Spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning the house, it’s also a great time to clean up your finances by taking a closer look at your family’s budget. Since April also happens to be Financial Literacy Month it’s an ideal time to teach the family more about money management. Financial literacy gives kids the basis to make sound decisions (and a few mistakes) now, so that later in life they are savvy money managers.
Financial Literacy Tips:
To start you’ll need to bone up on the basics and find out what resources on financial literacy are available to your family.
Know the Basics
Learning how to budget is step one. If you have that down it’s time for a brief revisit to your budget to see if it’s still working. Are you sticking to your budget? Are there categories you need to spend less on? Any you can eliminate altogether?
Next you’ll want to evaluate your expenses through an expense audit. This will allow you to get rid of any unwanted or unnecessary expenses.
It’s also a good time to check in on your net worth, be sure your debt and savings are heading in the right direction, and ramp up your retirement, college, and emergency savings.
Put Your Credit Card to Work
When the majority of your expenses are on your credit card, you can earn rewards on your purchases and keep track of them throughout the year. Discover cardmembers can earn 5% Cashback Bonus in spending categories that change throughout the year, such as home improvement, gas, and restaurants.
Using the Account Center at Discover.com
you can view transactions, check your accumulated Cashback Bonus, and take advantage of the Spend Analyzer, which shows spending in various categories. It’s extremely helpful to see where your money is going in a quick snapshot.
Discover also provides cardmembers with their FICO Credit Score– for free – right on their monthly statement or in the Account Center.
Plan a Money Meeting
A money meeting with your spouse is a great way to ensure you’re on track to meet your goals and discuss any new goals you might have. In addition this month is a great time to get the whole family involved. Plan a time when everyone has some free time, is rested, and fed to discuss the family budget. While you may not want to detail every cent for a 4 year old understanding the family goals and challenging your kids to help save to reach them is a great way to get everyone on board.
Check out the online Pathway to Financial Success resources, described in more detail below, to prepare for the conversation and also brush up on your own knowledge!
Financial Classes in School
Many high schools now teach financial literacy courses. This may include topics such as budgeting, bill paying, investing, credit cards, and of course savings.
Discover is participating in the effort to bring financial literacy to high school classrooms nationwide through Pathway to Financial Success. The goal is simple: Arm parents and children with the skills they need to succeed, preparing them for a brighter, more responsible financial future. The Pathway to Financial Success program is committed to doing just that by providing grants to high schools that are implementing or enhancing a financial literacy curriculum. Read more about it here.
Local Classes for Adults or Teens
You may need some extra education yourself in which case looking for a local class will help. Offerings may include everything from the basics to retirement planning or even classes on starting up a small business. Check with a local college or university, township, county, or local government or even the library for classes.
What ways do you plan to engage your family around Financial Literacy this month?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Discover as part of the Discover Preferred Blogger Network. All opinions are my own.