When was the last time you looked at your bank account balance? According to a recent study, over 60 percent of Americans check their balance at least once a week. This habit, if practiced the right way, can put you on the path to achieving your financial goals.
Whether you’re looking to become financially independent, planning for a long awaited vacation, or saving for a down payment to buy your first home, April is Financial Literacy Month. And we want you to be aware right now of some of the tools and skills to help make your financial journey as smooth as possible.
Managing your money can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Understanding things like budgeting, saving, paying your bills, and even building your credit score can help at any stage of your life. Even in these difficult times with the pandemic, when so many of us are facing greater uncertainty around finances and job security, understanding core financial skills can be a difference-maker.
The past year has impacted families, friends, colleagues, and our community. Since the start of the pandemic, 4 percent of Black Americans have said that either they or someone in their family has experienced a job or wage loss due to COVID-19. In these situations, especially, it is critical to know how to manage your finances to stay on track—or get back on track.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, how to start making progress, or if you’re simply looking to refresh your knowledge, consider the following as you chart a successful path forward and take control of your financial future.
Advice and Tools
Our financial goals hub (at Chase.com) is a great place to start. Start by picking a goal—save, budget, or build credit—and explore advice, offerings and tools that more simply allow you to control your financial future. Our Grow Your Savings page, for example, offers an interactive calculator that maps out a timeline to reach savings goals; it also highlights how the Autosave tool can help you manage a regular savings schedule to stay on track and meet your goals. Other resources are also available, such as budget worksheets to monitor and track monthly spending, guidance on using the Credit Journey tool to build and protect credit, and background info on low-cost checking accounts. These accounts are designed to provide access for anyone who has had trouble getting or keeping an account in the past.
Reserved Capital for Business Owners
Education, reliable support, and resources are fundamental first steps to financial literacy. But equal access to capital is just as critical. With 41 percent of Black-owned businesses having shuttered since this time last year, COVID-19 has only worsened the kinds of disparities and inequities that demand an intentional reprioritization of capital. Through our Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, we’re working to provide more access to capital to future entrepreneurs, existing business owners, and communities that have historically and unfairly struggled to secure it. JPMorgan Chase also recently announced it is setting aside funds specifically for Black and Latinx business owners—stop into your local branch and talk with a Chase For Business representative to see if you qualify.
Equitable Home Lending
Home equity is also a major contributor to families’ wealth, making it imperative that we increase home ownership among Black communities. One way we hope to do this is through our Chase DreaMaker mortgage, which makes applying for your first mortgage or refinancing a current one more attainable with a smaller down payment. The DreaMaker also includes reduced mortgage insurance, more flexibility around your credit score, potential assistance grants, and homebuyer education courses.
In the Twin Cities, we’ve also hired a community manager—a new role created by the bank—who is working with the community and with small businesses to increase awareness of available resources. Anchored at the Chase branch in the Ventura Village neighborhood of Minneapolis, our community manager is connecting with neighborhood organizations and creating programs to help connect more customers with financial health tools, products, and services. Look for free interactive programs on topics such as budget building, home-buying tips, interview and job search skills, how to fund a small business, and others coming soon.
No matter where you are financially, budgeting and saving are two habits that can help you bounce back from life’s unexpected moments or keep on track to ensure you meet your goals. Chase is here to help everyone have open conversations about what it means to become financially healthy and to provide support, tools, and advice to get there. Financial health is a journey, and we can help you think about a plan for now and the future.
For more resources, information, and access to tools that can help you achieve your financial goals and milestones, visit chase.com/personal/financial-goals
Visit JPMorganChase.com/financial goals to discover tips and tools designed to help you reach your money goals.