Rain showers aren’t the only thing taking over April; it’s also National Financial Literacy month! The Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA) has created a financial tip for each day of the month, from savings ideas to budgeting suggestions and more!
Take time this month to teach your children financial responsibility, and pick up an entire month’s worth of smart saving and spending habits. When May rolls around, flowers won’t be the only thing growing. Learn to grow and manage your wealth with simple tips for the entire family.
April 1 -- Create a money journal
Track everything you spend today, and write it down in a money journal. It will also show you and the rest of your family just how easy small purchases like a morning coffee and magazine at the convenience store can really start to add up. The single most important thing to remember is that you can always live on less than you have been. Try and continue to track your spending every day this month.
April 2 -- Review a paycheck stub
Go over your child’s paycheck stub or your own if they’re too young to work, and talk about the different kinds of taxes and what that money will go toward.
April 3 -- Go comparison shopping
Talk to your child about comparison shopping at the grocery store. Compare prices using name brands vs. in-store labels.
April 4 -- Open a savings account
April 5 -- Talk about paying bills
Discuss the importance of paying bills on time and how it affects your credit.
April 6 -- Set a financial goal
Set a financial goal, achievable by the end of this month, and write down your steps for getting there.
April 7 -- Read a money-minded book
Stop by your neighborhood library and pick up a money-minded book from this suggested reading list (.PDF)
April 8 -- Discuss needs vs. wants
Talk to your children about the differences between true needs (food, shelter) vs. wants (glow in the dark frisbee, the latest video games).
April 9 -- Introduce the concept of budgeting
Discuss the importance of money management and setting a budget.
April 10 – Skip the Latte
Save yourself $3 today…try it more often!
April 11 -- Watch your green grow
Talk about the power of compound interest.
April 12 -- Credit cards have consequences
Show your child a credit card statement and talk with them about the importance of paying on time, interest charges, etc.
April 13 -- Play a money-minded game
Make tonight a family game night and play a money-minded game like Life® or Monopoly®.
April 14 -- Start adding to your piggy bank
Add something, anything, to your piggy bank today. If you don’t have one, make one! Make a piggy bank using an old jar, shoe box or milk jug. Decorate it with construction paper, magazine clippings, or feathers - whatever you’d like!
April 15 -- Talk about taxes today
Talk with your children about taxes today, how you pay them and what they go toward.
April 16 -- Research college costs
Research the difference in tuition costs between public and private universities, in-state vs. out-of-state.
April 17 -- Create an emergency savings account
If you don’t already have one, now is a great time to set up an emergency savings fund.
April 18 -- Put important financial documents in a fireproof safe
Some financial records should be kept and others you can toss. Read more about the financial records you should safely store and those you should safely dispose of.
April 19 -- Shred documents with financially sensitive data
Take this opportunity to talk to your children about identity theft and ways to prevent it.
April 20 -- Make a donation
Make a donation to the charity of your child’s choice; or have your child donate toys or clothes in good condition to the charity of his or her own choice. Don’t forget toys and clothing donations in good condition can be deducted on next year’s tax return.
April 21 -- Talk to your children about entrepreneurship
Suggest the idea of starting a small summer business. Depending on their age, some suggestions are a lemonade stand, babysitting or a lawn mowing business.
April 22 -- Earth Day
Celebrate by walking to your destination instead of driving. Save money and the planet.
April 23 – Teach Children to Save Day
The American Bankers Association have designated today, Teach Children to Save Day. Go here for more information.
April 24 -- Count money with your children
Empty your purse or wallet and clean out your console to help your children learn about the different monetary values. Try turning it into a game and play pretend grocery store or go on a pretend shopping spree.
April 25 -- Learn about the history of money
Learn about the history of money and other banking and financial concepts!
April 26 -- Have a garage sale
When you have a garage sale, if you have met the financial goals then you can go on a family vacation as a reward. If you have not already met the goals the money, all of the money needs to go into savings or to pay off debt. The garage sale needs to be after you budget for the vacation and after you determine if the financial goal was met.
April 27 -- Spend quality family time together, without spending money
Try riding bikes together, going to a park, or have a home-cooked family picnic.
April 28 -- Did you reach that financial goal?
Examine whether or not you reached your family financial goal (from the sixth of this month), and discuss why or why not the goal was reached. Now is also a good time to review your money journal that you started at the beginning of the month.
April 29 -- Budget for a family vacation
Discuss all of the financial needs you might encounter: gas, lodging, food, souvenirs, tours, etc.
April 30 -- Encourage your children to save money in different ways
Show them the many different ways to save money around the house. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, turn off the water while you brush your teeth, and to save a portion of an allowance for a rainy day.