Managing Your Money--The Lifelong Lesson
Have you ever had one of those days when you were sitting in class wondering how you could possibly use all of those facts and figures in the real world?
Well, you'll never ask that question when it comes to managing your money. Financial literacy--the ability to understand how money works in the world (and in your own life)-- is a great skill for the real world.
Since April is National Financial Literacy Month, it's a great opportunity to talk about money. Knowledge is power so whether you learn about money from your parents, in a class or on your own, financial literacy is the kind of lifelong learning that can benefit everyone and help in developing good money management habits.
Even outside of school, you'll be getting all kinds of financial "pop quizzes" that you’ll come across on an average day. Should you split the check at a restaurant or pick up the tab? Buy shoes or save your money? Live at home or move out on your own? The questions range from small decisions to milestone ones, such as paying for college, buying a house and saving for retirement.
Some people learn their lessons the hard way—by making mistakes like not paying bills on time or overspending and getting into credit card debt. These are very costly behaviors because they can affect your relationships, health and happiness even more than they impact your wallet.
Where should you start? Before life starts asking you all these money and budgeting questions, get good information. I'm very proud to work for Mission Federal Credit Union, which provides many free online financial literacy resources that give you the knowledge and the power to make great financial decisions:
We've partnered with FoolProof Financial Education, who is challenging people throughout April to see how "fool proof" or gullible they are about their finances.
Mission Fed offers mPower, a website for teens and young adults with articles, games and our weekly mPowering Your Mission blog.
We even have a Mission Federal Credit Union shop at JA BizTown to get fifth graders off to a good start.
More power to you—with financial literacy.
Written by Debra Schwartz, President and CEO at Mission Federal Credit Union and Junior Achievement of San Diego's board member.