April is Financial Literacy Month

April is National Financial Literacy Month, that time of year we set aside a few minutes to learn how money really works and apply new-found lessons to our financial lives.

This year I am honored to be working together with over a dozen Personal Finance Bloggers to promote financial literacy with 2-minute videos about a variety of topics such as Kids & Money, Roth IRA, or what do you do with a room that has no room? We will share a video each working day in April. You can watch the video of the day below. Enjoy and remember: there is always Help and Hope for Your Finances!

April 30 Video: Steve Stewart from MoneyPlanSOS.com concludes our series of videos with a strong call for continuing the efforts to educate everyone on how to manage their finances:

Previous Videos

Week 4 (Apr 23-Apr 27)

Week 3 (Apr 16-Apr 20)

Week 2 (Apr 9-Apr 13)

  • April 13 Video: Jackie Walters from TheBudgetWorks.com produced this humorous video created by her daughter to exemplify the importance for us to save for a vacation.
  • April 12 Video:TheJennyPincher discusses the Time Value of Clipping Coupons. Clipping coupons is not a necessary part of getting out of debt as it doesn’t work for everyone. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to get the best deals so when thinking about if its right for you there are three questions to ask yourself.
  • April 11 Video: I discuss building up your emergency reserve/fund. After you watch the video, you can find additional information at this link.
  • April 10 Video: Travis Pizel from Our Journey To Zero shares 4 ways to communicate about money in a relationship and how it is helping them pay off $100,000 in credit card debt.
  • April 9 Video: Philip Taylor from http://ptmoney.com answers 10 quick questions about the powerful investment vehicle, the Roth IRA.

Week 1 (Apr 2-Apr 6)

5 Habits of People That Win With Money

Would you like to get control of your money? Would you like to finally win with your finances? I am sure the answer to those questions would be a resounding “Yes!!!”. Then you might ask: “Where do I start?” or “How do I start?” The good news is that the principle for winning with your finances is a simple one: You have to pay attention to what’s happening with your money. That’s it.

Now the bad news is that this involves some work on your part. But then again, there is no one else that will do the work for you so you have no choice. The person is you and the time is now. So let me give you 5 habits of people that win with their money:

  1. Track all of your expenses. You can use the old fashioned (but reliable) approach of tracking expenses with your checkbook registry. Or you can try software on your computer (e.g., like Quicken) or on-line. Whether you took $20 out of the ATM or just spent $150 at the hardware store, make sure you have a permanent record of where your money went.
  2. Balance your checkbook. Speaking of that old checkbook register, it is a good idea to reconcile your checking account once a month. You will receive a statement from your bank or credit union so take advantage of it.
  3. Monitor your bank accounts. You don’t need to do this every day, but you should keep an eye on your bank account on a regular basis to spot incorrect charges or charges due to identity theft. You don’t want to be surprised by an overdraft.
  4. Pay your bills on time. This seems like a basic one but it can get you in trouble. Suppose the payment you sent by mail did not get there. Suppose you paid it on-line but just missed the deadline by 30 minutes. You might be risking late fees when they could have easily been avoided.
  5. Live on a Monthly Budget. Lay out all monthly income. Then spend the money “on paper” before the month begins. If you have developed the first 2 habits, getting a handle on your expenses becomes much easier. Click here for a sample budget template: Budget Template.

So there you have it: simple but it requires work. Just like with anything in life that is worth doing, you have to pay a price to win. Will you start today?

Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds;
Proverbs 27:23 (NKJV)

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