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Where to go for financial advice, and steps you can take to improve your personal finances | Money Smart

April is Financial Literacy Month, and a recent poll has uncovered where people are turning for financial advice.

YORK, Pa. — April is Financial Literacy Month, and a recent poll has uncovered where people are turning for financial advice. FOX43 spoke with a financial expert to find out whether these are the right sources to be going to, and steps you can take to improve your personal finances.

Tedd Rossman, industry analyst, said that when it comes to personal finances, going at them alone can cost you. A recent survey from CreditCards.com, found that U.S. adults go to their friends and family first for financial advice.

“That could be good, or that could be bad," he said. "I’d be hesitant to put all of my eggs into that basket. You don’t necessarily want to act on the hot stock tip from your cousin or brother-in-law.”

The survey also found that Gen-Z is nearly five times as likely to get financial advice from social media.

“That’s another one where there is a lot of crazy advice out there," he said. "Not to say that it’s all bad, but it’s certainly not all good.”

Rossman also said that it's unfortunate that financial literacy isn't taught more in schools and at home. This is often because money is a hard topic for many people to talk about.

So what should you do to get your finances in check? Rossman offered three suggestions.

First, start investing early.

"If you start in your 20s, by the time you retire, every dollar you put in might be worth $15 or $20 or even $25 so really, if you do a little bit of work on the front end and you get time and compounding working for you, that’s a tremendous asset," he said.

Second, avoid credit card debt. He said that if you already have some, it's imperative to start working on a plan to get out of it. He said to do this, getting a credit card with zero percent interest on balance transfers, applying for a lower rate personal loan to consolidate your debt, and working with a non-profit credit counselor are great steps.

Third, build a good credit score.

"This is a really important number because it’s going to go a long way towards determining if you get approved for financial products and if you do, what interest rate you’ll pay," he said. "If you have a good credit score, you’re going to have access to credit and you’re going to pay lower rates, and that can really pay off."

In terms of where to go for financial advice, Rossman said it's important to "diversify your portfolio."

"I think it’s most important to get different perspectives," he said. "Don’t just trust that one social media site or influencer or friend. Look at that, but also read financial websites. Read books. Read magazines and newspapers. Talk to your friends and family. Blend a variety of different perspectives."

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