April is National Financial Capability Month and recently President Barack Obama stressed the importance of financial education in the classroom.
Statistics show 25.4 percent of Americans aren’t prepared to cover three months of their basic living expenses – housing, bills and groceries – if they lose their income. In Ohio, the percentage is slightly lower at 23.7. That means many of us, our friends, family members and neighbors live in a dangerous balance. If we aren’t prepared, one unfortunate accident or round of layoffs can tip the balance toward financial trouble.
No one is born knowing how to properly manage their income, it’s learned. Some people utilize the Cleveland Public Library to read and research personal finance. And others, me included, need a little extra help. Luckily, Cleveland has many great resources to teach us how to save for a rainy (or snowy) day. If your goal is to start small or learn more about your overall financial situation, the Cleveland Housing Network can help. Or if you’re dreaming of owning a home, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland can assist. And don’t forget, you can always call United Way 2-1-1 and one of my resourceful co-workers can help you find a program that works best for you.
We’ve all heard sayings connected with personal finance; “save it for a rainy day” or “make hay while the sun shines.” But, the sayings don’t teach us about credit card rates or how to cope with debt on a limited income. I mean, what am I going to do with hay in Cleveland?
Just as April showers bring May flowers, understanding your finances will prepare you to enjoy times ahead and weather any storms that may come your way.