Flint, MI— April is National Financial Literacy Month and Flint-based certified public account Antonio Brown is hoping to “disrupt” financial behavior in the community through financial education.
Throughout the month, Brown will present financial literacy information on John L Financial Services’ Facebook page with posts, videos, and live sessions.
The content is free to the public and each week will feature a different theme, like the 2021 tax season, small business planning, family financing, financial planning, and investing.
Financial education in Flint and across the country is severely lacking, Brown said.
“It is vital that financial education becomes a standard in our schools, homes, and communities,” he said. “I see how economic uncertainties can be crippling on personal and business finances, this is my opportunity to play a role in improving this narrative.”
Part of thriving financially is having a savings plan, Brown said.
“Savings is, for me, the single most important element of financial well-being. It’s being able to have something in your coffers to handle in an emergency,” he said.
According to a survey by GOBankingRates, two-thirds of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account.
Brown said when he meets with clients to discuss developing a savings plan, it can be a “tough conversation.”
“What I’m finding out is people can save if the goal is important enough. So, a person saving for a house: if a house is truly important then they’ll make certain sacrifices,” he said.
People develop financial behaviors, like delaying gratification for future security, from their caregivers, Brown said, who researched the topic for his master’s thesis.
“Unless we’re shown something different, we will perpetuate those same habits,” he said, adding that there’s a difference between having knowledge of financial topics like interest or cryptocurrency and understanding healthy financial behaviors.
Brown grew up in a single-parent household in Flint and didn’t have the financial training to develop those behaviors or ask the right questions.
“I think it’s hard for people to seek out information that they don’t know exists. And this is part of the whole series. The whole point is to bring an awareness that these type of financial tools exist and are accessible,” Brown said.
For any financial or tax questions, contact, information for John L Financial Services can be found on their website.