April is National Financial Literacy Month. In the United States, we celebrate this month in order to highlight the importance of understanding money in the hopes of teaching Americans how to have good financial habits. Financial literacy is being able to understand how money works, from commerce to savings.
Our selection of Life Skills titles covers many topics from financial literacy, including how to set a budget, the importance of savings, how to calculate taxes, and understanding your credit score, among others. To start, it’s important for daily life that everyone knows how to set a budget.
A budget is a plan that you set so you know where your money is going. It helps to make sure you have enough money to pay for things you need, and can help you plan for things that you want. A need is something that you can’t live without, like food and shelter. A want is something you can live without, like TV and internet.
The other thing a budget can help with is keeping track of your income and expenses. Your income is money that you earn, either from a job or government grants. Your expenses are money that you use to pay for things, like those needs and wants. You always want the amount of money in your income to be more than your expenses.
Use this FREE graphic organizer to make your own custom budget. In the first part, find your monthly income. Write down how much money you get during the month. Then, add this together and write down how much money you have for the month. In the second part, find your monthly expenses. Write down how much money you spend during the month. This will be things you need and things you want. Then, add this together and write down how much money you spend during the month. Finally, subtract your expenses from your income. Write how much money you have left. If you’re in the plus, you’re a smart budgeter. If you’re in the minus, you will need to re-plan your spending.