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Financial Literacy 101

April 1st kicked-off Financial Literacy Month, and it is no secret that promoting financial education is a core credit union mission.

This month, Firelands FCU, along with fellow financial institutions, schools, and businesses, are working collectively to raise awareness about the importance of financial literacy throughout the United States.

Financial literacy is key to understanding how to save, budget, borrow, invest, and use your money wisely. It is also essential to developing long-term financial skills that can lead to a greater financial well-being.

Two common steps toward financial literacy include:

• Using a budget worksheet or app to determine which expenses are flexible or fixed and to ensure you have an emergency savings to prepare for unforeseen expenses; or

• Checking your credit report once a year to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date and that you are not a victim of identity theft.

If you have access to the internet, you can find a variety of free or low-cost financial literacy materials with a simple Google search. However, financial literacy lessons should be age-appropriate to make the most significant impact. Below are popular apps and learning courses divided by grade level that may help advance one’s financial knowledge.

Grades K-3: To learn the basic concepts of what money is and what different bills and coins are worth, apps like Rooster and PiggyBot are two well-liked options.

Grades 3 - 8: At this age, many children are introduced to the concept of earning money through chores or work. Savings Spree is an award-winning app that can help with this, as it guides children through making choices with the funds accumulated during the game.

Grades 9 and Beyond: Students can understand how investing works, the risks involved, and which investments are the best choice by using the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game. Additionally, CNBC’s Invest in You: Money 101, is a free 8-week learning course covering various topics delivered directly to your inbox weekly.

Visiting Firelands FCU or your local libraries and asking about what financial literacy programs or resources are available is an excellent “unplugged” alternative to online materials. However you choose to observe Financial Literacy Month, Firelands FCU is here to help every step of the way!

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