NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — April is Financial Literacy Awareness Month and money experts say knowing how to navigate your finances during these rough economic times is more important than ever.
Inflation is at an all time high across the United States. In the DFW metroplex, you can include a frenzied real estate market with soaring values to the mix.
To add insult to injury, financial experts agree individual and household incomes just aren't keeping up.
Rod Griffin, Experian's senior director of consumer education and advocacy, says they "are trying to empower people to be financially successful."
KEN MOLESTINA: "Why is it so important right now that people take financial literacy serious?"
GRIFFIN: "71% of people told us that their paycheck won't keep up with inflation. So, when three-fourths of the population is saying we are in trouble because of what's happening. Three out of 4 people tell us they are concerned that they won't be able to make ends meet."
Griffin says sticking to budgets or spending lists is crucial. However, he says too many Americans don't know how to do that and many don't understand how credit works.
In fact, Experian estimates 28 million Americans are considered credit invisible — meaning they have no available credit lines of any kind.
"I can tell you that the testing in the industry indicates that financial literacy levels are pretty abysmal," he said.
So where do you start if you want to get up to speed? Well, Griffin says to seek out information.
"Visit experian.com," he said. "You can visit the jump start coalition for financial literacy. They have thousands of resources there that are vetted and approved."
And if you do have good credit, Griffin suggests you can use the website to leverage discounts.
"If you are able to go to a credit card company and say, 'Look, my credit scores are really good. I am really reliable. What can you do for me in terms of a better interest rate?' That can save you money," he said.
And that's just a starting point according to Griffin. He says what's most important, though, is that you get started now.
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