Financial literacy is a critical life skill that can have a significant impact on an individual’s financial well-being and overall quality of life. It is important for individuals to continuously educate themselves on financial terms and concepts to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals.
Financial literacy is important for a variety of reasons:
- Making informed financial decisions: Those who are financially literate are able to make wise financial decisions that are consistent with their aims and values. This involves choices on how much to spend, save, invest and borrow.
- Avoiding financial pitfalls: Financial literacy can assist people in avoiding typical financial risks, such as high-interest debt, excessive spending and investment fraud.
- Creating long-term wealth: By knowing how to efficiently save and invest, people with financial literacy can help generate long-term wealth. Understanding ideas such as compound interest and diversification is part of this.
- Enhancing quality of life: Financial literacy can enhance your quality of life by lowering stress brought on by financial uncertainty and giving people the abilities and information they need to reach their financial objectives.
- Contributing to the economy: Financial literacy can also contribute to the overall health of the economy by promoting responsible financial behavior and reducing the risk of financial crises.
Here are nine essential finance terms that everyone must be familiar with.
A budget is a plan that outlines expected income and expenses over a period of time. To keep track of spending and make sure that money is being spent responsibly, a budget is necessary. A monthly budget might, for instance, contain revenue from a job and costs for things, such as rent, utilities and groceries. A budget can assist people in better managing their money and preventing overspending.
Interest is the cost of borrowing money, usually expressed as a percentage. Depending on the type of loan or credit instrument, the interest rate may change. For instance, a credit card may impose an interest rate of 18% on outstanding balances. To avoid taking on high-interest debt and to make wise borrowing decisions, it is crucial to understand interest rates.
Related: How to earn interest from crypto saving accounts?
In the context of cryptocurrencies, “interest” can refer to two different things, including interest earned on crypto investments via staking and interest earned by lenders on their crypto holdings by lending them out to borrowers.
Based on variables, such as payment history, credit utilization and length of credit history, a credit score is a numerical indication of a person’s creditworthiness. A high credit score can lead to better terms on loans, credit cards and other financial items. For instance, a Fair, Isaac and Company (FICO) score of 700 or higher is generally regarded as favorable.
Since cryptocurrencies are decentralized and unrelated to established credit systems, there is no exact analog of a credit score in the realm of cryptocurrencies. Yet some cryptocurrency borrowers and lenders may determine creditworthiness using alternative credit scoring models built on blockchain technology.
A cryptocurrency lender, for instance, might assess a borrower’s creditworthiness based on their blockchain transaction history, taking into account details such as their payment history, the volume and magnitude of their transactions, and how long they have had their crypto assets. Additionally, some cryptocurrency lending services might ask for cryptocurrency as collateral from borrowers, which might reduce the chance of default and give lenders more protection.
Cryptocurrency refers to a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and operates on a decentralized, blockchain-based system. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) offer an alternative to traditional fiat currency by allowing peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a central authority and can be used for a variety of financial transactions, such as buying goods and services, investing, and sending and receiving money across borders.
An asset is a resource with economic value that can be owned or controlled. A digital asset, such as BTC, or another cryptocurrency, that can be purchased or traded on a platform built on a blockchain is referred to as an asset in the context of cryptocurrencies.
Similar to conventional assets like equities, bonds or real estate, these digital assets are frequently viewed as a store of value. However, cryptocurrencies are a high-risk investment since they are frequently quite volatile and can undergo large price swings.
A liability is a financial obligation or debt that an individual or organization owes to another party. A liability in the context of cryptocurrencies refers to any obligation that an individual or organization has to pay back or return cryptocurrency.
For instance, if someone borrows cryptocurrency from a lender, they would be responsible for paying back the borrowed cryptocurrency plus interest to the lender. Similarly, until the customer receives their money back, all funds held by a cryptocurrency exchange would be seen as a liability.
Net worth is the total value of an individual’s assets minus their liabilities. A positive net worth indicates that an individual’s assets exceed their liabilities, while a negative net worth indicates the opposite. Understanding net worth is important to assess financial health and plan for long-term financial goals.
Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising. Over time, inflation can reduce the purchasing power of money and have a substantial impact on savings and investments. For instance, if inflation is 2%, a $100 purchase made today will cost $102 in a year. To make informed financial decisions and prepare for the future, it is crucial to understand inflation.
Related: How to preserve capital during inflation using cryptocurrencies
Diversification is a risk-management strategy that involves spreading investments across different assets or asset classes. Over time, diversification can help lower risk and boost profits. To lessen the risk of losses in any one sector, an investor can diversify their portfolio by making investments in stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies and real estate. In order to reduce investment risk and amass long-term wealth, it is crucial to comprehend diversification.