Financial Literacy Month

National Financial Literacy Month

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National Financial Literacy Month

April is National Financial Literacy Month, which is designed to create awareness about the importance of personal financial education. Throughout the month, we share different financial tips designed to enhance your financial well being. Be sure to check out the page for financial tips and children's stories.

Money Strategies

  1. Have an emergency fund for unexpected events. These could include a job loss, car repairs or unplanned medical bills.
  2. Pay off the “right” debt first. Paying off a debt with a high interest rate usually makes much more sense than paying off a low interest debt.  Experts suggest tackling your high-rate credit cards first, then moving on to lower rate debt, like cars loans and mortgages.
  3. Maximize your employers 401K contribution. Be sure to contribute at least the percentage they are matching, to take full advantage of that benefit. By not contributing, you are leaving free money on the table.
  4. Avoid the “lifestyle creep”. When your income increases, you may find yourself splurging more often than you used to. This is “lifestyle creep”.  Instead, take that extra money and pay down debt or increase your savings goals.
mother and daughter looking over finances week 1

Steps to Budgeting

  1. Set your financial goals. Determine your financial goals by breaking them into short term and long-term goals. Short term is 0-5 years and long term is anything over 5 years.
  2. Track all your spending. Write or record all transactions for 30 days. Remember to include the little expenses too (coffee, pop, snacks etc.).
  3. Create spending categories. Examples of spending categories would be housing, transportation, savings, entertainment, daycare etc.
  4. Track your income. Track all the income that you receive monthly. If your income varies, compute the average income you receive each month over a 12-month period as your monthly income. Do not forget to include alimony, child support, social security, or any other monetary assistance.
  5. Reevaluate your budget frequently. Examine your budget and make the necessary adjustments on at least a quarterly basis. Remember, the goal is to spend less than you make.
man and woman looking at a laptop week 2

Budgeting Guidelines

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Financial Boardgames (Ages 5-8)

  1. The Allowance Game (ages 5-10)
  2. Monopoly Jr (ages 5+)
  3. Buy It Right (ages 6+)
  4. Cashflow For Kids (ages 6+)
  5. Card Game: Exact Change (ages 6+)
  6. Money Bags (ages 7+)
  7. Pay Day (ages 8+)
  8. Making Change Octominoes (ages 7+)
  9. Managing My Allowance (ages 8+)
  10. The Game of Life (ages 8+)

Financial Boardgames (Ages 9+)

  1. Monopoly -various versions (ages 9+)
  2. Act Your Wage! (ages 10+)
  3. The Stock Exchange Game (ages 10+)
  4. Millionaire Maker Board Game (ages 10+)
  5. The Stock Exchange Game (ages 10+)
  6. Millionaire Maker Board Game (ages 10+)
  7. Act Your Wage! (ages 10+)
  8. The Stock Exchange Game (ages 10+)
  9. Millionaire Maker Board Game (ages 10+)
  10. Thrive Time for Teens (ages 13+)
  11. Cashflow 101 (ages 14+)
  12. Bulls and Bears (ages 15+)

Tips to Raise Your Credit Score

  1. Credit does not have to equal debt. On a credit card,it is best to pay off your balance in full each month. By doing so, you will avoid finance charges. This will ensure you have good credit history when you need it.
  2. Pay your bills on time. Regular, consistent loan payments including credit cards, will raise your credit score over time. Your payment history is the largest percentage of your credit score.
  3. Try to keep your credit utilization low. Credit utilization refers to how much of your available credit that you use at a time. Keeping this number low will have a positive effect on your credit score over time.
  4. Time is Key. It takes time to build a credit history. Always have a plan on how to pay your debt back when you take it on. In addition, establishing a credit history early and creating longevity will impact your score in a positive way.
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The Makeup of a Credit Score

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Story Time Videos