Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Money Checkup: The ideal budgeting tool

Everyone should have a budget. Many budgets do not look the same for a number of reasons. Budgets should reflect values and priorities which differ from one person to the next. Also, the cost of living (particularly housing) differs across the country impacting how much someone can and should allocate for each budget item. With that said, there are limitations of what everyday Americans can spend on certain budget items in order to afford other budget items regardless of values, priorities, or location.

My Money Checkup is the ideal budgeting tool for identifying when someone may be overspending in a certain budget category, facing dangerous amounts of debt, or not putting enough money aside for retirement.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the nation's largest and longest-serving nonprofit credit counseling organization. They have developed My Money Checkup, a resource that provides consumers with a means of evaluating four key areas of personal finance: budgeting and credit management, saving and investing, planning for retirement and home equity. The tool is now available in Spanish at

My Money Checkup is an adult education tool as well. Research tells us that the closer we can get our students to actually managing money while learning about money the more effective the lessons will be. Our kids should still experience a scaffolding of financial education in our K-12 education system, and the NFCC agrees.

“The National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s (NFCC) Financial Literacy Survey asked people where they learned the most about personal finance. Only 10 percent indicated it was in the school system, with 44 percent saying they learned the most from their parents,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Since parents may or may not have responsible financial habits, it makes perfect sense for the schools to incorporate a personal finance course into the curriculum required for graduation. Doing so could significantly advance the level of financial literacy for this generation of youth.”

Whether you happen to be an adult learning from the school of hard knocks, or you just want a money checkup, I recommend taking a little time out of our day to experience My Money Checkup.

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