In March 2004 the Senate passed Resolution 316 to recognize April as National Financial Literacy Awareness Month and the House of Representatives followed suit in 2005. But it wasn’t until March 2011, when President Obama made an official proclamation. Unfortunately, too few Americans are aware of this or even understand what financial literacy is. Thanks to my Dad, financial literacy has been an important part of my life since I was thirteen.
According to The National Financial Educators Council, financial literacy is: “possessing the skills and knowledge on financial matters to confidently take effective action that best fulfills an individual’s personal, family and global community goals.”
My Dad taught me that “money smarts”, as he would say, comes from our ability to create joy for ourselves and others by using our money in alignment with our value system. As I grew older, I realized very few people did this. Most of the people I observed were consumed with having more stuff and their money beliefs were often negative and conflicted.
It led them to make poor money choices that not only hurt their pocketbook, but also their self-worth. I watched people around me try to fill the empty parts of themselves with flashy cars, designer clothes and the latest gadgets with little success. They were hurting terribly because no one had taught them how to think about money the way my father taught me. That’s when I decided to become a financial advisor. I wanted to help.
Every single person handles money so becoming financially literate shouldn’t be considered optional but a requirement. It’s never too late or too early to start learning about money. Too few know how to handle money properly, which hurts their long-term financial well-being.
The sixth annual Financial Literacy Survey of adults, conducted in 2012 revealed:
We see statistics and stories about high credit card debt and low savings rate and we grumble and worry and point fingers at who is to blame for this mess. A multitude of factors have brought us to this point, but now isn’t the time to assign blame – it’s time to take action and right this ship.
Over the next few weeks, in honor of National Financial Literacy Awareness Month, I’m going to share some practical tips to help you increase your own financial literacy and show you ways to pass along your knowledge to your children. I hope you will join me as as we work together to create a financial literate country, and it starts with you.
The Heavy Purse Store is now open! My new downloadable Money Club Workbooks are now on sale. Each workbook provides five targeted lessons to help you raise Financially Confident Kids. Please check them out in The Heavy Purse Store.
Photos courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.
I'm looking forward to reading what you have to share this month Shannon.
In fact, this post kind of inspired tomorrow's rant, thanks.
This is a very important issue though, I agree. I am rarely late on a payment. The only few times I was it just slipped my mind that it was due. That's rare but it's during those times when I have something going on in my family that I kind of lose track of that but I hate to be late on anything.
I was also taught by my Mom to not buy something you can't afford. I guess that's why I'm not a very materialistic person. They're just things and are of no significance to me.
Great topic you're bringing up for this month and I wasn't aware either. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and it's definitely a very important issue. Now if we could just reeducate everyone then we all might be better off.
Enjoy your week and month!
It's great your Mom taught you not buy things you can't afford. With credit cards these days, people have to be so much more disciplined and unfortunately few are, which is sending a bad message to our kids. I like "things" - but things that actually mean something to me. Too many people buy things they don't even really want but buy to keep up with everyone else.
I agree with have a lot of education/re-education to do and I'm happy to help play in role.
Thanks for stopping, Adrienne. I appreciate it!