Ultimate Guide to Financial Literacy

financial-literacy

Overview

Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works, especially when it comes to earning, managing, and investing it. This is an essential part of our education during all stages of life from childhood through the retirement years.

 

Kids

It is never too early to start working on an understanding of the value and importance of money. An introduction to financial literacy in the early years can help children to establish healthy spending and saving habits that will create the foundation for a safe, prosperous, and secure adulthood.

Resources for Kids

Go to TheMint.org to play spending and earning games while testing your financial literacy skills.

Visit the United States Mint and play their games that help with coin and currency recognition skills.

Visit the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Games for Kids section to find a variety of links to games that are both fun and educational.

Merchants bank has an Online Financial Literacy Games page that links to some of the best educational games on the internet.

Money Smart Week also has a Games page with links to a variety of options.

 

Resources for Parents and Educators

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers a Resources for Parents and Caregivers page with activities and conversation starters to help you begin the financial discussion with your children.

Forbes has an article on How to Raise Financially Savvy Kids and Teach Money Skills. They suggest a list of dos and don’ts that every parent and educator should know.

The University of Minnesota offers a great resource on their page, Using Children’s Literature to Teach Financial Literacy. They also include a list of suggested children’s books to add to your child’s reading list.

The Washington University in Saint Louis offers insight through their article, The Power of the Piggy Bank: Five Ways Parents Can Teach Their Kids Financial Literacy.

 

Teens

Financial literacy is particularly important for teens who are about to make their first adult decisions. There is a lot to learn, including the basics of how to manage the balance of a bank account as well as making wise financial decisions when it comes to getting a first car or establishing credit.

 

Resources for Teens

Practical Money Skills links to Visa’s financial literacy game, Financial Football. Score touchdowns while increasing your knowledge.

The University of Florida Extension brings you through a thought provoking simulation of activities at their summer camp on the page, Day Camp on My Own Simulation.

It All Adds Up is a site for teens that includes interactive games and activities to help boost your confidence and financial literacy.

Jump Start’s Reality Check is a simple to fill in form that will let you know what kind of job and income you will need in order to afford the life you want.

 

Resources for Parents and Educators

Investopia offers a resource for Teaching Teens Financial Literacy on their website.

The High School Financial Planning Program offers a no-cost curriculum that you can share with your students. They also have an option for teens to enroll directly.

US News has a helpful article on How to Teach Teens More about Money.

Money Wise has an article to help you through the minefield of discussing finances. You can find it at Talking to Teens about Money.

 

Students and Young Adults

College students face unique challenges including financing an education and avoiding the lure of high interest credit cards. Understanding both the options and the pitfalls is critical at this juncture because it begins to establish a credit rating as well as debt burden that students will carry into their professional years.

 

Student Loans / Scholarships

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid should be the first step any student takes in applying for money for college. It is simple, it has fewer requirements than many scholarships, and it’s free!

StudentLoans.gov is a great resource for learning about federal loans, as well as applying for them.

USA.gov offers additional educational advice when it comes to loans available to college students.

Scholarships.com is a large resource for private and public scholarships. Just input your search data and get started.

 

Resources

Carnegie Mellon University has an in depth Budget Worksheet to help you to figure out your personal spending.

Georgia State University offers advice on how to manage credit and credit cards on their page, Credit and Credit Cards.

CashCourse is a free online personal finance course with helpful tools.

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission offers links to a variety of Financial Literacy Resources.

Adults

Even as we become established in life, financial literacy still plays a key role. It can be the difference between an upside-down mortgage or a house that is owned free and clear. It makes a difference when it comes to the amount of debt we can manage, as well as what opportunities are open to us.

 

Resources

HelpWithMyBank.gov can be an excellent resource for anyone having money troubles. They offer information and resources to help get you back on track.

Oregon State University has a multitude of federal and Oregon state resources for people facing financial trouble on their page, Finding Help in Tough Times.

RAND offers a Financial Knowledge Test that will test what you know while offering informative advice.

The Penn State University Libraries has a selection of Financial Literacy website links and literature suggestions.

Seniors

As we enter our golden years, we need to be more concerned about budgeting, avoiding scams, applying for government benefits, and using the credit or equity that we have established during our working years.

 

Resources

Hands on Banking has a section for Seniors that focuses on retirement planning, social security, health, and money management.

The North American Securities Administrators Association has a Senior Investor Resource Center with a multitude of resources relevant to seniors.

The Department of Labor has a Retirement Plans, Benefits & Savings section pension plans, taxes, and ERISA.

The IRS has a Senior and Retirees page that focuses on tax issues most relevant to seniors.

The Social Security Administration has a Retirement Estimator if you would like to know how much you are likely to receive in benefits.