LASATA: April is Financial Literacy Month

Financial literacy is a learned skill that can diminish without practice.

Financial Literacy Month was established in 2004 and is recognized every April to highlight the importance of financial literacy and to underscore the value in establishing and maintaining healthy financial habits.

We as a society must do a better job of fostering financial literacy among younger generations, and it starts by educating our youth to make better financial decisions. Personal financial education and money management skills are crucial to ensuring young people are prepared for a future as productive members of society, to managing credit and debt, and to becoming responsible workers, homeowners, investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

We can’t always rely on our schools to teach fiscal responsibility. Good personal finance habits start at home. And apart from modeling such good behavior, parents can lead their children into making good decisions by familiarizing them from an early age. Something as simple as opening a child savings account at your local bank and learning how to keep and balance a checkbook are easy ways to develop these necessary life skills.

Another good resource is Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Money Management program, which offers many opportunities for young people to learn about personal finance. Offerings include learning about fundraising for clubs or community service projects, participating in clubs dedicated to investment, and selling market animals at the fair.

Visit canr.msu.edu/youth_money_management/index to learn more.

Just as it doesn’t take much to get into financial trouble, it also doesn’t take much effort to become financially literate. It’s never too soon to start your child’s journey to financial literacy.

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