Financial Capability Month

Financial capability is about more than just money. Financial capability is also about having the willingness, confidence, and opportunity to make good decisions about and take smart steps with your money. Having good information that you can trust helps. The Financial Literacy Education Commission (FLEC) put together some useful tools to help you make sense of your financial life so you can get started.

Earn

Understand your pay, benefits, withholdings, and deductions in order to make the most of what you earn. 

  • Put your money to work!  Find out how much it could grow with the SEC’s compound interest calculator.
  • Thinking of more school? Do your homework. Beware worthless “diplomas.”  Learn how to spot education scams.
  • Starting a small business? Check out the Small Business Administration and find out if entrepreneurship is for you.

Save and Invest

Save regularly to plan for life events and to be ready for unplanned or emergency needs.    

Protect

Take precautions about your financial situation. Accumulate savings in case of an emergency, and buy insurance. Be vigilant about identity theft, and keep aware of your credit record and the credit score.

  • Want to help kids learn about money? The FDIC’s Teacher Online Resource Center has financial education tools for kids pre-K thru 12. Get free lesson plans, videos, and more. 
  • Successful investors are informed investors-have you checked your financial professional’s background? Check out your advisor at Smartcheck.gov.
  • Good money habits in childhood can help unlock a bright financial future.  CFPB Money as You Grow makes it easier to get started on money conversations.
  • Are you caring for an older loved one?  You can help protect them from financial abuse.
  • It’s not just for emergencies-use FEMA's financial first-aid kit to take inventory of your financial life.
  • Don’t be an online victim. Learn how to guard against internet thieves.
  • What’s Yours is Yours!  Protect your plastic.  Learn more about avoiding “card skimming” at ATM’s.
  • Like winning?  Learn more about ways to improve your credit score.

Spend

Make a budget or a plan for using your money wisely.

Borrow

Sometimes it’s necessary to borrow money. Your ability to get a loan generally depends on your credit history, and that depends largely on your track record at repaying what you’ve borrowed in the past and paying your bills on time.

  • Are you a veteran?  Thinking about buying a home?  A VA loan may be the key you need to unlock your new home.
  • Before taking out a high-cost payday loan, consider the less costly credit union alternative. Learn about alternatives to payday loans. 
  • From loan to groan: finding alternatives to payday loans. Learn the real cost of a payday loan.
  • Give yourself some credit! Learn about credit and loans.
  • Need money to further your education? It pays to learn about student loans first.
  • Shopping for student loans? Use tools from the CFPB so you can know before you owe.
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Last Updated: August 16, 2017

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