Did you know that April has been officially designated as Financial Literacy Month? It’s true! Financial Literacy Month is an excellent opportunity to discover free financial education resources and learn more about spending, saving, investing and other important aspects of financial management. So, in celebration, here are six ways to maximize your money mojo during Financial Literacy Month—and every other month, too!
1. Check In With Your Credit Union
Credit unions and banks are not only a place to put your money and forget about it. A good financial institution should offer plenty of financial guidance and support. Head over to your credit union’s website and check out what kinds of financial literacy education available. You may find educational articles, information about how to prepare for retirement, or online resources that connect you to professional financial counselors. HUECU members, for example, can access the Credit Union blog to learn more about homebuying, how to manage debt during a divorce, car leasing costs, and lots more.
2. Make the Office Work for You
When it comes to financial literacy, your workplace should be working for you! Most employers offer at least some financial education; whether it’s a member of the HR team who can walk you through the company’s retirement plan, or an outside investment specialist tasked with managing your 401(k). Check in with your supervisor to see what’s available. Increasingly, many offices are also bringing in financial literacy events as a part of overall workplace wellness; so if your employer doesn’t have something like this yet, why not make the suggestion?
3. Chat Finances With Friends
While money conversations can sometimes feel awkward, chatting about finances with friends is a great way to learn from one another and boost your overall financial literacy. Ask friends and family about their financial goals; share tips and tricks for sticking to a budget; and check in on how they’re saving for retirement. Your friends may be able to direct you to new budgeting apps, tax software or financial literacy resources online. Plus, talking about your financial habits and targets is a great way to encourage one another to set financial goals and stick to them.
4. Get Your Kids Involved
Along the same lines as talking to friends, it’s also a great idea to chat with kids about money. By bringing kids into the conversation, you’ll be enhancing their financial literacy—as well as your own! When kids are old enough to earn an allowance or start saving birthday money on their own, explain a few fundamentals about budgeting, spending and saving, and to see if they have any questions for you. If you don’t know the answer, that’s OK! Complicated money questions are an excellent opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together.
5. Meet With a Financial Counselor
If you have the opportunity to meet with a financial counselor—take it! An expert financial counselor is trained to offer all kinds of financial literacy support, whether you need help paying down debts, saving for a house, or managing your student loans. Members of HUECU can take advantage of free financial counseling through the GreenPath Financial Wellness Program. Help is available over the phone and in 150 languages, to ensure that everyone can speak with a caring expert who can help to understand your personal financial situation and connect you to the right financial literacy resources and support.
6. Use the Internet—Wisely!
There’s a wide variety of excellent financial information online, but it’s important to be cautious about what you trust. Instead of using a search engine when browsing for financial information, start out with the website of your credit union or bank and see what resources you can access from there. HUECU for example now has a Learning Lab+ free online educational portal available for members. You can explore courses at your own pace with a “choose your own adventure” style setup, for a fun way to boost financial literacy online, for free.