If your answer is no, then you’re in luck! Financial Literacy Month takes place in April every year and represents an excellent opportunity to brush up on your knowledge of your finances.

Financial Literacy Month began in 2004 to highlight the importance of financial literacy. It was originally known as “Youth Literacy Day” but was re-named by the United States Congress. President George W.
Bush ordered the implementation of the month’s initiatives to the Federal Government, which extended to schools and other local organizations.

What does financial literacy mean? To be financially literate is to have the ability to effectively manage your personal finances, such as banking, investing, and budgeting. Other major components of financial literacy include earning, spending, saving, investing, borrowing, and protecting.

Here are a few facts about financial literacy in the United States from National Today:

  • 1 out of every 5 students lack the basic knowledge & skills of financial literacy.
  • 29% of working women are financially literate, compared to 47% for men. Both categories are under 50% in the United States.
  • 54% of holders of student loans did not truly understand the terms of their loans upon signing, specifically the terms of future payments.
  • Many adults have never received any financial education, and personal finance classes are only required in 22 out of 50 states.

Many people may not understand the importance of financial literacy, or why there is an entire month dedicated to it. Here are a few reasons why financial literacy is important to recognize:

  • Understanding your personal finances can grant you “financial freedom”.
    • Financial freedom means you are in control of your financial situation; able to comfortably pay for your living expenses, investments, and other financial obligations.
  • It helps you to keep up with the financial landscape in a constantly changing world.
    • Financial information and requirements can change frequently, so taking the time to periodically understand the current financial landscape is important.
  • It can help you become more financially responsible.
    • The many lessons of financial literacy month can help you learn smarter ways to earn and spend your money, which can create more stability in your life.

As you can see, there are many reasons to get involved in financial literacy month; those listed above are just a few of the examples. It is a great time to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves over the duration of this national campaign. Banks, credit unions, credit counseling agencies, colleges, state/county offices, and other organizations are great places to look for additional information during financial literacy month. You can also click here to contact your state’s department of finance, banking, and financial institutions for a list of financial education activities and events taking place in April.

If you are looking to discuss your finances, click here to search for the closest First Bank branch to speak with a Personal Banker today!