Financial literacy has become a widespread problem in America, where nearly 80 percent of people report having trouble managing their finances or experience problems with debt. Further, less than one third of Americans report having a savings account adequate enough to sustain their expenses in the event of job loss. In effort to combat the nation’s trouble with financial management and debt issues, April was designated as Financial Literacy Month. Last month, many organizations around the country put on special events to help consumers increase their financial knowledge and skills.
One of the largest contributors was credit counseling agencies, who held events to teach everyone from High School students to the retired the importance of financial planning. Many of these events focused on teaching skills such as budgeting, saving, and retirement planning. Additionally, consumers also gained valuable knowledge about how to spot a debt trap, the difference in good debt versus bad debt, and solutions for getting out of debt.
This year’s Financial Literacy Month was deemed a huge success by participants, as many consumers scored 40 percent higher on a financial questionnaire upon leaving an event than the same questionnaire given prior to the educational event. Further, consumers reported having developed a plan for debt relief for the first time in their financial lives with the goal of reducing debt burdens and saving for the future.