April is Financial Literacy Month

_financial_literacyI recently discovered that April is Financial Literacy Month.

Wow! An entire month dedicated to helping people get smarter about their money and financial decisions.

On March 31, President Obama signed a presidential proclamation announcing that April 2011 is National Financial Literacy Month. While I think we should focus on financial literacy every single day of the year, this is a good start.

The website, www.financialliteracymonth.com has a plethora of tools and ideas for making you a better manager of your finances. In fact, there is a 30 step process designed to help you take steps every day for a month. I really like the idea of baby steps for people that have poor habits or just haven’t been shown how to take care of their money.

The first step and probably the most important in the process is Committing to Change. It explores a key question and the basis for the whole process:

Are you ready to accept responsibility for changing your financial situation?

It goes on with the asking you to take a pledge for financial wellness. I absolutely love, love, love this! 

  1. I will make informed financial decisions, understanding the differences between wants and needs.
  2. I will communicate with my family about money matters so that we are all working toward the same goals.
  3. I will be aware of the effects of advertising on the financial decisions I make, and resolve not to be influenced by them.
  4. I will take care of my finances today by tracking expenses and creating a budget that is flexible and realistic.
  5. I will take care of my finances tomorrow by saving for my future.
  6. I will meet the credit obligations I have made on time and as agreed.
  7. I will continue my personal education about financial health, budgeting, credit, and personal debt.
  8. I will plan for periodic expenses, including the next holiday season.
  9. By good example, I will teach my children the importance of budgeting, saving, and the wise use of credit.
  10. If I am over-obligated, I will take the necessary steps to seek assistance.

If you stick with these 10 commandments you will be well on your way to dramatically improving your situation. I have written in my blog extensively about needs vs. wants, debt, saving, credit and educating yourself about money.

If you are reading this article now. Take the pledge on the Financial Literacy website and subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already. I took the pledge myself. As I explore this website and Financial Literacy Month further, I’ll report back.

Get started!