What Does Financial Literacy Month represent?
Since 2003, April has been designated by US legislators as National Financial Literacy Month.
Financial Literacy Month: April 2024
In 2024, we mark the 21st anniversary of April as National Financial Literacy Month, a milestone that underscores the timeless value of financial education in our rapidly evolving economic landscape.
As we chart our course through a world brimming with financial uncertainties, the United States grapples with inflation rates that have soared to their highest in four decades. The fabric of our global economy is further strained by geopolitical tensions, pushing fuel and energy prices to new heights and placing additional burdens on households nationwide. Now, more than ever, understanding how to navigate inflation and mitigate its impacts on our daily lives is imperative.
Yet, amidst these challenges lies an invaluable opportunity — the chance to deepen our understanding of personal finance, empowering us to make more informed decisions that can stretch our dollars further. The journey to financial wisdom is an ongoing one, but the path to taking control of our financial destinies is always open.
Financial Literacy Month serves as a beacon, rallying financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, and human service agencies to shine a spotlight on the critical role of financial literacy. Through a variety of events, programs, and counseling sessions, the initiative seeks not just to educate, but to truly empower individuals to enhance their personal and household financial well-being.
Mastering financial literacy means acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to manage personal finances effectively. It’s about setting achievable financial goals and charting a course towards them. This April, seize the opportunity that Financial Literacy Month presents to embark on a journey of financial empowerment. Let it be the month you commit to enhancing your financial literacy, for the benefit of both you and your loved ones, paving the way for a future brimming with financial stability and success.
Who Gets Involved in Financial Literacy Month
Each April, communities across the nation come together to celebrate Financial Literacy Month, a time dedicated to empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for sound financial decision-making. The scope of participation is broad, encompassing a diverse array of activities designed to educate people of all ages, from young students to senior citizens. Whether it’s through engaging workshops, social media campaigns, or interactive events, the goal is to make financial literacy accessible to everyone.
At the heart of Financial Literacy Month’s initiatives are the state affiliates of the national Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. These organizations play a pivotal role in orchestrating events and resources tailored to their local communities. Discover the Jump$tart affiliate in your area and explore how you can get involved by visiting their website.
In addition, reaching out to your state’s department of finance, banking, or consumer affairs can provide insights into financial literacy efforts within your state. These governmental bodies, responsible for overseeing banking institutions, often list or participate in financial literacy activities, offering workshops and resources to the public.
Don’t overlook the role of local financial institutions in promoting financial literacy. Banks and credit unions may participate in Financial Literacy Month as part of their commitment to community development, mandated by the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. Inquire with your bank or credit union manager about their involvement and encourage their participation if they are not already engaged.
Nonprofit credit counseling agencies are among the most fervent advocates for financial literacy, dedicating their efforts to educating the community on essential financial skills, including budgeting, credit management, debt reduction, and saving for emergencies. Locate a reputable nonprofit credit counseling agency through industry associations like the Financial Counseling Association of America, and take advantage of the resources they offer.
Educational institutions, from elementary schools to colleges, also champion the cause of financial literacy. Teachers and professors specializing in economics, business, and consumer sciences frequently integrate financial education into their curriculum during April. Engage with educators to learn about financial literacy programs and how you can support their initiatives.
Libraries have increasingly become hubs for financial education, hosting events and workshops aimed at promoting financial wellness. Contact your local library to discover the financial literacy programs scheduled for the month, which often include sessions led by financial professionals on budgeting, credit usage, and debt management strategies.
For members of the military community, including active duty personnel, veterans, and families, Financial Literacy Month follows closely on the heels of Military Saves Week. Although the back-to-back observances may seem daunting, many base family services coordinators organize financial education activities tailored to the unique needs of the military community. Inquire about any planned events to continue building your financial acumen.
Financial Literacy Month is a collective effort, drawing together the strengths and resources of various organizations, government entities, and community groups. By getting involved, whether through seeking out education, volunteering, or simply spreading the word, you contribute to a financially literate society equipped to navigate the complexities of the modern financial landscape.
How Money Fit Is Supporting Financial Literacy Month
Money Fit has supported Financial Literacy Month since we hired our first financial education director back in 2004. Activities we have spearheaded or helped implement have included a Piggy Bank Beauty Contest in Idaho, classroom presentations from elementary and middle school through high school and colleges, and live early morning broadcasts with loan news reporters kicking off Financial Literacy Month from our conference rooms, just to name a few.
This year, we continue our growth in online financial education opportunities, having added our award-winning My Life My Choices online budgeting activity to our Academy. This 30- to 45-minute scenario-based challenge is ideal for middle and high school students. Plus, they each receive a free certificate of completion in PDF format sent directly and immediately to their inbox.
Additionally, Money Fit is committed to offering weekly Money Fit LIVE webinars, both addressing practical money topics and providing live chatting options to have related questions answered and concerns resolved.
How You Can Get Involved
If you think like we do that National Financial Literacy Month is a fantastic idea, contact your state’s Jump$tart Coalition to volunteer to help or ask about how to get involved. They might invite you to attend their meetings or volunteer at an event.
Additionally, we strongly encourage you to promote Financial Literacy Month on your social media pages.
On a personal level, we hope you will commit to increasing your financial literacy. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Check out and read a personal finance book from the library
Take one webinar a week and share what you learned on your social media pages
Read a children’s personal finance book to your kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews. We love The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money so much that we’ve created a free program to get kids around the country their very own copy.
Subscribe to a new blog or podcast about a personal finance topic you either love or could use help with.
Here’s How to Get The Most From Financial Literacy Month
Depending on where you live, April might bring showers to grow May flowers.
While April may not be the rainy season in all states and territories, April is perennially Financial Literacy Month in the US. With the support of the National Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and its state affiliates around the country, Financial Literacy Month has grown to involve financial institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, and interested individuals.
Money Fit by DRS wholeheartedly supports Financial Literacy Month while also encouraging our partners, citizens, and clients to promote financial wellness year-round.
State Financial Literacy Events
Financial Literacy Month events vary dramatically at the state level. Many states launch the month with a proclamation signing by the governor or his or her representative. These are typically free events at the state capitol and would be a wonderful part of any civics lesson for young people. Some states hold special conferences while participating organizations in other states host educational events and programs.
For example, in Idaho, the Idaho Financial Literacy Coalition (Jump$tart’s state chapter) promotes a piggy bank beauty contest for elementary school students between third and sixth grade.
Organization Participating in Financial Literacy Month
Banks, credit unions, Jump$tart Coalition members, nonprofit credit counseling agencies, colleges, county extension offices, and many other organizations offer free personal finance courses throughout April. Many of these programs are facilitated in the community while others are provided at the organization’s home office. Still others, like those available through Money Fit by DRS, are available 24/7 online at no cost.
Why Financial Literacy Matters
Personal finance remains the number one topic of argument within a marriage.
Parents rank teaching financial responsibility to their children near the top of their wish list.
Only a handful of states require high school students to take a personal finance course before graduation.
Poor financial literacy leads to poor decision-making which leads to poor behavior which limits the household’s ability to reach its financial goals.
Whatever the reason you choose, take advantage of the opportunities this year to get involved in the financial literacy and capability movement. Check with your state’s Jump$tart coalition for activities available in your area. You can also contact your state’s department of finance, banking, or financial institutions since many keep a list of financial education activities and events happening in April.
How to Get Involved With the Financial Literacy Month
Finally, if you would like to get involved with Financial Literacy Month as a volunteer, contact your state Jump$tart Coalition or give us a call at Money Fit by DRS. We would be happy to connect you with like-minded individuals and organizations promoting personal financial responsibility across the country.
Questions Related to the National Financial Literacy Month
Who started National Financial Literacy Month? Back in 2000, the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), headquartered in Denver, Colorado, organized a Youth Financial Literacy Day. However, to avoid the appearance of favoring any one organization as an educational provider, NEFE requested that the National Jump$tart take over the role of organizing and promoting the day, after which Jump$tart expanded it to the entire month of April.
At the urging of Jump$tart’s state affiliates and other organizations and individuals concerned with Americans’ low levels of financial literacy, several state governors designated April as financial literacy month. Eventually, in 2003, federal lawmakers began passing annual resolutions to make April financial literacy month.
Who decides that April is Financial Literacy Month? April is declared financial literacy month on many levels. US lawmakers pass a resolution each year designating April as Financial Literacy Month. Many state senates and houses of representatives do the same. Not to be outdone or forgotten, mayors from quite a few cities and towns around the country choose to issue their proclamation designating April as financial literacy month in their local communities.