April is National Financial Literacy Month

It’s fitting that the month in which we tend to focus on cleaning out the cobwebs of our past winter is also National Financial Literacy Month, a time of the year in which we can clean up our own financial cobwebs and learn something new.

You may ask yourself, “What the heck is financial literacy?”

It means something different to everyone. For one, it may mean investing. For another, it may mean understanding how to budget. And for another, it may mean the basics of life insurance. No matter what it means to you, at the core of it is an understanding of your relationship with money.  I have this picture hanging up in my office to remind me of what is most important in our relationship with money:

Focus

It’s drawn by Carl Richards, author of The Behavior Gap (Read the book!), and I believe it spells out wonderfully the basic tenet of financial literacy. All that “stuff” that you can’t control or doesn’t matter to you personally should not be the focus of your attention. Example: “What did the stock market do today?” or “My friend made a killing in real estate last year.” How do either one of those scenarios affect you personally (other than making you jealous or nervous)? Once you get past that and focus on what actually matters to you (your money & family) and what you can control (your spending), everything else will begin to make sense and fall into place.

Over the next 30 or so days, the goal of this blog will be to focus on the basics of so-called “financial literacy” and hopefully at the end of April we’ll have a better understanding of money and how it makes us do all these stupid things we do.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

About these ads