By David Hsu, Fall 2016 Student Intern
In 2003, Congress established the Financial Literacy & Education Commission, a collaboration between over 20 federal agencies with the purpose of strengthening the financial capabilities and access to financial services for Americans.
Since then, the commission has, among other things, created a website to help educate people about how best to manage and grow their money. The commission catalogs resources across all participating agencies and, over the past few years, has broken down the basics of successfully managing your money into five building blocks, which they describe as the “MyMoney Five,” which consists of the following: 1) Earn, 2) Save & Invest, 3) Protect, 4) Spend, and 5) Borrow.
Keeping these building blocks in mind when making day-to-day financial decisions will help you achieve the best possible results with the financial resources available to you. Over the next five blog posts, starting with this one, we will go over each of the basic building blocks and the core themes in how they contribute to your overall financial picture.
MyMoney Building Block – Earn
The MyMoney.gov Earn building block focuses on making the most of what you earn by more fully understanding your pay and benefits. Most employees do not really understand or review the various withholdings to their paycheck. Additionally, there may be workplace benefits that you can take advantage of to maximize your financial picture, from making the most out of your healthcare benefits, to using the education and training benefits offered by both the government and your employer.
The MyMoney website provides links to over a hundred resources in educating people about these concepts. Of particular note is that not only are there resources for adults, there are also materials suitable for kids from K through 8th grade to help them to start understanding basic concepts about finances, to help both parents and educators prepare the next generation for managing finances.