It may be freezing rain here, but April has arrived, and it is a fantastic day. April 1st kicks off the first day of Financial Literacy Month! In 2004, the Senate officially declared April Financial Literacy Month to combat the lack of financial education available to Americans. Did you know that two-thirds of Americans are financially illiterate, according to a recent FINRA study? Or that only 17 states require a personal finance course for high school students? It is time to fight back and take control of our money!
I know some of you are thinking that you don’t need FLM. You’ve got everything under control and you’re already financially literate. But how sure are you? Take the National Financial Literacy Test and find out the truth! If you have some time this weekend, I challenge you to have your children take the test as well. They may not know the answers, but it will get them thinking and asking good questions.
Regardless of your test scores, your kids still need to learn about money to develop into financially secure adults. Use financial literacy month to start a conversation about money in your home. Even a little bit goes a long way!
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How can you use financial literacy month to educate your children?
Financial Literacy Month was first and foremost created for educating kids. In 2003, the Senate named April Financial Literacy Month for Youth, before broadening the scope in 2004. The best way to honor FLM this year is to get your kids involved! Wouldn’t it be great if they never had to ask “why didn’t someone teach me this” when they grow up? Here are some resources to get started:
- Read about how to hold an effective family budget meeting, download the free toolkit, and start an effective discussion about money with your kids today!
- Set up a family bank to give your kids the regular experience of using an online bank, but in a safe way that is meant for them. Read about why I love FamZoo and get your kids set up with an account today.
- Check out my free ebook on what your preschooler needs to know about money and how you can best teach them. The book includes 4 fun resources to give your kids hands-on lessons!
- Take a look at our five ways to involve your kids in the family budget and start teaching them about money today! It doesn’t take much time at all to get them involved, and they will be much better off for it down the road.
- Get your middle schooler a book that is engaging and teaches them the basics of money. I have five awesome choices here.
- For your teens, talk to them about college as an investment to help them think about college as more than a rite of passage. Introduce them to the Roadmap to Financial Health to let them learn the basics of budgeting, saving and investing before they enter the adult world.
But what if you want to get a little smarter too?
Want to use FLM to improve your own knowledge on money? Fantastic! I have lots of information here on the blog to help you get a little smarter including the Roadmap to Financial Health noted above, the basics of how to build a budget, an explanation on what mutual funds really are, and details on why your financial advisor may not have your back. You can also subscribe to Mama Fish Saves (see the sidebar) and get regular financial tips right to your inbox.
My favorite reads
- Financial Literacy Chronicles: Jack at Enwealthen is doing an amazing interview series talking to a top financial blogger every day of the month about their experiences with money and their topic advice they would offer to others. It kicks off with The Green Swan today and will include some superstars like Sam from Financial Samurai. Check it out each day; you may even see someone you recognize!
- 10 Commandments of Fruclassity: The blog Fruclassity is all about living frugally with class. I love their 10 Commandments as a way to guide your financial life. It is a quick read dripping with wisdom.
- Create a College Compact: This post from Chief Mom Officer lays out how you can be intentional with the college plan for your kids. Make it clear to them what you are willing to pay for and what you expect from them to make their college experience more thoughtful!
- Millionaire Next Door: This was one of the first books I read about personal finance and remains at the top of my favorites list. A quick and easy read, it shows you how the small decisions are what builds wealth. Stop keeping up with the Joneses, and become a millionaire!
- MONEY Master the Game: This book by Tony Robbins, world acclaimed motivational speaker, interviews top money experts from around the world to get their thoughts on the best money techniques for the average family. It is one of my favorites. And the best part? 100% of profits go to feeding America’s hungry!
Check back on Mama Fish this month for more ways to honor Financial Literacy Month in your home! The more you know, the more you have. Good luck!
Do you think you’re financially literate? Do you think you are helping your kids to be financially literate? What are your plans for FLM 2017? Let me know!
This post was proofread by Grammarly.