Ahead of National Financial Awareness Day on Monday, August 14, 2023, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (“TDCI”) Division of Securities reminds Tennesseans of the importance of financial planning to help build a stronger financial future for themselves and their families.
“While Tennessee has been blessed with a robust and growing economy, Tennesseans should remember that saving for a rainy day is crucial to creating greater and longer lasting financial stability,” said TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “I encourage Tennesseans who might have questions about financial planning or making investments to contact our Securities Division team for assistance today.”
“We hope that highlighting National Financial Awareness Day will start conversations among families about their current and future financial plans,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Bowling. “By developing a financial plan that includes setting a household budget, making automatic savings, and establishing a trusted contact among other important steps, Tennesseans from all walks of life can reach their financial goals one day.”
In recognition of National Financial Awareness Day, Director of Investor Education Rachel Carden has published a blog devoted to the importance of financial planning. TDCI reminds consumers to remember the following tips:
1. Create a budget. Whether you’re just starting out on your own or you already have a growing family, creating and sticking to a written budget for your household can be crucial in meeting your financial goals. Budget tracking apps can help make the process simpler. As you make your budget, ask yourself questions about how and why you spend money and then prioritize your spending. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself hard questions!
2. Automatic savings. Saving for the future is key to a financial plan. The easiest and most effective way to save is to set up automatic savings, either through a 401(k) or at your bank or credit union. Over time, these automatic deposits add up. $50 a month accumulates to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest that has compounded. Soon you will be able to cover many unexpected expenses without putting them on your credit card or taking out a high-cost loan.
3. Establish a trusted contact. One important step that investors can take is to provide their financial firms with a “trusted contact” — that is, an authorized person you who your financial firm can contact in limited circumstances, such as if there is a concern about activity in your account and they have been unable to get in touch with you. A trusted contact may be a family member, attorney, accountant, or another third-party who you believe would respect your privacy and know how to handle the responsibility.
Having one or more trusted contacts provides another layer of safety on your account and puts your financial firm in a better position to help keep your account safe. More information about establishing a trusted contact can be found here.
4. Making an investment? Always ask questions. As scammers grow increasingly sophisticated with their schemes and swindles, investors have to be on guard like never before in order to protect themselves. if someone contacts you about an investment that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always be skeptical, don’t be afraid to ask questions or walk away if something sounds fishy. Research the backgrounds of financial brokers, advisers, and firms through BrokerCheck.
Questions? Tennessee consumers can contact TDCI’s Securities team by phone at (615) 741-2947 or 800-863-9117 (Toll Free) or by email at [email protected].