April is Financial Literacy Month, and various events and financial literacy-related initiatives are springing up across the country to help raise awareness about this crucial subject.
Some noteworthy events are organized by the Jump$tart Coalition. Since 2004, this national campaign has been building awareness about the importance of financial education and the consequences that come from a lack of it. While their mission is to advocate for financial literacy for everyone, they’re especially focused on educating our children in schools before they become adults.
I am largely self-taught when it comes to financial literacy, mainly because I didn’t have a choice. My parents did set me up with a bank account when I was a kid, but then I was left to my own devices. So, through plenty of trial and error, I learned all the skills I could in order to become financially literate and take care of myself and my family: earning, saving, spending, investing, credit and debt management, and more.
My story is not that uncommon, unfortunately. Because financial literacy is not widely taught in the home or in schools, many children do not grow up to become financially literate adults. That’s why we see so many issues with excessive debt and credit card spending coupled with a lack of safety reserves.
In 2020, the American Psychological Association found in their survey that nearly 2 in 3 adults say money is a significant source of stress in their lives. According to Bloomberg, consumer debt has surged to a record high in 2022. Personal finance challenges and debt are clearly a national problem.
How to get involved
This month is a great opportunity to talk about the importance of saving, budgeting, giving, and investing amongst your family. Allow everyone to take a minute to discuss their strengths and weaknesses with respect to financial literacy (without judgment!). And, maybe just as important, explore ways to help others outside of your inner circle become financially literate.
With so many wonderful online resources, we have the tools to help us raise financially literate children and young adults. Let’s continue to build awareness and get young people excited about success in their financial lives and beyond.
More resources for your family
If you’d like to learn more about how to talk to your family about these topics, check out some of our articles below:
In our new series, we set out to prove that first-generation obstacles can be overcome. Whether you immigrated to this country or you’re the child of immigrants, it’s not uncommon for us to be the first in our families to even dream of generational wealth.
Sometimes it’s not your kids you need to worry about. The topic of money can be especially uncomfortable when it’s a conversation between you and your aging parents. Here are a few tips about how to approach the subject.
Check out this insightful Q&A with a fellow investor about overcoming barriers to get to financial freedom and learning about financial literacy along the way.
Ways to support
Here are links to financial literacy organizations working to educate young people:
Looking back, I can see how much easier life would have been, had I known about personal finance early on. From budgeting to conversations about giving, National Financial Literacy Month is the perfect time to inspire your family—or even just yourself—to get to know your finances and better ways to manage them moving forward.