No matter how hard it can be to balance being away from home and adjusting to a new culture and language, personal finance should be your top priority as an immigrant.
Why You May Not Realize Personal Finance Should Be Your Top Priority as an Immigrant
It can be extremely difficult to move to a brand new country or even be the child of parents who have recently done so. You may be far from family. Perhaps you don\’t know the language fluently. You are probably dealing with an unfamiliar culture. All of these factors can make it difficult to focus on personal finance. But money struggles are often a reason why these other areas are more difficult. Money can be a stressful and overwhelming factors that makes adjusting to a new place and life even more difficult.
With a new life, country, and society to adjust to and figure out, learning to manage your money does not always make it to the top of the list of priorities. You might think that learning about personal finance is something that is only relevant to your life if you reach “the American Dream” and become rich. Or that it’s at least something you don’t need to really deal with right now.
If so, you are not alone. Most people generally, including immigrants, avoid dealing with money struggles and can benefit from learning more about personal finance. In the U.S. for example, nearly 70% of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. And immigrants in the U.S. are “much less likely than their native-born counterparts to use a wide range of financial services, including savings and checking accounts, business loans, and home mortgages.” For example, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Spanish-only speaking households are five times less likely to use a bank or credit union.
For immigrants, the stakes of not mastering Personal Finance are too high
But for immigrants in particular, lack of financial literacy can lead to significant life consequences, such as:
- Delaying your ability to reach basic stability and adjust to your new home;
- Setting up bad habits that keep you in cycles of debt;
- Leaving you unprepared to deal with immigration law problems, for example not being able to afford an immigration lawyer;
- Preventing you from reaching your potential and achieving your dreams; etc.
But many of these shared financial struggles that can be part of the immigrant experience can be minimized now. Education is power. Learning to OWN your finances will make everything easier in the short-term and the long-term. And in this political climate we currently live in, doing so is a powerful way to resist and fight back.
Here at Immigrant Finance, we have personally experienced these struggles. We know what it’s like to have no idea whether you can even open a bank account or where to turn for information. We want to help make it easier for you and others going through similar situations by sharing what we have learned and continue to learn along side you.