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Celebrate April - Financial Literacy Month!

Celebrate April - Financial Literacy Month!

            One of the many special designations April enjoys is Financial Literacy Month.  But what is financial literacy? Earning, saving, spending, investing, budgeting, collecting, and giving are all part of handling money.  And handling money wisely is what financial literacy is all about.

            Here are some tips from the Financial Planning Association and its members on how you can become more financially literate.

·         Think short-term. Set up a short-term financial goal and then tell one person so that he or she can help you in achieving that goal.

·         Think small. If a year-long budget seems overwhelming try a one month plan or a goals focusing only on adding to your savings account.

·         Track your spending.  Ask each member of the family to track their spending for a month, then meet at the end to discuss what they find,

·         Start reading a financial management magazine or consumer advice magazine such as Consumer Reports.   At first some of the money management terms may be difficult to follow but with time you’ll feel comfortable with them.

·         Open a savings account.  Ask for info on rates for different lengths and amount of dollars invested.  Read the info given to you by the financial institution and then make your own outline comparing the advantages of each type of account. 

·         Request a copy of your statement of earnings from Social Security at http://www.ssa.gov or

·         1-800-772-1213.  Compare your benefits based on different ages of retirement.

·         It's never too early to start learning about the value of a dollar and how to spend that dollar wisely.  Include your kids in grocery shopping, comparing prices of cereal and calculating how much they need to save for a wish-list video game, bike or sports shoes.

·         Have your financial questions answered at www.eXtension.org.  The eXtension Financial Security for All Community of Practice includes extension personal finance experts from across the U.S. Just type in your question and it will be answered quickly and concisely.

·         Investigate other reliable websites to learn more about money.  Try the Jump$tart coalition web site at www.jump$start.org for easy to follow info on a variety of money topics.

 

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