How to love your finances

Shelby Danielsen reports on Good Morning Jacksonville at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast News reporter Shelby Danielsen learned everything you need to know about your finances -- from the perspective of first graders. 

To find out about what you can do to keep yourself financially happy, we turned to a financial professor from the University of North Florida and a financial advisor with United Way of Northeast Florida. 

Dr. Parvez Ahmed, a finance professor at the University of North Florida, says a crucial part of being financially stable is by being financially savvy, and one can do so by becoming more financially literate. He listed a few of the following terms as examples of important words that everyone should try to understand. Their definitions are according to the online financial dictionary.  

Jennifer King, United Way’s “Real Sense” financial advisor, says there are certain priorities and practices that make someone a happy camper when it comes to their money. She says the most important ones people should are the following: Start saving as early as you can. Identify your “spending personality." Keep track of your finances on a budget sheet. Teach your children at a young age the importance of being responsible with money.

King says United Way offers free financial counseling, financial classes and online resources. If you go to their website, you can find a class that fits you, schedule a meeting with an advisor like King, learn more about the different “spending personalities” and get your own budget sheet so you can start keeping track and see just where your money goes.

While Dr. Ahmed agrees with those vital strategies, his focus is on education and making everyone more familiar with stocks, investing, bonds, etc.

One problem with financial education is that finance classes are not required for every single students in high schools and colleges around the country. Dr. Ahmed and King are both advocates for changing this and ensuring that, no matter what degree you are pursuing, you understand how to be financially responsible.

Dr. Ahmed says start small when it comes to learning about your finances and take advantage of the internet to increase your financial vocabulary, like the following:

COMPOUND INTEREST
Interest paid on both the principal and the accrued interest.

King explained the term a little further, emphasizing how important it is for any age.

“Compound interest is when you put money away, it earns interest, you leave it, and you earn interest on the original amount you put away plus what’s grown on it since you put it away,” King said. “So you put away $100 and you earn 10 percent, at the end of the year you have $110 and then next year you earn 10 percent on that and it grows and by the end of five years you’ll probably have $131.”

STOCK
A portion of ownership in a corporation. The holder of a stock is entitled to the company's earnings and is responsible for its risk for the portion of the company that each stock represents.

INVESTMENT
The act of placing capital into a project or business with the intent of making a profit on the initial placing of capital.An investment may involve the extension of a loan or line of credit, which entitles one to repayment with interest, or it may involve buying an ownership stake in a business, with the hope that the business will become profitable.

BOND
A security representing the debt of the company or government issuing it. When a company or government issues a bond, it borrows money from the bondholders; it then uses the money to invest in its operations. In exchange, the bondholder receives the principal amount back on a maturity date stated in the indenture, which is the agreement governing a bond's terms.

ASSET
In accounting, anything of value that a person or firm buys. Assets can be physical, such as real estate or stocks, a claim on debts, such as accounts receivable or liens, or a right, such as a patent.

PORTFOLIO
The set of open positions held by an investor. For example, if an investor owns shares in AT&T, GM and bonds in Disney, one collectively refers to these as the investor's portfolio.

BUDGET
A plan for a person or company's expenditures. Making a budget involves looking at one's revenue or income and matching that to expenses such that the person or company pays for all necessary expenses. A budget is in balance if revenues equal expenditures, in deficit if the person or company must resort to borrowing to meet expenses, and in surplus if money is left over to be used for savings or expansion.

DOW
A stock market index founded in 1896 by Charles Dow tracking 30 companies in various industries thought to be representative of the American economy. It is a price-weighted index, meaning that stocks with higher prices per share affect the average more.

401K
A retirement investment plan in which a contributor defers taxation on contributions until after withdrawal. Under a traditional 401(k), a worker places a portion of his/her pre-tax income into a 401(k) account and allows it to be invested.

DEFICIT
A situation in which outflow of money exceeds inflow. That is, a deficit occurs when a government, company or individual spends more than he/she/it receives in a given period of time, usually a year.

First Coast News


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