Financial Literacy Month

As we wind down the last few days of April, we want to be sure to recognize that April is Financial Literacy Month.  While learning about finance and how to take care of your money are important everyday, we Americans have a special relationship to our finances this time of year, since this is when our taxes are due.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that being financially literate can help you avoid scams, and Governor Tim Kaine says, “It is incumbent the Commonwealth support initiatives which promote and advance financial literacy.”

We at Virginia Main Street know that a community’s health and wealth are primarily dependent upon the health of its citizen’s finances.  We also know that finance does  not come natural to everyone and that people have a tendency to work toward their strengths.  Therefore, we have provided a whole mess of links that will help you learn to better flex your financial muscle.

Start with a 30 day plan to become financially well.

Find out how Virginia can not only help you become more financially literate, but also triple your savings through a program called VIDA.

Now that your child is going to college, how can you help them be smarter with their (your?) money?

The Motley Fool offers ten essential money lessons as well as general advice on personal finance. You may need to register to read some of these articles, but it is free – and highly regarded.

We all know not to fall for “get rich quick” schemes, but how many of you know how to “get rich slowly?”  This blog has great, real life advice and is one of the top spots to search when you have a specific question.  Recent posts include “How Bonds Work,” “How to Read a Mutual Fund Prospectus,” “The Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning,” and a post with many more links called: “Daily Links: Making Money Edition.”

You can also check any number of sites like Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, Fox Business or CNBC for up to the minute financial news and articles on retirement, buying a house or some “expert’s” stock picks.

The key is start slow and start now.  And here’s one last secret tip – if you find yourself reading something and you don’t understand the financial term they are using, you can look it up here.