April ushers in National Financial Literacy Month at a time when statistics show that most of us could use a refresher in financial education. Recent reports indicate that the average American has five times more in credit card debt than they do in savings.
According to CreditDonkey, the average person’s credit card debt in the United States is $5,331, despite the fact that GoBankingRates found that 58% of Americans don’t have even $1,000 in savings. That imbalance causes significant stress for a large swath of the population — reason enough to celebrate National Financial Literacy Month.
Fifteen Years of Promoting Financial Literacy
In 2004, Congress established April as the National Financial Literacy Month to highlight its importance and to help teach Americans to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.
The Council for Economic Education, a key sponsor of this initiative, explains that financial illiteracy continues today because of the complexity of our global economy, which makes it increasingly difficult for people to understand how 21st-century economics works.
This also bleeds into personal finances, with members of Generations X, Y, and Z struggling to understand or recognize the implications of revolving credit card debt. CreditDonkey notes that they have the highest rate of revolving credit card usage, with 36 to 37 percent of them keeping a balance on their cards every month.
The Link Between Financial Health and Happiness
This is an unfortunate state of affairs. At Prosper, we believe financial health is a key component of one’s overall happiness and sense of well-being.
For example, our personal loan product has been used by over a million people to refinance high-interest debt or pay for a large purchase. We’ve received thousands of stories telling us how a loan through Prosper has helped individuals and families get back on the path to financial stability, which has significantly improved their overall quality of life.
Taking the First Step Toward Financial Well-Being
While it may seem daunting at first, learning some basic financial planning and money-management skills is your first step toward achieving long-term financial well-being. You can start with the Prosper Blog, where we regularly share financial tips and insights.
To kick off National Financial Literacy Month, we’re sharing some of our community’s favorite blog posts. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to make a positive change on your path to financial well-being:
- Expert Advice on How to Grow Your Savings in 2019
- Freezing Your Credit: How it Works
- 7 Debt Myths to Ditch ASAP
- How to Give Yourself a Financial Checkup
- Credit Cards vs. Personal Loans: Which is Right for You?
More on Financial Literacy
We’ve also gathered this list of other great resources that provide a wealth of financial literacy tips, ideas, and advice:
- Financial Literacy 101: Browse through 12 financial topics ranging from budgeting and spending to credit reports and identity theft.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Tools: Learn more about 11 money topics (bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, etc.) and read through seven guides on issues such as paying for college and planning for retirement.
- Practical Money Skills: This 27-year old Visa-led private-public partnership provides money-related interactive tools and educational resources for people of all ages.
- Smart Money: This FDIC-sponsored financial education program features a podcast network that covers topics such as the Basics of Banking, Checking Accounts, Savings/Spending Plan and Borrowing Money.
- Building Wealth – A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future: This workbook created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is filled with exercises that help you understand how to build your own wealth for a happier and more secure future.
Stay tuned throughout the month of April as we share more content focused on your financial wellness.