Financial literacy: learning available for all levels

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By Erin Pitman

Financial literacy is a skill that we develop as we age. The youngest begin to count the money. As they age a little, we can teach them the value of a dollar and how to win and save. We can give older children knowledge of economics to prepare them for life, and students can deepen their knowledge through finance lessons.

But there is always more to learn. Whether you’re in a tough spot where you could use some advice on how best to manage your financial situation, or you’re ready to invest and want to learn some smart practices, there are free resources available to you. .

Master Home Finance Basics

For personal financial coaching and local education, turn to the Financial Empowerment Center of Prince William County. For 30 years, the Virginia Cooperative Extension Financial Education and Housing Counseling Program, which operates out of the center, has helped people understand their finances, buy a home for the first time and avoid foreclosure. Team members organize virtual courses and meetings by phone, Zoom and Skype.

The center also offers free four-part financial series each month. In odd months, the series includes:

  • Building a Spending Plan (Budgeting Basics)
  • Loans and Loans (Borrowing Basics)
  • Understanding your credit (reports and score)
  • Avoid fraud and scams (identity theft)

In even months, the series includes the following topics:

  • Rental success
  • Mortgages, home equity and avoiding foreclosure
  • The new loan, understanding peer-to-peer options (avoiding predatory lending)
  • Moving Forward – Money Influencers and Financial Goal Setting

For locations, information, registration and more, visit pwcva.gov/department/virginia-cooperative-extension/financialeducation. All courses and coaching services are offered free of charge.

If you want fast online start to achieve these financial goals, Nerdwallet covers you. Start with their article “Budgeting 101: How to Budget Money” (nerdwallet.com/article/finance/how-to-budget), because budgeting is an essential skill to master. You’ll find all the information and tools you need to quickly create a family budget and start spending and saving wisely. NerdWallet also offers additional links, tools, and resources to further your learning on a variety of financial topics.

Manage your taxes

Roosevelt University is offering a free webinar created in February 2021 titled “The Basics of Preparing Tax Returns,” which walks you through the ABCs of how to file your taxes. Understand what the terms mean, grasp the requirements for claiming deductions, and master all the other basic ins and outs. Visit their YouTube channel on youtube.com/user/rooseveltuniversity to find out now. April 15 always seems to come sooner than you think!

learn everything

The Khan Academy has established itself as a hub respected for free education in thousands of areas. The subject of money is no exception. If you’re looking for a refresher on all things personal finance, their unique “Personal Finance” course is for you. In partnership with Bank of America, Khan Academy covers:

  • Savings and budgeting
  • Interest and debt
  • Investments and retirement
  • Income and Benefits
  • Lodging
  • Car costs
  • Taxes
  • pay for college
  • Securing your information

Visit khanacademy.org/college-careers-more/personal-finance to start this holistic course.

The internet offers a wealth of courses, tips and advice on personal finance. Remember to always verify your source. Stop and imagine taking a cup of coffee with the author or someone from the resource organization. If you would not appreciate their advice during your Imaginary Café appointment, go to the
next source. Good learning.

Erin Pittman is the editor of Prince William Living. Contact her at [email protected]