In 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:
- Work with your children to teach them the concepts of income, expense, saving, and investing
- Volunteer to teach an adult education class on financial literacy
- If your employer will allow it, schedule a lunch and learn to help educate your co-workers
- Start a personal finance website
If you have other suggestions about how to improve financial literacy, please comment below.