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National financial capability month

April 1, 2014

Hello Everyone,

It’s April and for many families it means a few things:  April Fool’s Day, Spring weather with some April showers, and about two more months left until Summer vacation.  It is also the start of National Financial Capability Month.  What’s National Financial Capability Month (also known as Financial Literacy Month)?  As declared last year by President Obama in this proclamation:

All Americans deserve the chance to turn their hard work into a decent living for their families and a bright future for their children. Seizing that opportunity takes more than drive and initiative — it also requires smart financial planning. During National Financial Capability Month, we recommit to empowering individuals and families with the knowledge and tools they need to get ahead in today’s economy.

But what does that mean for us kids?  We don’t have credit card debt or bills.  How can we better manage our finances besides putting a lock on our piggy banks?  Here are a few things to consider helping manage your money:

1. Where does all my money go?

You get allowance from your parents or money on your birthdays yet it seems to disappear faster than pizza on your plate.  If you’re unaware of your spending habits, try writing down your expenses throughout the month.  You’ll learn a lot about where you spend your money the most and can learn what luxuries you can cut back on so that you can save a dollar or two.

2. Saving for a goal.

A recent Daily Finances (dailyfinances.com) article mentioned “saving for a goal” as a specific financial literacy skills tip.  We’ve previously discussed the difference between needs vs. wants.  Try making a savings goal plan for something you either really need or really want.  You can save a portion of your allowance towards this goal.  This will help you learn to budget wisely.

3. Opening up a bank account.

You’d be surprised how many young adults don’t even have a savings account.  Use National Financial Capability Month to look into children-friendly checking and savings accounts.  This can be the start to managing money wisely and beginning to save for the future.

What ways will you be participating in National Financial Capability Month?  Share your ideas in the comments.

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