April is the perfect time to polish up your financial strategy to improve your outlook.
April is National Financial Literacy Month and Consolidated Credit is encouraging people to take some time over the next 30 days to focus on their finances and clean out of the financial clutter. This is the perfect time to take advantage of the range of free resources that are available, so you can polish up your financial strategy to better achieve your goals.
What is national financial literacy month?
Financial Literacy Month started in 2000 as a way to promote financial literacy for youth, specifically high school students that would be transitioning soon to financial independence. The National Endowment for Financial Education partnered with the Jump$tart Coalition to raise awareness on the importance of financial literacy.
In 2004 the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to officially recognize April as National Financial Literacy Month. After all, most adults in the United States never received any formal education on personal finance during school. As a result, statistics show that financial literacy, overall, is low in the U.S. Financial Literacy Month encourages people to focus on their finances and learn valuable skills that are critical for achieving long-term stability and success.
Understanding the importance of financial literacy
“Financial literacy is low in the United States and that presents a big challenge for people who are trying to manage their money day to day,” says April Lewis-Parks, Director of Financial Education at Consolidated Credit. “It happens often that people don’t have the knowledge they need to make the right choices when it comes to their money. It’s particularly problematic when people encounter challenges with things like debt, because they don’t know how to get out of debt effectively when their balances get too big for their budget to handle.”
Having a high level of financial literacy means that you’re both familiar and comfortable with key financial topics, including:
- How credit and financing works
- Effective strategies for managing debt
- How to budget to save money consistently
- Basic investing and long-term saving strategies for retirement
- How to achieve major life goals, such as buying a home
“When it comes to personal finance, knowledge really is power,” Lewis-Parks continues. “You need to understand how to manage your money and you need to really know and understand your own financial outlook in order to be successful.”
Of course, just sitting down at the computer and trying to use Google to study personal finance isn’t exactly engaging or effective. So, Lewis-Parks says one of the best ways to build financial literacy this month is to focus on your finances for a little spring cleaning.
“As you get familiar with the ins and outs of your own financial outlook, you may find areas where you lack key information you need to make informed choices,” Lewis-Parks explains. “This will give you a roadmap of where your financial literacy may be lacking. Then you can go look for specific resources that help in those areas.”
Tips for Starting a Financial Spring Cleaning Plan
To help you kickstart your financial spring cleaning plan, Consolidated Credit created a helpful on-demand webinar that walks you step by step through a thorough spring cleaning strategy.
Watching this webinar will help you understand all the areas of personal finance that should get your attention over the next month. This will also help you see where you may need to expand your financial knowledge. For example, if you’re not sure how to assess the value of your investment accounts, then you can read up on retirement savings. Or if you’re not sure you have the right checking and savings accounts for your needs, you can brush up on banking.
Once you know what you need to focus on in your finances, Consolidated Credit has created 12 sets of financial resources that cover a variety of topics. These will help you hone your financial strategy while you learn at your own pace.
If you run into anything you don’t understand, we also offer a helpful Ask the Expert section of our website. You can ask a question and get the answer you need from a certified financial coach, so you can have confidence that you’re getting the right information.