In 2023, Florida joined 21 other states in requiring high school students to take a financial literacy class in order to graduate. A wise decision since possessing an understanding of finances can establish a lifetime of smart financial habits while avoiding the costly pitfalls of bad financial decisions.

But why empower only students? Adults could benefit from a little education on money matters as well. People with greater financial literacy make better financial decisions, have more financial security and greater overall well-being.

Here are a few habits to follow for a life of financial success:

Create a budget.
Simply list your income and your expenses (rent, mortgage, groceries, and utilities). Have more income than expenses? Set that aside for savings or discretionary spending (date night, new clothes). But remember, a budget only works if you stick to it!

Eliminate high-interest debt.
Determine where you are paying the highest rate of interest and focus on paying that debt off first.

Save regularly.
Saving money on a regular basis (no matter how little) is one of the best habits you can have. And, over time, you can amass enough savings for a down payment on your dream home.

Understand credit.
When shopping for a home or car, the better your credit score, the more desirable you are to lenders. Click here for seven tips to improve your credit score.

Plan for retirement.
Not retiring for decades? That’s awesome since it’s never too never too early to start saving for retirement. The more you contribute now, the better off you will be when the time comes. Be sure to contribute to retirement accounts and take advantage of employer-matched contributions if available.

Want to learn more? The FDIC Money Smart financial education program can help people of all ages enhance their financial skills with fun games, educational newsletters, informative podcasts, and more.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call or drop by a Marine Bank banking center during business hours without an appointment. We’ll be happy to assist you.