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!
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.