RALEIGH, N.C. — Many people are struggling to pay for groceries and home expenses because of high inflation, and that is forcing some to choose between covering the rent or the light bill.

April is Financial Literacy Month, and financial expert Alan Porter with Strategic Wealth Strategies says the event can help you position yourself financially so that you're not only protecting yourself right now, but your future.

What You Need To Know

  • April is Financial Literacy Month 
  • The month is an opportunity to position yourself financially so that you're protecting yourself now and in the future
  • Four tips to improve your financial future are: make a budget, pay down your debt, know your credit score and think about your financial future 
  • Financial experts say you should put 15% to 20% of your money into a retirement account

“What I do is I educate my clients on the financial strategies the wealthy have been using, people that are the tax experts have been using for years, and what they do is they know the tax laws,” Porter said.

He says the wealthy know how to save.

“If you don't have a plan, you need to make one. You need a plan for everything you do,” Porter said.

“I find that 99% of clients have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to taxes, when it comes to the taxation of Social Security or the means testing Medicare Part B. They need to know these things because it affects their financial future,” he said.

Porter says there are four money lessons that people can use right now to improve their financial literacy.

No. 1 is making a budget.

“You need to take at least, I would say, 15% to 20% of your money and put it into a retirement account. If your company offers a 401(k), go up to the match. Don’t change your lifestyle that much, but limit how much you go out to eat and things like that,” Porter said.

Other tips include paying down your debt, knowing your credit score and thinking about your financial future.

Porter says there are ways people can push themselves to follow those four steps and achieve financial greatness.

“Well, it's education. That's what I teach. When I talk to my clients and other people that I know and they say, well, I have never heard of this, I say, well, I'm different than probably the vast majority of conventional financial planners because I teach my clients to think outside the box and I show them these financial strategies that are not complicated,” Porter said.