It’s never too late!

One of my responsibilities as State Treasurer is to help improve the financial wellness of families within our state. Over the last few years, significant strides have been made. In fact, in 2017, our state was barely earning a passing grade in the Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy Report Card.

In 2023, however, the state’s metrics changed. Mississippi High Schools boosted their grades, now earning an “A” for their financial education programs. This meant that we became one of just 12 states in the country to improve our rating over the six-year period.

The emphasis on youth financial education is a testament that you’re never too young to start financial planning. And I’d add to that, that it’s never too late to start financial planning either! In other words, no matter your age, the tips I’m about to share could help you on your journey to financial wellness!

The State Treasury’s website,, houses plenty of information and resources for you or your family. Whether you’re looking for budgeting resources or classroom activities for students, I’m confident you’ll be able to find some good information.

That said, there are some general tips from which all of us could benefit as well. First, Investopedia recommends paying with cash over credit. They explain, “If you wait and save money for what you need, you will pay with cash … and avoid using a credit card. A credit card is a loan that accumulates interest unless you can afford to pay off the balance in full every month.” Americans currently hold $1.1 trillion of credit card debt; it’s an easy thing to fall into. Switching from credit to cash will help you avoid that high-interest debt.

Second, Intentional Wealth Partners recommends starting your retirement planning as soon as possible (maybe even in that high school classroom we mentioned above)! They explain: “If you are eligible for your employer’s retirement plan, get signed up and start contributing today. If you are not able to contribute to a plan through your employer, open an IRA, and start an automatic contribution. Do not procrastinate on this.”

Finally, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators recommends living within your means. They explain: “Try to … avoid unnecessary expenses and make smart purchasing decisions.” I know it isn’t always possible – especially in today’s economy. Housing is expensive. Food is expensive. And paychecks are largely stagnant. But many of us can find a way to trim around the edges rather than taking on the credit card debt I mentioned above.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: It is never too late and you’re never too young to begin your financial wellness journey. Good luck on your journey toward financial health!