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Posted in Your Money | April 2015

How much do you really know about your finances?

financial literacy
April is Financial Literacy Month in the United States, so it’s the perfect opportunity to brush up on your knowledge and get a real handle on your personal finances.

According to, financial literacy involves knowing how to deal with credit, being aware of how to save money, and knowing how to budget your finances. Unfortunately, many people struggle with taking control of their finances, but for the well being of you and your family, it’s important to gain control—and it all starts with knowledge.

How can you increase your financial literacy?

  • Take a class on investing and financial planning. Ask your bank if they have any seminars or workshops coming up, check online to see if you can find free courses like those on About Education, and don’t forget that Foresters Everyday Money connects members to complimentary financial counseling delivered by professionals. Visit com to find out more.
  • Know your credit score. In order to secure a loan, negotiate a lease or get a mortgage, you’ll need to prove that you have good credit. Find out where yours stands. You can get a credit report from companies like Equifax and TransUnion.
  • Understand how to create a family budget. This is something else that Foresters Everyday Money can help you with, but you can also do a search online for additional support in the form of free family budget templates that will help you understand and track your monthly spending. You can also find free budget templates on
  • Know exactly how much money is coming in. Some people don’t know the difference between gross earnings (what you make before taxes) and net earnings (the actual amount of money you take home after taxes and any other deductions). You can’t properly budget if you don’t know your take-home pay.
  • Determine what your contingency reserve should be. If for some reason you suddenly found yourself without any income, you would need to fall back on your contingency reserve. This is roughly 6 -12 months of living expenses. Once you’ve figured out your budget, you can determine what this amount needs to be and begin saving.

The more you know about your personal finances, the more control you have over your family’s financial security and long-term well being. If you haven’t spent a lot of time focusing on your personal financial literacy, now is the perfect time to dive in and get your financial house in order.

If you’d like more information to help you better understand the fundamentals of money management, Foresters has budgeting webinars and other practical tools available on Youtube and

412310H CAN/US (04/15)


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