“National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in the United States in April in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.” Wikipedia
For many of us (me, most definitely) financial literacy was achieved at the Financial College of Hard Knocks. You finally learn how to conduct your finances properly after YEARS of doing it improperly and almost driving off the financial cliff. It’s like we spend our 20s making the mess, and our 30s digging out of it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we had just started off on the right foot? Or, now that it’s too late for us, that our KIDS get a good start? That’s the goal of Financial Literacy Month.
We will provide some helpful links in a bit. First, what are some of the basics of Financial Literacy? Here are some lessons you can impart to your kids, as provided by Huffington Post:
- Use Cash– perfect way to illustrate that when the money is gone, it’s GONE.
- Bank/ATM Visits– illustrates that money is a real thing. It changes hands, it gets stored away, it grows, it shrinks, it disappears!
- Grocery Shopping– have the kids count out your $84.16 and hand it to the lady!
- Brand Names/Store Brands – comparison shopping
- Wants vs. Needs – This is really the core, isn’t it?
- Build a Budget – If you buy all your wants, you don’t have much left for your needs, right?
- Pay Utility Bills Together – see, light and heat don’t just happen!
- Create a Wish List – Once you get the Needs taken care of, and there is some left over, make a plan for getting those Want items.
- Clear Jar System – A piggy bank where you can see the money.
- Sharing is Caring – Making giving a part of your plan
- Open a Small Business for kids
- Allowance – make it chore-based. And when the money’s gone… well, you know.
- Games and Activities – “Monopoly” and “Life” aren’t just boring – they contain valuable financial literacy lessons!
- The Dave Ramsey financial literacy challenge. Scholarships for students, prizes for teachers
- 10 fun ideas and activities to promote financial literacy for every type of learner
- 30 Steps to Financial Literacy
- Inspiring Video where kids talk about financial literacy
And there you go. I wouldn’t want any young person to go through the anxiety, the sleepless nights and the marital money fights I went through in my 20s. How about you? Share your thoughts at the MindField Online Facebook page!