Financial Literacy Month
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National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in the United States in April in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.
In 2000, The National Endowment for Financial Education introduced Youth Financial Literacy Day and turned it over to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy so that the event would not promote any one organization and instead focus on financial literacy as a whole. The Jump$tart Coalition and its approximately 150 partners expanded the event to a month.
In 2003, the United States Senate designated April as Financial Literacy for Youth Month. In March 2004 the Senate passed Resolution 316 that officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month.
Many[weasel words] of the country’s financial institutions and nonprofit financial educational organizations promote the month by holding promotional events and creating educational materials that center around effectively handling money and dealing with debt.
Money Management International, a nonprofit credit and debt counseling firm, created a microsite to support the mission of National Financial Literacy Month, with a step by step process for improving financial wellness.
In 2003 the United States Congress showed its support for the idea of a financial literacy month. Senate Resolution 48 and House Resolution 127 asked President George W. Bush to declare April Financial Literacy for Youth Month. At that time, governors of eight states had already named the month of April as such. April was named National Financial Literacy Month by the passing of Senate Resolution 316 with unanimous consent.
In April 2005, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill supporting the goals and ideals of Financial Literacy Month. This bill, and the resolution passed by the Senate, called on President Bush to issue a proclamation calling on Federal Government, States, localities, schools, nonprofit organizations business and the people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities. During his term in office, President Bush did not issue a proclamation.
During Financial Literacy Month in 2006, The Financial Literacy and Education Commission unveiled a new national strategy in their report "Taking Ownership of the Future: The National Strategy for Financial Literacy". The report outlined a series of outreach and education goals for the public and private sectors aimed to help Americans improve their understanding of financial issues such as credit management, savings, and homeownership.
Financial Literacy Month in Canada
Differing from the US, November is Canada’s Financial Literacy Month. The month is organized by the Financial Literacy Action Group (FLAG), a coalition of 7 non-profit organizations who work with the federal government body Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).
Throughout November FLAG organizes events across Canada to educate and engage with the public regarding the need for financial literacy and promote services available to the public: “[FLAG] raises awareness of the need for financial literacy and highlights the programs, services and tools available to help Canadians improve their financial knowledge, skills and confidence.”
The purpose of this month is to educate the public so Canadians are equipped to:
- Provide for themselves and their family
- Invest in their future and the future of their children
- Understand their financial rights and obligations
- Contribute to the community as a good citizen
Similar to the United States, many of the country’s financial institutions (such as Planswell, Wealthsimple, RBC) and nonprofit financial educational organizations promote the month by creating educational material and hosting promotional events that center around topics of personal finances.
- Senate Resolution 316; sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka D-HI
- http://www.jumpstartcoalition.org/fileuptemp/AprilFinancialLiteracyMonth.doc and http://www.jumpstartcoalition.org/fileuptemp/FINAL%20PR%202004%20Legislator%20Award.pdf