SmartPath in the Community : Financial Literacy Advocacy
From left to right: President of the Pi Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Jay Richardson, SmartPath Coach Alex Wilson, SmartPath Director of Coaching Ryan McPherson, BB&T Community Mortgage Specialist Jennifer Sampson, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Consultant Curtiss Simmons, Better Homes & Garden Real Estate Realtor Sandra Lyons, SmartPath Coach Todd Campbell.
When people think about life's major stresses, money is usually one of the first topics that comes to mind.
Seasoned SmartPath Coach Todd Campbell is honored to spearhead local financial literacy workshops on behalf of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity in his alumni leadership role. As part of an ongoing mission to bring greater financial awareness to Atlanta communities, SmartPath coaches joined bankers, realtors, and mortgage lender professionals from BB&T, Wells Fargo and Chase to expose the Clayton County, Ga. population to home ownership, student loan repayment, and wealth-building options at a recent seminar hosted by Commissioner Sonna Gregory.
"The Pi Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. endeavors to conduct a Financial Literacy Program for the residents of Clayton County," explained Todd. "Our goal is to share basic financial topics and principles to help improve financial literacy overall and close the wealth gap often found in many underserved communities."
Lack of financial literacy is a national crisis.
Financial literacy is key to an individual's ability to manage money effectively, but statistics show many Americans have work to do to become literate. Alarmingly, 44% of Americans don't have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency, and 43% of student loan borrowers are not making payments. Having a firm grasp of financial principles is vital to manage financial risks effectively and avoid financial pitfalls.
The level of financial literacy varies according to education and income levels, but evidence shows that highly educated people with high incomes can be just as ignorant about financial issues as those less-educated with lower-income.
But don't despair. The good news is that even a little savings goes a long way. Just one month's salary squirreled away in a savings account can help families avoid eviction, missing housing payments and other downfalls.
Recognize and learn from your money habits.
What gets tracked, gets improved. If you want to improve your financial health, you’ll need to track your money. In fact, if you want to improve almost anything in your life, start tracking it. If you’re trying to lose weight, get a scale. Want to run faster? You need a stopwatch. And, if you want to save more money and build wealth, commit to tracking your income and expenses.
Tracking creates a virtuous cycle. It feeds on our natural desire to improve. When you start tracking something, you begin paying more attention to it. Then, you start to set goals and manage it. Then, you invest more time because you want to see improvement. It’s amazing how simply tracking can have an enormous impact on results.