Honolulu (KHON2) –  Hawaii Federal Credit Union gave Living808 viewers a lesson on the importance of financial literacy.

“Individuals should weigh the importance of financial literacy to their own situation,” says Debra Nelson-Kelli. “It can help them to understand financial concepts that a bank may mention when opening an account or a ca salesman may say when the consumer buys a car.  Once these concepts are learned, the consumer will have it in their “tool kit” for future use.”

Financial literacy can help individuals from becoming victims of financial fraud.  With today’s economy and world events, people are looking more and more to an easy way of reaching sustainability opening these individuals to consumer fraud.  With financial literacy they would be better able to identify a fraudulent offer and would be able to protect themselves.

Poor financial decisions often come from a lack of financial literacy.  Such poor decisions could lead to; accumulating more debt than the consumer can manage; poor spending habits; a lack of emergency funding; a lack of retirement funds, just to name a few.  With financial literacy the consumer will learn budgeting, the importance of an emergency fund and saving for retirement.  They may still encounter tough times, but they should be able to work through it, or a least be able to know where they can turn to for assistance.

Financial literacy can help support life goals, such as saving for education or retirement, using debt responsibly, and buying a house.  Learning financial literacy is not only the process of learning but putting into practice what you’ve learned.  And, like everything else, the journey begins with a single step.  From there, it’s one step at a time.  If a person attends a workshop on budgeting, that alone won’t teach them how to budget.  It will give them the groundwork to get started.  From there, they can work with a counselor in developing their budget.  The counselor can provide guidance if they go over their budget.  Knowing that they are not alone through the journey certainly gives consumers the courage to go further in the learning process.

Hawaii FCU’s objective is to “serve as a catalyst in providing a financial legacy for members and their families by helping them build individual and family financial stability that strengthen and support their lives through S.A.F.E.  S.A.F.E. is an acronym that target ‘Self-Achieving Financial Empowerment’.  We accomplish this by providing workshops covering various topics.  The workshops are primarily conducted at the credit union office, or we will go into the community and will hold workshops at community events.  However, due to current events, workshops are not in person.  We do offer the same content with presentations found on our website, https://www.hawaiifcu.org.  The credit union also provides one on one counseling as needed.  Sometimes these are one-off or it can be on-going for a period of time until the member feels they have the ability to handle their budgeting on their own.

There’s been situations where the consumer becomes deep in debt and feel that bankruptcy is their only way out.  In this type of case, we work with them every step of the way to help them determine if that is their only solution.  Hopefully, we’re able to help them at developing a solution that will give them their desired satisfaction in knowing that they can get out of that deep ditch.  Of course, that’s a worst-case scenario, fortunately most come to us a lot sooner when they realize they’re barely making ends meet.

Financial literacy covers a variety of financial skills and concepts.  It is a life-long concept that provides one the ability to understand and effectively apply learned financial skills to their personal financial management.  Financial literacy covers several topics that individuals can learn and apply immediately or are topics that they can employ throughout their lifetime.

Financial literacy topics could include:

Type of Income

Basic budgeting

Balancing a checkbook

Learning where your money is going

Making a loan or getting a credit card

The ABCs of owning a credit card

Making debt payments on time

Saving for emergencies

Saving for retirement

What makes up your credit score

And more.

 Consumers just needs to give us a call to schedule an appointment.  Their first appointment will be to determine what the consumer needs in the form of financial literacy and to determine what their next step will be.  They should call (808) 847-1371.