Financial Literacy Month
April is Financial Literacy Month and a great time to think about important lessons everyone can learn about finances. Whether you’re a parent looking to make talking money with your kids easier or a professional looking for a few tips, there’s always something to learn. Here are some fun activities you can do to expand your financial knowledge.
Build a list of needs and wants
One of the best ways to build an efficient budget is to start from a list of priorities. What do you spend your money on each month? Make a list of all your expenses. Then, break them into one of three categories.
The first category is the essential, non-negotiable bills. These are your big-ticket essentials that have serious consequences for missed payments. Your auto loan, your rent or mortgage, your utilities, and your taxes go here. This is the bare minimum you need to bring in each month. The second category is the essential, negotiable obligations. These are unsecured loans such as credit cards and student debt. You need to pay them, but if you have to miss a payment, these are the ones to miss. Paying these off is a priority after you make your essential payments, and you may have some room to negotiate and reduce these payments if things get dicey.The third category is the nonessential spending. This is everything else you spend money on each month. This is the best place to make cuts when you want to shift your priorities.
Making a list of priorities is the first step to making solid plans and reshaping your own financial destiny. When you know where your money is going, you can start to move from financially existing to intentionally spending. That’s the beginning of improved financial literacy.
Make financial literacy the topic of your book club this month.
Choose a book that’s related to money to talk about at your virtual or in-person book club. You can choose a classic like The Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad Poor Dad, or a newer bestseller like I Will Teach You to be Rich.
Research one personal finance question each day.
Have you always wondered which of the two popular debt-crushing methods (avalanche and snowball) is used more often? Do you know the difference between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA? Look up the answer to one personal finance question like these each day of April. By the end of the month, you’ll have amassed a considerable amount of financial knowledge!
Start reading a financial blog.
There’s no shortage of blogs that explore financial topics. Browse through the most popular to find the one that best speaks your language. Some choice financial blogs include The Penny Hoarder, Money Crashers and Money Under 30.
Commit to a new financial goal.
Financial literacy is all about using your knowledge to make better financial decisions. Use the opportunity of this month to commit to one financial goal in an area you find challenging. For example, you can resolve to create a monthly budget and stick to it. You can work on building up an emergency fund. Or, you can finally take the plunge and start investing. Choose one goal, and work at it until you’ve achieved it!
Financial literacy is a crucial skill for maintaining financial wellness through every stage of life. Take advantage of the opportunities available and create your own learning experiences to broaden your financial literacy this month. By expanding your financial knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make responsible money decisions!
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