Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Financial Literacy Month!

Yay! Time to celebrate! In case you didn't know, President Obama signed a proclamation declaring April National Financial Literacy Month! The government has a website ( to help you understand basic money management skills, like how to start saving for retirement or how to buy your first home. There's different sections and topics for almost any money question you have. Another great thing - there are links to understand the different government programs, like the Making Home Affordable Act (helps homeowners stay in their homes) and different tax incentives on purchases.

I think it's great that there's a movement to learn more about money, with particular emphasis on saving. In 2007, it was reported that Americans actually had a negative savings rate! With everything that's happened in the last few years, I think it's starting to change. According to this Bankrate survey, most people are planning to use their 2009 refund to pay down debt or to save and invest. Only 7% of people are going to spend it on shopping or vacationing.

Although I'm glad there is some sort of a national movement to learn about money, many people learn when it's too late. Why isn't financial literacy a mandatory topic in schools? I would argue it's just as important as algebra (do you use algebraic equations on a daily basis?) or Shakespeare (iambic pentameter anyone?).

So do your part and celebrate Financial Literacy Month by learning more about your relationship with money! I'm going to start researching a Roth IRA - what's a financial topic you're going to take time to explore?

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