April is Financial Literacy Month. To mark that occasion, I’ll be posting a special series throughout the month on what I consider to be the Four Pillars of Financial Health.
April is as good a month as any to turn the corner in your financial life; and over the course of the next four weeks, I’ll do my very best to help you understand those pillars in order to lay a solid foundation for getting and keeping control over your finances.
I’ve written a lot about the importance of awareness (and I’m sure I’ll continue to write about it in the future, too.) I probably at least touch on it in almost every post I publish because it’s so important. Awareness extends not just to the state of our finances or the choices that we make with them. It also extends to ourselves. I touched on that a little bit in “Know Thyself.”
I recently viewed a webinar about short dollar credit usage that got me doing some thinking about a particular aspect of awareness. It seems to me that, though we all have different circumstances, most people who have financial hardship fall into one of three categories of financial people. It might even be appropriate to call them archetypes. Let’s call them the Overspender, the Undersaver, and the Poor Scheduler.
Well, it’s that time of year again. In just under a few weeks, your taxes will need to be filed (if you haven’t done so, already.) And, as we all know, the filing of taxes often means receiving tax returns (though definitely not always.)
As people get tax returns back, they use them in any number of different ways. Some folks have plans for their tax returns and some don’t. Of course, I think it’s important to have the same type of awareness, thought, and planning in regards to your taxes and tax returns as for everything else in your financial life. If you’re not giving any deeper thought to your tax returns, you might be missing out on an opportunity to use your taxes to make a significant, positive impact on your overall financial life.
I love documentaries. I consider myself a life-long learner and I enjoy feeding my head as much information as it can hold. If I’m going to sit in front of my television, there’s a good chance I’ll be using that time to do something that I consider at least reasonably productive. I have Netflix and some of the many documentaries one might find on my Instant Queue list are documentaries about finance. There are a number of interesting documentaries out there, like “I.O.U.S.A,” “Inside Job,” “Capitalism: A Love Story,” and “Maxed Out,” to name a few.
Last night, I watched “Inequality for All.” I found it fascinating and incredibly informative. I’d recommend it. Now, in the efforts of transparency, I have to say that I found the political ramifications of it interesting. But this post isn’t about politics. What I found FAR more interesting and relevant about the film was how it made me re-think some of my responsibilities as someone who is trying to help people exist and maybe even thrive in what is a very tough economy.