Quantcast Finally Frugal: April is Financial Literacy Month!

The bumpy road to financial independence. . . .


Monday, March 30, 2009

April is Financial Literacy Month!

In March of 2004, the U.S. Senate recognized April as Financial Literacy Month in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy among adults and youth. In honor of this, Money Management International (a non-profit debt counseling organization) created a website called, appropriately enough, Financial Literacy Month.

In cruising around the Financial Literacy Month website, I found the section entitled 'Tools for Success' to be most useful. On this particular page, there are links to all sorts of helpful spreadsheets and resources, such as:

A big part of financial literacy is taking the time to learn about personal finance, as well as being responsible for that knowledge. Since no one knocked on my door and educated me about how to pay down debt, how to refinance my house, or how to spend my money strategically, I had to go out and find the information myself. I'm only now beginning to emerge from the fog of self-induced financial ignorance, but I've never felt more stable and in-control of my finances.

Each American has the same obligation to find and absorb the information, whether it's at the public library, in the office of a financial advisor, or in the multitude of pages on the internet. Of course, with internet learning, we always have to be careful that the information we're reading is reliable.

In addition to the Financial Literacy Month website, the U.S. government's Financial Literacy and Education commission website is a wonderful resource. There, you'll find all sorts of links concerning financial planning, paying for education, home ownership, and raising financially literate kids.

In my work with college students, "but nobody told me" is never an acceptable excuse for making a mistake. I'd posit that the same holds true of people who are financially under-educated. As I mentioned, no one is going to call you up one day and offer to give you, free of charge, the information you need (and I'd certainly be wary of anyone who did call with that sort of offer!)

Instead, we should all take responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones, with the helping hand of organizations like Money Management International and, yes, even the U.S. government.

1 comment:

DarcyLee said...

With so much information out there these days via the Internet, library, and other tools, there really is no excuse, is there? As a parent, I feel it is one of my major responsibilities to teach my kids about managing their finances wisely even though I wasn't taught these things and had to learn largely on my own. Great post!

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