April is Financial Literacy Month! And I want to take a break on our journey to recognize it. While some organizations have been highlighting the importance of financial literacy for years, it wasn’t until 2003 that Congress made it official, and President Barack Obama kicked it off this year. In light of events that have occurred over the past two years, it’s no secret that everyone needs to not only become financially literate but to take responsibility for their financial lives. To celebrate this occasion, there are resources galore all over the internet to help you get your finances on track. Here are three of my favorites:
Money Management International’s (MMI) Financial Literacy Month site (www.financialliteracymonth.com). This site includes 30 Steps to Financial Wellness and as the name implies, they have 30 steps you can follow (one for each day in April or any month) to get on track as well as tips and gadgets, and even commitment certificates for accountability. MMI is a nonprofit organization, a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA), and they offer credit counseling services.
One of the big highlights of Financial Literacy Month is to get kids involved, and I believe this is extremely important. If you have kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews, or you are a teacher, there are resources available to help you. One resource is the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. They are a national coalition of organizations dedicated to helping kids from kindergarten through college to prepare to make life-long successful financial decisions and they offer a multitude of resources to help kids become financially literate. Visit www.jumpstart.org for more information.
Bankrate.com is one of my standby favorites. Although they didn’t have anything specifically slated for Financial Literacy Month, they do have a 12-month series on Financial Literacy that you can take online, as well as articles on current money topics. This is also a great place to compare bank, credit card, and auto or mortgage rates before you buy or refinance. In fact, if you are considering purchasing or refinancing a mortgage, they are reporting that rates are down this week. Here is a link to their Weekly Roundup video on mortgage rates.