The Importance of Financial Access to Build Confidence in Money Management Skills

Building financial confidence can go a long way toward achieving your goals.

Earning this trust goes hand in hand with having adequate access to financial products and services tailored to your needs and feeling comfortable taking advantage of these resources.

A study by WSFS Bank found that 80% of people in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware area are confident in managing their money in general, but 33% struggle to understand the financial products and services available to them.

Here are ways to build your financial confidence and ensure you have the access you need to succeed.

Financial lessons

Financial literacy classes in schools are only mandatory in a handful of states, with others working to implement them into strict curricula.

This left gaps in financial education for many, who had to rely on other sources for lessons. The study found that parents or guardians (52%) were the most common source of financial lessons for locals, with 35% citing banks or financial service providers, and 30% citing websites, blogs, social media, podcasts and other online sources. .

It is important to consider that conversations about money and finances vary according to different cultural influences. In some cultures, money and finances were not seen as a subject of life-learning experiences or open dialogue. Whether it’s with your kids, spouse, or local banker, having open and candid discussions about finances and the tools you need to be successful can go a long way to broadening your money management skills while imparting important lessons.

This opportunity to learn from lived experiences can help build confidence when discussing money decisions and reduce anxiety or stress around financial conversations. Integrating these conversations into your normal routine can have a positive influence on adults and children.

Savings and money management skills are lifelong and essential to success. There is no one lesson in building financial confidence for every individual or family, but the more frequent and early these lessons are, the better.

Access products and services

Knowledge is power, but having adequate access to banking products and services is just as important in your financial journey.

Three-quarters (74%) of people in the region feel confident in knowing how and where to get the financial products and services they need, and 65% say they are confident in knowing which products and services are best for them.

While this level of trust is high, there are areas for improvement to ensure all consumers have the access they need. Providing resources and support to consumers with diverse needs and backgrounds is essential to helping members of all communities achieve financial success.

While there are abundant resources available for all learning styles, it is important that banks and financial service providers meet consumers where they are to support them and ensure they have access to the necessary tools. Specifically, ensuring that banks and financial service providers take into account the impact that identity and cultural influences can have on a consumer’s experience in the financial lifecycle.

Additional tips and tools

More than three-fifths of people in the region use online banking (64%) and their bank’s mobile app (61%) to manage their money. While 82% said they have access to the devices and internet needed to manage their money, an access gap still exists for some consumers.

Two-fifths (39%) of the region said free personalized financial advice could help them achieve their goals, with 33% saying products and services tailored to their needs and 29% saying sharing financial advice online -mail, online or via an app could help them. .

Wherever you are on your roadmap, I encourage you to find a bank willing to guide you and provide you with the tools you need. When thinking about your financial journey, remember to consider where you would like this journey to go. Do you have the resources to achieve your goals? Who around you influences your financial decisions? Make sure you understand your personal and cultural influences.

While our experiences can shape our financial behaviors, it’s important to consider making an appointment with your banker, who can help you learn more about the products and services that best meet your unique needs and help you put a plan in place to achieve your goals.

Michelle Burroughs is Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer at WSFS Bank. She has 20 years of combined experience in the areas of community, risk, operations, diversity, change management and strategic planning. She is a passionate leader, driven to promote an inclusive organizational culture and has consistently engaged in developing initiatives that help improve business practices around diversity and inclusion.

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