Standard and Poor’s Global Financial Literacy Survey recently found only 57% of adult Americans are considered “financially literate” – meaning, that they understand basic financial decision-making, such as saving, borrowing, and using financial products such as credit cards.
In fact, according to Forbes Magazine, almost half of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency, and a third of Americans have nothing saved for retirement.
While financial experts tend to view these statistics as a money problem, one expert says it is primarily a mindset problem, stemming from bad habits.
“Your habits will determine your level of success,” says Michael Wynn, best-selling author of the book, The Habit Effect: Your Life, Your Money. “Financial literacy can help individuals become self-sufficient by using good habits.”
Wynn experienced the power of financial habits – both good and bad – over his 25-year career as a financial auditor with the State of Michigan. “You engage habits because you write people up for not doing the right thing, and then come back the next year to do a routine audit and find that they did the same wrong thing,” Wynn says.
After retirement, Wynn began to pursue a new mission: writing, speaking, and coaching people to create success in their lives. Wynn is the founder of Coach “Win,” where he helps his clients to optimize their performance by creating and using success habits. Very often, that means helping his clients become financially literate.
“The habits and abundance that many Americans want include an appreciation for a good life with financial wellness and good health together,” Wynn says. “Finding the best habits to fit your needs and reaching your desired improvements or growth is not as difficult as people may make it out to be.”
In his book, The Habit Effect: Your Life, Your Money, Wynn offers the fundamentals of financial literacy to equip readers with information, skills, and habits they need to manage and balance their life and money effectively. These include learning to value good habits for financial stability, ways to avoid financial stress, designing a money plan, and learning how to protect earnings.
Some of the most popular advice from Coach “Win” comes in the form of simple action steps that reduce overwhelm and put people in control of their money. For example, Wynn offers three action steps for avoiding financial rip-offs and protecting hard-earned income.
1) Be Aware. “Detecting early signs of losing your money in any situation is better than finding out far too late,” Wynn advises.
2) Be Routine. Wynn recommends thinking about, creating, and executing money habits on a regular basis, such as transferring money to investments every quarter, or checking bank and credit card statements monthly.
3) Be Secure. “Keeping your money will require you to have safe and secure policies and methods for securing your personal information,” Wynn says. He recommends some basic first steps, such as keeping your passwords and account numbers in a secure place at all times.
“Mike Wynn has always been an energetic, impressive individual that has been involved in some powerful projects in the inner city with me,” says Lois Gibbons, former Financial Literacy Director for the Accounting Aid Society. “His incredible background and wealth of knowledge helped individuals many times throughout the metropolitan area, for which I am most grateful.”
“The Habit Effect is a positive tool that could make real, lasting differences to achieve financial stability and your pathway to financial independence,” Wynn says. “My purpose is to guide you towards a better understanding of financial literacy and help you accomplish your goals.”
Michael D. Wynn is the owner of Coach “Win,” LLC. As a habit success strategist, international speaker and best-selling author, Wynn uses his 30-plus years of experience in financial compliance, business management, and personal training as a success coach to provide valuable advice on optimizing performance habits. He is certified as an Authenticity Coach, Financial Literacy Trainer, Licensed Builder, and Fraud Examiner. He served on the board of the local Southeast Michigan Chapter Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
To learn more about speaking, coaching, training programs, and books by Michael Wynn, visit michaelwynn.com.