NAFSA Leverages Financial Literacy Month to Highlight Critical Topics

Need a primer on financial literacy? Look no further than the Native American Financial Services Association’s (NAFSA) incredibly comprehensive and free Financial Literacy Program. In honor of Financial Literacy Month in April, NAFSA is highlighting a critical financial topic each week through social media and blog posts, designed to spark important conversations and help individuals and families make better financial decisions for their futures.

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The engaging educational videos that comprise the Financial Literacy Program make financial topics — such as paying off debt, saving for the future, investing and retiring — easy to understand and approachable. The more you understand financial topics, the more empowered you are to claim self-sovereignty over your life.

“With this program, we’re really trying to demystify finances. I think it gives you a starting point,” said Mika Leonard, NAFSA’s chief operations officer (COO) and a member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. “It’s a great tool as you go through different phases in your life.”

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As Olivia Hoff, Digital Marketing Manager at NAFSA, underscores: “So many people weren’t taught financial literacy growing up. I was never sat down in a classroom and shown these type of [financial] modules. A person of any age can sit down and watch these and get a good knowledge base for moving forward.”

Check out the four topics that NAFSA chose to underscore each week during Financial Literacy Month, observed each April.

Week 1 – Paying off Debt

NAFSA’s first blog in April, Create a Plan to Take Control of Your Debt, notes: “It’s never too late to create a plan to tackle your debt. Debt can be overwhelming and it can sometimes feel like you might never climb out of the financial hole.”

Utilize their Debt Payoff module, which will allow you to input your loan details, including the remaining balance, the annual interest rate, and the minimum monthly payments.

“Once all your data is entered, the module will calculate how much time it will take to pay off your loan in years and your total amount paid. It will also show you the difference in the avalanche and snowball method.”

Read on to learn more: Create a Plan to Take Control of Your Debt.

Week 2 – Saving for the Future

NAFSA’s blog published the second week of April, The Importance of Saving for the Future, draws attention to the fact that: A lack of sufficient savings is a problem for many people in the United States. According to a Federal Reserve report, “Four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.”

The Emergency Savings calculator, located in the program’s Finances 101 playlist, is a simple way to create a visual graph of your current savings versus your recommended savings based on your monthly take-home income and expenses.

Read on to learn more: The Importance of Saving for the Future.

Week 3 – Investments 

In a blog published the third week of April, Explore Investment Options and Your Financial Risk Tolerance, NAFSA shares how investments can be a great way to grow your hard-earned money over time. Yet, “for many people, the idea of investing is both exciting and daunting,” NAFSA acknowledges.

NAFSA breaks down a few basic investment concepts and strategies, as well as the personal factors to consider when making the decision to invest. For a more in-depth look at investment options, check out the investment module in NAFSA’s free Financial Literacy Program.

Read on to learn more: The Importance of Saving for the Future.

Week 4 – Retirement

NAFSA’s blog published the final week of April, Four Steps to Start Saving for Retirement, acknowledges that: “It can be challenging to consider a distant future, especially when more immediate spending needs take priority.”

Unfortunately, NAFSA writes, “this means many people don’t have enough saved to be financially stable and secure when they’re ready to retire.”

NAFSA’s Financial Literacy Program offers a Retirement 101 module to help provide better understanding and tools to begin building a robust retirement account.

NAFSA’s four recommended steps to save for retirement include: Set a Goal, Start Saving Early, Choose a Retirement Plan, and Automate Your Savings. Check out the four-step breakdown and get motivated to start saving for retirement now.

Read on to learn more: Steps to Start Saving for Retirement.