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April is National Financial Literacy Month

National Financial Literacy MonthIn his recent post, Who is Responsible for Teaching Financial Literacy?, Stefan @ The Millennial Budget reminded me that April is National Financial Literacy Month. And to be honest, I didn’t know much about National Financial Literacy Month, so I figured this would be a good time to do some research.

By the way, if you follow this site, you may be wondering why I am posting another article having just posted one yesterday. Typically, I like to publish two to three articles per week, but not necessarily on the same day each week. I was inclined to publish this today as we are already halfway through Money Smart Week® (see below).

Back to National Financial Literacy Month, the first thing I came across was that specifically, the week of April 23-30 (this week) is Money Smart Week®:


Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning.


If you visit the Money Smart Week® site, you can select your state from the drop-down menu. And from there, you should find various educational seminars and other financial education events planned in your area.

If it works in your schedule, you might try attending one of these events. And if you do, I would love to hear more about it.


How to Support National Financial Literacy Month

We personal finance bloggers realize how important it is to become knowledgeable in personal finance concepts, yet there are still so many people who lack even the most basic understanding of how things work.

The best time to learn this information is when you are young as the earlier you start, the better off you will be (remember the effects of compounding). I recently wrote an article about why you should start paying your children an allowance, as I firmly believe financial literacy starts in the home and should begin at an early age. And in fact, National Financial Literacy Month was actually started by the National Endowment for Financial Education as Youth Financial Literacy Day before undergoing several modifications to what we have today.

But there’s really no age that’s too old to start (or continue) learning about financial concepts.

If you are reading this, you probably have at least a basic understanding of personal finance (you may even be an expert). As such, there are a few things all of us can do to help educate others on the importance of financial literacy:


  1. Work with your children to teach them the concepts of income, expense, saving, and investing
  2. Volunteer to teach an adult education class on financial literacy
  3. If your employer will allow it, schedule a lunch and learn to help educate your co-workers
  4. Start a personal finance website


If you have other suggestions about how to improve financial literacy, please comment below.


Permanent link to this article: http://financialslacker.com/april-national-financial-literacy-month/


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  1. Allan Liwanag @ The Practical Saver

    This is a great post. One of the things that I do is share my personal finance stories (ie.g. paying off debt and becoming debt-free, investing and growing my money). I like sharing stories because I feel that they’re more personable and a lot of people can relate. I know there are a lot of people I know who are in the same boat as I am. I share to them what I know, the lessons I learned as I go through my financial life, and what I’ve accomplished.

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    1. Financial Slacker

      I really enjoy hearing the personal stories of people overcoming their financial challenges, changing their lives, and setting themselves up for a more secure financial future.

      I feel like my story is still a work in progress. I’ve been successful earning money over the years, but haven’t focused as much on controlling the expenses side of the equation. My focus now is getting better in that area as well as continuing to monetize investment assets into cash flow.

      I’ll head over to your site and learn a little more about your story.


      View Comment
  2. distilleddollar

    Ah, I didn’t even know about this Money Smart Week…and I live about three blocks from the Chicago Fed!

    One event I’ve done in past years was VITA or LadderUp. Each program is set up to have tax professionals assist low income or elderly people by helping them file their tax returns for free. The benefits can be enormous since they often end up with large refunds. The program is a great way to educate people on their withholding information, what they can do with their refunds, etc.

    I’ve often helped someone and then had a short conversation about money habits. The core advice is always the same, spend less than you earn and invest the rest.

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    1. Financial Slacker

      That is a great way to give back by providing a service as well as advice.

      You mentioned that many times when you have filed tax returns on behalf of lower income earners, they end up with a large refund. I have personaly always preferred to owe money at the end of the tax year – thereby giving me access to those funds throughout the year. But if I wasn’t as good at saving and investing my money, it might be better to have that money come back in a refund. In which case, I could then invest the proceeds rather than spending it.

      Do you agree?

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      1. distilleddollar

        Yep! I’m on the same page with having the money throughout the year rather than getting one large check at the end of the year.

        I often let people know they might be able to adjust their withholdings with their employers and that it is another option worth looking into. The choice is mostly influenced by individual spending/saving habits, so I let them know the pros and cons as well.

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  3. FinanceSuperhero

    It is never too late to spread awareness!

    For the past two years, I have co-facilitated Financial Peace University in an effort to spread financial literacy. While I do not wholeheartedly follow the program recommendations to a T, I endorse FPU because I have seen the way the program can help people who are completely lost turn it around in a hurry.

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    1. Financial Slacker

      I am not familiar with Financial Peace University. I will check it out.


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  4. Stefan @Mllnnlbudget

    Spreading awareness is crucial for this topic. It is never too late to become financially literate and I am glad to see so many bloggers posting about it. I look forward to looking into Money Smart Week. Thanks for including my article in your post!

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    1. Financial Slacker


      It was a great article. The bullets that you highlighted demonstrating the financial literacy deficiencies are astounding. I am especially concerned about the lack of an emergency fund of as little as $2000.

      Essentially, without an emergency fund, something like a car accident requires you to spend the money on a credit card that you cannot afford to pay. And from there, you can easily get caught in the interest trap.

      Thanks for bringing up this issue.

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  5. Dividendsdownunder

    Money smart week should be a money smart year or money smart life. I think teaching your kids good money habits is one of the best things you can teach. It could literally make millions of dollars difference to them.


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    1. Financial Slacker


      Just yesterday, I was explaining the concept of compound interest to my son. I have found that when I verbally go through it, he has a little trouble grasping. But when I put it into a spreadsheet and show him how much he can earn by saving and investing his allowance, it makes much more sense to him.

      The key is getting to something that they can relate to.


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      1. Dividendsdownunder

        I’m glad he understands it that way. I’ve also run through compound interest on a spreadsheet to a younger family member. Who doesn’t love a good spreadsheet?


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        1. Financial Slacker

          I use spreadsheets for everything and have for many years.

          Even when I have information available in another more automated form, I tend to manually enter it into a spreadsheet for further analysis.

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