April 03, 2019
Preparing Citizens for Financial Wellness is the Focus of Financial Literacy Month
A lack of financial education and preparedness can leave consumers without the ability to achieve personal financial freedom.
April is Financial Literacy Month and the Missouri Division of Finance encourages consumers to learn as much as possible about basic finance in order to achieve financial wellness. Financial wellness allows us to plan appropriately for the many important milestones in our lives, such as college, marriage and retirement. A lack of appropriate planning leaves us unprepared to face some of the daunting challenges ahead. Recent financial trends make it imperative for consumers to have a thorough understanding of basic finance as it becomes necessary for them to learn to manage more complex financial products and options.
“One of the biggest challenges people face as they try to manage their financial responsibilities is a lack of knowledge,” says Lee Keith, Missouri Commissioner of Finance. “In order to be prepared for those life goals, we need to educate consumers about the importance of building good savings habits early and encouraging the development of financial decision-making skills to apply in real-life situations.”
Financial literacy is especially important among families with small children. Teaching children about financial matters at a very young age is necessary for them to achieve an overall awareness of how they can take control of their future. Instilling a commitment to regularly saving is one of the first steps in accomplishing financial literacy. Increasing their understanding of finances including how to pay bills, budgeting, investing and paying taxes are crucial in building financial independence.
According to a recent survey, more than half of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings. This leads consumers to be unprepared for the unexpected emergencies in life, and unable to achieve the financial freedom to pay for those important major purchases like college or a home. This ultimately hampers our ability to adequately save for retirement during a time when employer funded pensions are declining.
Consumers are encouraged to learn as much as they can about how credit works, how to manage their credit responsibly and how to balance a budget. There are many online educational options available for all age ranges.
About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration
The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.