FINRA Foundation Issues Weathering Tough Economic Times—12 Tips for 2012
WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation today released Weathering Tough Economic Times—12 Tips for 2012, which provides Americans with practical help for making sound financial decisions and saving for their future. The resources highlighted in Weathering Tough Economic Times—12 Tips for 2012 are based on FINRA and FINRA Foundation research and tools that can help consumers keep their finances on course.
"The start of a new year is a great moment to start making smarter financial decisions. Taking proactive steps like starting a rainy day fund and minimizing your credit card debt can help make a difference in how well you weather tough economic times," said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh.
These tips can help Americans improve their financial capabilities and manage their money with confidence:
- Start a Rainy Day Fund. Set aside at least one month's worth of your current salary (and work your way up to three months) to handle medical bills, a short job loss, a surprise car repair or other financial emergency.
- Handle Credit Cards With Care. Try to pay your credit cards in full. If you cannot pay your whole monthly bill, at least pay more than the minimum due.
- Check Your Credit Report and Score. Start the new year by requesting a copy of your free credit report by calling (877) 322-8228 or visiting www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Check to be sure your credit history is accurate and correct any discrepancies immediately.
- Shop Around For Financial Products. Comparison shopping for financial products—including credit cards, loans and investments—is as crucial as shopping around for a television or phone plan.
- Don't Leave Money on the Table: Contribute to Your 401(k). Too many workers are not contributing enough to their 401(k) to receive their full employer match. According to a recent study, nearly three in 10 workers (29.4 percent)—and 43 percent of workers ages 20 – 29—fail to contribute to the full extent of their employer's match.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.