May 06, 2009


The federal government has taken several stabs at reviving the economy in the past several months. As an educator, one move I support one hundred percent is the pooling of resources to help consumers better understand and more wisely use their money.

As consumers, we are involved in money-related activities/decisions every day. Paying bills, balancing the checkbook, shopping for loans, reviewing credit card statements, saving, investing, viewing a credit report, and simply deciding whether to use cash or to charge a purchase are some common examples of these regular activities. To aid in this daily battle, 20 government agencies (in response to the Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act mandate) formed a Financial Literacy & Education Commission and created a very easy to use resource with links to tools that can benefit anyone at any stage of life to manage money more effectively. Website resources include:

- Budgeting & Taxes
- Credit
- Financial Planning
- Home Ownership
- Kids
- Paying for Education
- Privacy, Fraud, & Scams
- Responding to Life Events
- Retirement Planning
- Saving & Investing
- Starting a Small Business

In addition to these "always useful" topical areas, time-sensitive resources are also provided (i.e., recent market events, foreclosure avoidance, health benefits after job loss, smart borrowing, etc.). Are you financially smart? Take the quiz to test your smarts... Do you know what our national strategy for financial literacy is? Did you know there was a national strategy??

In addition to the online resources, you can order a free “My Money tool kit" containing information to help you choose and use credit cards, get out of debt, protect your credit record, understand Social Security benefits, insure bank deposits, and start a savings and investment plan. Simply complete the online form and they’ll send the tool kit materials at no cost or by calling toll free 1-888-MYMONEY.