By Amanda Mitchell, AFC® Candidate
On March 31st, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation designating April as National Financial Capability Month. April just so happens also to be Military Saves Month. Having the President of the United States acknowledge a need for better access to financial literacy education strengthens Military Saves Month’s mission by encouraging all Americans to pursue financial wellness.
In the proclamation, the President acknowledges the financial hardship that COVID-19 has caused and how it has disproportionately impacted minority and low-income communities. The President calls upon financial educators to recognize systemic disparities and double down their efforts to understand these hurdles to serve their communities better. The purpose of National Financial Capability Month is to rally Americans to build their financial capabilities and encourage and assist others in their community to do the same. And that is what Military Saves Month is all about; embodying the spirit of the military and circling back to pick up those in our community that may need a little more help.
What You Can Do to Help
- Start the Conversation: Finances are a historically taboo thing to talk about, and it can be a little awkward at first. Simply being willing to share a few of your own experiences can mitigate negative feelings around financial conversations. Normalizing financial conversations helps to open the door to information and resource sharing.
- Create a Financially Friendly Culture at your Organization: Share important resources to help those around you nurture their financial wellness. Here are some great resources you can share:
- Yellow Ribbon Network: The Yellow Ribbon Network, in partnership with the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE), is offering free financial counseling! This service is available to everyone, not just the military.
- AFCPE: Here, you can find a certified professional to help you reach your financial goals.
- Military Saves: Sign your organization up to participate in Military Saves Month and encourage your Family Readiness Groups to participate as well.
- Take the Military Saves Pledge: Lead from the front and take the Military Saves Pledge yourself!
No matter how you decide to support National Financial Capability Month or Military Saves Month, it is crucial that we all band together during these difficult times and support those who are most vulnerable in our communities. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s the value of teamwork. Let’s make 2021 the year we all choose to circle back on our friends and family and push each other to accomplish our financial goals.