Photo Credit: Jekkyl

I just found out April is Financial Literacy Month. I decided to make a contribution by checking on the state of affairs of our future.

The Washington Post had an article about the lack of basic knowledge U.S. high-schoolers had in personal finances.

“In light of the problems that have arisen in the subprime mortgage market, we are reminded of how critically important it is for individuals to become financially literate at an early age so that they are better prepared to make decisions and navigate an increasingly complex financial marketplace,” the Fed chairman added.

Some of the questions were involving different type of investments and credit card liability. While those are good things to know, it would be great to focus on the basics of personal finance. Learning to budget can help them plan ahead for larger purchases, like buying a home.

It’s about building a foundation to get to the next step of what type of investments to use or how to plan your retirement.

I have to include Single Ma‘s quote, which like her blog, is insightful and funny:

Personal Finance is NOT rocket science. If you earn $5 and you spend $6, that’s a bad. If you earn $5, spend $2, invest/save $2, and give away $1. That’s good. I hate when “experts” make people think you have to understand complex issues in order to make responsible financial decisions. It’s discouraging for the average person.

Personal finance is a necessary skill for life. You don’t jump right into the complex stuff, you start with the basics and then go from there. Just looking at some of the headlines in the papers, there are some problems that could’ve have been avoided if people followed the most basic rule of budgeting:

“Spend less than you earn.”

I found a great quiz to share with middle and high-schoolers that will give a reality check on how much it would cost to support their lifestyle. If you know someone who could benefit from it please pass it on.

While we can’t turn back the clock, we can start now on improving our finances. We can also help the next generation to learn good financial principles that will help them to succeed.

Don’t know how (or when) to start? One series is the M-Network’s Money Matters for All Ages. It’s available as a FREE e-book. Here are the articles in the series:

As you can see by reading my blog, I try to learn about finance and use what I learn (It’s useless unless you do). I’m not perfect, but trying to change little by little. What advice would you pass on?