By David Hsu, Fall 2016 Student Intern
Not only should people be concerned about threats to our financial stability from outside threats, sometimes, the biggest threat to our financial stability is ourselves. Our culture is extremely consumer driven and sometimes we make financial decisions without fully considering our overall financial picture. In some ways, what we choose to buy is the one area in which we have the most control over our financial well-being, making Spend an important building block in our overall financial picture.
More than half of Americans today live paycheck to paycheck. This is in part because we are still recovering from the recession of the previous decade, but also because our country’s culture has shifted from previous generations, and people are saving less than ever.
This building block is focused on helping people live within their means. Included in this block are ways to shop smart in comparing prices and quality, advice in how to properly track spending habits and develop a budget, and how to set short-term and long-term financial goals and create a strategy to meet them.
The MyMoney.Gov website has cataloged over 100 resources to help people with this topic. Of particular note is a primer from the U.S. Treasury Department about how banks work, a site created by the FDIC about how to use online banking resources safely to track your money, a template to create a budget from the FTC, and Money Smart, a podcast created by the FDIC with segments on banking, budgeting, and borrowing money.