Financial literacy month

April is Financial Literacy Month, and some of us may be wanting to plan something fun for the summer. If the word “budget” gives you the willies and the word “savings” means checking the couch for lost change, it’s time to get a grip. Our Investing subject guide and the Consumer information subject guide organize some resources to help you get started. Some highlights:

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy is brought to us by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), but don’t let that scare you off. This is the place for clear, simple, workable information and “how-to’s” on making your spending plan, a savings plan, and a happier life plan. Learn the basics with tutorial videos, then use scads of calculators to help you run what-if scenarios with all aspects of money.

If you prefer to start in your easy chair with a print book rather than a computer, consider checking out a classic, easy-to-digest guide written like a novel, David Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber. The newest edition is available in most of our library locations, and will take you painlessly from “financial illiteracy” to “insights into investments and income tax.”

Before investing in an industry, you can investigate industry trends using the Business Insights: Essentials database.

When a company strikes you as a potential investment, you can use ValueLine for details on the company’s financial status, history, and forecasts.

Or, if you prefer to keep your money in mutual funds, use Morningstar for evaluation of funds.

Everyone needs an emergency fund and short-term savings. But is your bank a safe place to stash that cash? And speaking of emergencies—is your insurance company really going to be there when you need them? The Weiss Financial Ratings Series gives us independent advice on the financial stability of banks, credit unions, and insurance companies. It offers stock and mutual fund ratings, too.

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