In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we created a microsite that offers 30 simple steps to financial wellness–one for each day of the month. To enrich the experience, we asked some amazing people to guest post during the month. Their dedication to financial literacy is truly inspiring! Today, the author of Finally Frugal talks about tools for success.
In cruising around the Financial Literacy Month website, I found the section entitled 'Tools for Success' to be most useful. On this particular page, there are links to all sorts of helpful spreadsheets and resources, such as:
- The Income Worksheet
- Tips for Setting Financial Goals
- A Debt Payoff Calculator
- A-List Tips (featuring articles from PF bloggers we all know and love)
A big part of financial literacy is taking the time to learn about personal finance, as well as being responsible for that knowledge. Since no one knocked on my door and educated me about how to pay down debt, how to refinance my house, or how to spend my money strategically, I had to go out and find the information myself. I'm only now beginning to emerge from the fog of self-induced financial ignorance, but I've never felt more stable and in-control of my finances.
Each American has the same obligation to find and absorb the information, whether it's at the public library, in the office of a financial advisor, or in the multitude of pages on the internet. Of course, with internet learning, we always have to be careful that the information we're reading is reliable.
In addition to the Financial Literacy Month website, the U.S. government's Financial Literacy and Education commission website is a wonderful resource. There, you'll find all sorts of links concerning financial planning, paying for education, home ownership, and raising financially literate kids.
In my work with college students, "but nobody told me" is never an acceptable excuse for making a mistake. I'd posit that the same holds true of people who are financially under-educated. As I mentioned, no one is going to call you up one day and offer to give you, free of charge, the information you need (and I'd certainly be wary of anyone who did call with that sort of offer!)
Instead, we should all take responsibility for ourselves and our loved ones, with the helping hand of organizations like Money Management International and, yes, even the U.S. government.
Finally Frugal is a blog written by a woman who after twenty years of blindly spending more than she brought in, decided to live below her means. With her blog, she invites you to accompany her as she works to pay off debt, increase savings, and finally find financial independence!