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April is Financial Literacy Month

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April is Financial Literacy Month.  Well, April was Financial Literacy Month, and now the term literacy is being changed to Capability.  According to the National Endowment of Financial Education, “the name transitioned to Financial Capability Month in 2021 to emphasize the importance of opportunity when using financial knowledge.”  So welcome to National Financial Capability Month and welcome to the opportunity to increase your financial knowledge.

Depending on where you are on the spectrum,that could mean a lot to you, or it could mean nothing at all. There is never a good or bad time to have a financial check-in. Just as we are intentional about health checkups, financial checkups are just as necessary.  

First recognized in 2004, Financial Literacy Month is a way to highlight the importance of financial education, providing an opportunity to increase financial savvy and wealth building.  Now recognized annually by Presidential declaration.  According tothe US Department of Homeland Security:

“Financial literacy is key to understanding how to save, earn, borrow, invest, and protect your money wisely. It is also essential to developing short and long-term financial habits and skills which can lead to greater financial well-being.”

No matter what your financial situation may be, there is always the opportunity to improve or maintain your level of financial wellness.  From knowing if the information on your credit report is accurate, to understanding interest rates and savings, there is never a right or wrong time to increase your level of financial literacy.  If however, your financial situation has been a source of stress and you have been feeling that you don’t know where to start, here are a few tips to help you improve your financial well-being.  

Know that you do not have to pay anyone to help you fix, repair or improve your credit.  

You can ask for help but understand that it is not necessary to PAY someone to help you.  There are hundreds of free and reputable sources available to assist you on your credit improvement journey.  Locally State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin both have free financial literacy resources available on their websites.  


1.      If you are struggling financially, ask for help.  

Immediately contact your credit union or bank, credit card company, utility provider, mortgage company, or landlord. Although it’s never easy to ask for help, it’s better to work out a payment arrangement than to let the account fall behind.

2.      Check your credit report.

Pulling your credit report once a year to make sure the information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Reviewing your credit report will also help to guard against identity theft. Since the Public Health Emergency Period, consumers have been able to access their credit reports on a weekly basis. www.annualcreditreport.com is a recommended source.

3.      Begin Budgeting

Having a budget allows you to have a clear view of your income and expenses all in one place. It will help you live within your income, prioritize saving, and meet financial goals, today and in the future. Organizations such as the National Credit Union Association(NCUA) encourage you to use their Money Basics Guide to Budgeting andSaving.  Many other organizations have tools to help you develop and stick to a budget.

4.      Be mindful of scams and fraud.

Each year scam artists and identity thieves become savvier at stealing billions of dollars from unsuspecting consumers. Learn how to recognize common scams, protect yourself and your money, and take action if you think you are a victim of fraud.

5.      Learn Something New

If you are comfortable with your credit score but do not have any investments, learn more about investing.  Learn more about consumer protections or retirement plans. Learn to negotiate interest rates or how to ask for increases on credit cards.  Research any topic that may be of interest toyou.  






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