versus needs. Wants are things you can go without like travel, paid subscriptions and entertainment. Whereas, needs are necessities such as food, clothes and rent. Add all your needs and subtract them from your income. The remaining balance can go towards your wants.
- Save. Develop good savings habits. Try saving 10% of your earnings and three months of expenses for an emergency fund. This will help for unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical bills.
- Borrow. When shopping for credit or loans, compare interest rates and other fees. Be sure to make payments on time to avoid any additional fees or negative impact on your credit.
- Protect. Protect your finances by monitoring your accounts regularly and creating strong passwords. Check your credit reports for free at least once a year on www.annualcreditreport.com and look for any errors.
In celebration of Financial Literacy month, SCDCA is offering free financial literacy webinars every Wednesday in April. To register for a webinar, click the corresponding link or visit the SCDCA’s Upcoming Presentations webpage:
April 7 at 10:30 a.m. - Financial Literacy Resources
April 14 at 10:30 a.m. - Handling Debt
April 21 at 10:30 a.m. - Credit Reports- What They Are & Why They Matter
April 28 at 10: 30 a.m. - State of Credit Report
SCDCA continues to advocate for financial literacy by partnering with programs such as LifeSmarts, a consumer program for teens, and providing free education to consumers with weekly webinars, publications and presentations. For more free financial literacy resources, visit https://consumer.sc.gov/consumer-resources.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free,
1 (800) 922-1594.