Here’s how financial literacy can help you, say business moguls

April is Financial Literacy Month and CNBC features advice from our frequent contributors and guests. Here’s what they think about financial literacy and its impact on their lives and on future generations of American consumers, savers and investors.

Many Americans lack the financial literacy skills needed to succeed.

More than half of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense with savings, according to a January survey by The bank rate found. Meanwhile, about 20% of employees run out of money before their next paycheck, according to Salary Finance. This is up from 15% last year.

CNBC contributor Karen Firestone explains that this is why financial literacy is the great equalizer, “It empowers people to be independent, gives people a playground where they can succeed on their own versus to anyone else in the country because they understand how to manage their money, the importance of saving income, cash flow and debt. And if you don’t have that, you create a class of people who understand and others who don’t, and that’s not what democracies are for.

Planning for the future is hard, but that’s why NFL linebacker and Financial Wellness Council member Brandon Copeland wants you to invest in an older version of yourself today.

Retirement may be a long way off and spending money on something you can have today instead of 20-40 years from now may seem worth it, but Copeland thinks differently. “A lot of times people talk about saving money and investing in retirement and it gets a little weird, because I’d rather spend the money today,” he said. “However, I want you to consider investing in an older version of yourself. I’m thinking about it today, I’m hiding money for an older, fatter, grayer version of me. It there’s nothing better than that. So, let’s change our perspective and change our mindset when it comes to investing in an older version of you, because who else will invest in you better?”

For CNBC contributor Tim Seymour, one of the most important things he can do for his child is prepare her for the future — and that includes being financially savvy.

Seymour told CNBC, “As a parent and investor teaching her to plan her financial future and set goals, it’s about instilling in her a set of values ​​and helping her become independent and chart her course. own way in the world.”

Seymour isn’t alone — in a recent CNBC + Acorns Invest in You survey conducted by Momentive, 83% of American adults said parents are most responsible for educating their children about personal finances.

For CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, learning about money was part of growing up,

“I learned about money because I grew up poor with a single mom in South Texas. And every time we went to a restaurant or made a purchase, my mom would pull out a napkin and do the monthly budget for figure out if we could make a purchase out of it, and that’s how I naturally started budgeting when I was 10 years old.

Today, Sanchez is CEO of Chantico Global and Chief Market Strategist for Lido Advisors. She is also a trustee of the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association.

Inflation is at its highest level since the 1980s and many Americans are feeling the pinch on their wallets. Contributor Anthony Scaramucci says having financial knowledge can help people overcome the pain of inflation,

“At the end of the day, when you think about the concept of inflation, it eats away at a person’s ability to spend and save. And that’s a concept we have to teach early on. Because of course if you have financial knowledge, you can work out ways and strategies to protect yourself from inflation.”

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CHECK: How the savvy couple brings in $35,000/month or more in mostly passive income: ‘Last year we made $425,000 in income’ with Tassels + CNBC

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in tassels.

Sarah J. Greer