National Financial Literacy Month

How Children Develop Money Habits

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HOW CHILDREN DEVELOP MONEY HABITS

Most people get their money habits and skills from their parents and caregivers.  That’s why it’s important that parents and caregivers  have some background in how children develop, financially.

Ultimately, most adults seek financial well-being. Research shows that people feel they have financial well-being when they:

  • Have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances;
  • Have the capacity to absorb a financial shock;
  • Are on track to meet their financial goals; and
  • Have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow them to enjoy life

By helping your children develop important behaviors, knowledge, skills, and personal traits – when they are developmentally ready – you can help put them on a path to financial well-being in adulthood.

Keep in mind that you’re teaching about money, on purpose or not

Your children are constantly watching and listening, so they might absorb more than you think. When you shop for a bargain, or splurge on a treat, or plan a special occasion, you’re showing your kids how you think about money.

Don’t worry too much about things you don’t know

Don’t feel confident about money matters? You’re in good company. Most people don’t. And that’s okay. Every day, you excel at something your children need to learn – whether it’s managing your time between work and home, saving money when you shop, or planning for a future event. Use these as teaching moments and you will be surprised at just how much your child learns, no matter what their age.

This year’s theme for National Financial Literacy Month is Envision a Financially Literate Future. That is why it is imperative that we teach our youth to be financially literate. During Financial Literacy Month let’s focus on the financial education of our nation’s youth. Comment below and tell us what you are doing to promote financial literacy during this month, and how will you keep promoting financial literacy once this month is over.

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Today Is Financial Literacy Hill Day

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Today Is Financial Literacy Hill Day

‘Hill Day’ History

Financial Literacy Day on the Hill was introduced in 2003 by the Council for Economic Education, Junior Achievement and the Jump$tart Coalition, with the office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka serving as the original honorary host. Over the years, “Hill Day” as it’s come to be known, has evolved from a small gathering to a public event that attracts hundreds of participants. The location of the event alternates, each year, between an office location on the House of Representatives side and the Senate side of “the Hill.” This year, it’s in Hart Room 902 of the Senate Office Building.

U.S. Representative Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15) has served as honorary co-host on the House side since 2005, along with Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13). In 2013 Representative, Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) took over for Rep. Biggert following her departure from Congress.  U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) served as honorary co-hosts on the Senate side until Senator Akaka’s retirement.  U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) joined Senator Enzi as honorary co-host in 2014. The event features a free buffet lunch and the financial literacy exhibits from more than 60 non-profit, for-profit, and government entities.

Laura Levine, president and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition, has served as the event emcee each year since 2004, representing the many coalition partners that participate.

 

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How To Become Financially Literate (Revised)

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how to become financially literate

In honor of National Financial Literacy month, I decided to revise this list of things that you can do become financially literate. It is never too early or too late to become financially literate. NOW is the time to take control of your finances and put yourself on the road to financial security and freedom. Being financially literate allows you to earn more, spend less and obtain the things you really want.

Financial literacy is just another way to say you are financially fit. When you are financially fit, you are able to make informed choices about your finances, and you understand how those choices will impact your wallet and your life. Financially literate people plan for their future and can manage financial surprises, because they have trained for these situations by saving and planning. To enjoy the benefits of financial literacy, you have to train. You must obtain, information, knowledge and skills and apply them in order to make good choices in how you treat your money.

Do you ever think about how you treat your money? Do you save it, or spend it all the dame day you get it? Do you pay all of your bills first and hope that you have enough left over for your basic needs? No matter what you answered to these questions or what your relationship is with money, or what your level of financial literacy is, you can start right now to improve your financial situation and become more financially literate. Here are 10 things you can do to become more financially literate.

  1. Become familiar with your household finances.

    Know exactly how much money you have coming in and exactly how much you have going out. Review your online bank statements daily or weekly. Make sure to have a paper copy of that bank statement as well. Find out how much of your money goes in the bank and for what, other than your normal monthly bills, it comes out. Go through your monthly bills so you know exactly whom you pay each month for what and how much.

  2. Set a financial goal

    A while back, I wrote a post on setting financial goals. If you missed it, you can review it here. Setting a financial goal or goals, makes being financially responsible much easier. Decide on what your goal or goals may be and make sure that it is something that you want that you have to save for.

  3. Develop a budget and stick to it

    I cannot stress this enough. Once you know how much is coming in and going out and you have a financial goal, you will need to develop a budget that you can stick with.

  4. Watch television programs offering financial advice

    Some television channels that offer sage financial advice and planning are: CNBC TV, BLOOMBERG TV, Nightly Business Report, CNN, Fox Business News

  5. Read newspapers and magazines

    Read newspapers and magazines that are geared toward money matters. Some great publications are: The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Kiplinger Letter, Barons, Fortune, Forbes and Money

  6. Use government resources 

    Uncle Sam, is making a marked effort to see that U.S. citizens have ample opportunities to learn about personal finance. Check out these websites for more information on financial literacy. http://promotions.usa.gov/newyear.html, here you can order up to 5 packets to start managing your finances like a pro. Financial literacy and education commission is affiliated with the U.S. Treasury Department, and its mission is to improve financial literacy by coordinating efforts between the public and the private sector.MyMoney.gov is a website dedicated to teaching the basics about financial education. You can find assistance with things, such as, balancing a check book, investing in a 401(k), or purchasing a home.

  7. Set up a wealth building system

    Once you have set your financial goals, transfer money to accounts to automatically begin saving for those goals.

  8. Purchase Financial Tools

    Buy a financial calculator from HP, Texas Instruments, Sharp, Casio, or Canon. A financial calculator performs functions such as calculating loan payments, interest rates, percentages, amortization schedules, and cash flow. They also solve time-value-of-money calculations such as annuities, mortgages, leases, and savings.

    Invest in a financial dictionary, such as:

    • Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms (Barron’s Financial Guides)
    • Standard & Poor’s Dictionary of Financial Terms
    • Webster’s New World Finance and Investment Dictionary
    • Wall Street Lingo: Thousands of Investment Terms Explained Simply
  9. Help Your Children learn

    Open a savings account and teach your kids how to save. Starting to learn about money management when young is key to improving financial literacy as an adult. Organizations likeJump $tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a national coalition of organizations, tries to improve the financial literacy of K-12 and college students through advocacy, research, standards, and educational resources.

  10. Start Now

    It is never too late to improve your knowledge about financial matters. Increase your knowledge about investing, estate planning, social security, how credit cards work, credit scores, saving for the future, social security, real estate, insurance, retirement, and taxes. Tackle one topic at a time. Start with the one you are most interested in learning and begin to build a solid foundation of financial know-how.

Becoming financially literate does not happen overnight, nor is it accomplished by reading just one book. It happens through education, practical experience, and life lessons.

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Money Lessons For Kids

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Money Lessons for kids

Our youth have a deep lack of understanding when it comes to properly managing finances. I know my two older grandchildren want to run to the store every time they receive money. It has been a monumental uphill battle to train them how to manage their money. Statistics have generated a national movement to incorporate financial literacy into our education system and encourage parents to teach money management lessons at home.

Currently, only 17 states require a course in personal finance in order to graduate high school. It is imperative that young Americans learn financial literacy at home. Teaching kids how to appropriately manage their finances is essential so they have the necessary tools to become financially responsible adults. In honor of financial literacy month, I decided I would give you some tips on how I taught my children and how I currently teach my grandchildren about personal finance and money management.

1. Use Cash

While it’s true that credit and debit cards are more convenient, children are paying attention to how you manage your money. Using plastic doesn’t allow them to see the actual exchange of money for purchases. When you use cash,children will see the transaction take place, and witness the exchange of cash for goods or services. It drives home the point that in order to make a purchase you have to hand over your hard-earned cash

2. Bank/ATM Visits

A visit to the bank or the ATM is a great way to explain where money comes from. Children can see that the bank doesn’t just give out money; it’s a place to store the money you’ve earned, as well as the place where you can go if you need to take out a loan. Many local banks will be happy to provide a quick tour of their location, which will show your child how money is stored and transacted.

3. Grocery Shopping

If you are like me, you hate to take your children to the grocery store, because they want and beg for everything they see. Although I hate to take them, a trip to the grocery store is a great opportunity to begin building basic money management habits. Parents can show children the benefits of comparison shopping and how to stretch a dollar as far as it can go. While shopping together, parents can talk to their children about the price of each item and explain how using coupons can add up to huge savings. At the checkout counter, parents can have children count out the money needed for their purchases, as well as take part in the transaction.

4. Needs vs. Wants

This is a place where my grandchildren struggle. They feel that every want is a need. I have to constantly explain to them that just because they want something does not mean that they need it. One of the basis for good money management skills is the ability to distinguish between wants and needs. For example, people need food to survive, but children want a new toy or video game. This will build the foundation for appropriately managing finances as an adult and help kids learn to appreciate saving money for items they want.

5. Build A Budget

Explaining the difference between wants and needs to children can be tough. To help with this, have your child sit down with you as you create your monthly budget. Explain the purpose of accounting for all your monthly expenses and financial responsibilities first, and then see how much money is left over to save or to make the purchases you want. Parents can also help their kids create their own budget. Even though they don’t have many expenses, it is good practice for the future and allows them to see where their money goes as they spend it.

We all want our children to do well in life, and part of that hinges on them being able to effectively and appropriately manage money. If you aren’t teaching your kids about personal finance, now would be a great time to start.

 

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Five Steps Toward Financial Wellness

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5 steps to financial wellness

 As noted yesterday, April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Consumers are feeling more pinched each week with rapidly increasing gas and food prices and sluggish economic growth.  According to a recent survey by Career Builder, 77 percent of American consumers are living paycheck to paycheck.

Financial Literacy Month is the perfect opportunity for individuals and families to change their financial situation by learning about important financial matters, such as, creating and managing a budget, paying down debt while saving for emergencies, and creating achievable financial goals.  Here at TracieBThreadford.com, we care about your financial future. We are committed to bringing you the financial education you need to reach your financial goals.    

The following five steps will help you on the path toward financial wellness:

  1. Make a commitment.  Changing your relationship with money is not an easy task; it takes hard work and a strong commitment. Visit FinancialLiteracyMonth.com and take the pledge to start on the path toward financial security.
  2. Assess your financial situation – A simple quiz can help you understand your current financial position.  Knowing where you are today will help you determine the best path toward meeting your financial goals.
  3. Get organized – Getting your financial house organized is a great way to begin on a clear path toward financial wellness.
  4. Set priorities – Understanding the difference between needs and wants will help you establish financial priorities and set realistic goals.
  5. Live on a budget – Spending less than you earn is easier said than done, but a solid budget is the most important element of any successful financial plan.

Changing your financial habits and your relationship with money can be hard work, but the payoff is priceless. The important thing to remember while on your journey to financial freedom is to stay flexible. Revisit your financial plan often and make changes as needed.”

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Today Is The Beginning Of Financial Literacy Month

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today is the beginning of financial literacy month

Today marks the beginning of Financial Literacy Month. In case you have never heard of this, let me tell you a little about it. According to the White House proclamation, National Financial Capability Month is a time to renew our support for “informed financial decisions that will open doors to the middle class and help ensure economic security for all.” 

Today, a majority of consumers are experiencing some sort of financial difficulty causing a significant impact on their everyday lives. In fact, Americans carry more than $2 trillion in consumer debt and 30 percent of consumers report having no extra cash; making it impossible to escape the burden of living paycheck to paycheck.

The United States has recognized April as Financial Literacy Month since 2003, and for good reason. Too many Americans are insufficiently educated about their personal finances. No matter what day or month of the year a consumer begins their 30 step path to financial wellness, it will help them to create a successful strategy to better their overall financial position. National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

State Of The Financial Union

In major American cities today, nearly half (45 percent) of households are living in a state of persistent financial insecurity with almost no savings to cover emergencies or plan for the future. I believe that given the opportunity, each of these households can save, build assets and create a more prosperous future for themselves and their children. To reach that goal, some families require support to improve their financial capability by helping them increase their financial knowledge, skills, and access to fair and affordable financial products.

Financial capability, unlike financial education, is not learned solely in a classroom. It needs to be developed over time and made available during key decision-making moments throughout a person’s life, such as when they leave home for the first time, buy a house or rent an apartment, get a new job, have a child or pay taxes. And to ensure maximum impact, trusted financial advice and products need to be embedded in trusted institutions, such as schools, workplaces and community centers.

Research shows that the precursors for financial well-being in adulthood — such as good decision-making skills and attitudes about finances — are built during childhood and youth. That means we need to start early, arming young people with financial skills that will help them become financially capable adults.

Many states now require financial education in schools, but knowing how to save, budget and build credit is only the first step. Becoming financially capable also requires practice. One pilot study, for example, found that pairing financial education with the opportunity to “practice” using a real savings account enhanced students’ knowledge of financial information.

Many of the country’s financial institutions and nonprofit financial educational organizations promote the month by holding promotional events and creating educational materials that center around effectively handling money and dealing with debt.

Won’t you consider joining millions of others on the journey to financial literacy and inevitably, financial freedom?

 

 

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What Is Financial Literacy Month

 

What Is Financial Literacy Month
Financial Literacy

In just a few more day’s, April 1, we will begin National Financial Literacy Month. I just wanted to five you a little history lesson on how it evolved from one day to an entire month.

Financial Literacy Month History

National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in the United States in April in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Financial Literacy Month evolved from Youth Financial Literacy Day, introduced by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) more than a decade ago as an activity of its High School Financial Planning Program. NEFE turned Financial Literacy Day over to the Jump$tart Coalition to promote among its network of national partners and state coalitions. Jump$tart expanded the day and in 2000, began promoting April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month. In 2003, the United States Senate designated April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month. In March 2004, the Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month, and both Houses of Congress have passed similar resolutions each year since then.

In 2010, President Obama issued a proclamation reasserting the importance of personal financial literacy for all Americans. Financial Literacy Month is an opportunity for financial corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies to promote educational initiatives and resources. In 2012, President Obama first proclaimed April National Financial Capability Month. The Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement, and the Council for Economic Education founded “Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill” in 2003, which has since been held every April. Financial Literacy Day offers the Members of Congress, their staffers, and the general public an opportunity to learn about the financial literacy effort and experience educational products from more than 60 sponsors and exhibitors.

The building blocks to financial well-being are made of focus, control and action. Fear has most people clenched in its grasp. Don’t let yourself be part of that group. Turn your financial fear into focus.

Focus on what you CAN control – your own spending and how you spend your time. Financial Literacy Month offers many tools and resources for financial education and tips for taking advantage of opportunities to increase your financial success. By taking control of your own financial decisions, you will not only impact your own financial well-being, your positive actions will also impact your community, your state, your nation and the world economies.

This is your opportunity to put yourself back in the driver’s seat! Review your last several months bank statements. Exactly what are you spending your money on? It adds up quickly. Did you know that if you brewed your favorite coffee at home instead of buying it on the way to work every morning you could save yourself over $1000 this year? (And that is just one cup a day…) With that simple change in your routine, you would save $1000 and still have your favorite coffee every morning! With this being said, some people find it difficult to manage their money and also have no idea where they want to invest their money if the thought is bought up. This is why is would be good to look into something like Financial Analysts, who can help you make these decisions.

During Financial Literacy Month take advantage of the opportunities being offered. Make a pledge to yourself that you are ready, willing and able to take responsibility of your financial future. It is the first step towards achieving financial health. It is during times like these when great fortunes will be made by people who educate themselves and take action.

There is a saying, “For things to change, you must change.” The first step is always the hardest. Promise yourself to do just one thing at a time….and start today! By taking action today…Tomorrow will be a brighter day.

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