American Money: It's Time To Build Your Personal Economy

Celebrate April’s Financial Literacy Month by securing a financial future.

Posted: 04/17/2013 09:00 AM EDT

A recent report suggest that two-thirds of Hispanic households and 62 percent of African-American households do not earn enough to cover basic needs and saving requirements.

These findings underscore the urgency in advancing policy that addresses structural barriers to economic opportunity and fairness. They also highlight the importance of empowering ourselves to make informed financial decisions and not be misled by financial schemes.

Now that National Financial Literacy Month has arrived, it is as great a time as ever to begin taking steps to strengthening your personal economy.  And along with the NAACP Economic Department, there are countless organizations available to assist you in your efforts to securing a financial future for you and your loved ones.

I highlighted some great financial organizations/institutions to help you get started:

Operation Hope

Operation Hope provides economic resources and opportunity to lower income and middle income Americans. Their services include Banking on Our Future (teaches financial literacy to youth); HOPE Business In A Box (teaches youth about the assets of economic energy, small business and entrepreneurship), HOPE Financial Dignity Centers (which consist of financial resources, literacy and counseling to people in underserved neighborhoods) and much more.

Hands on Banking

Hands on Banking, sponsored by Wells Fargo, consists of interactive tools and programs that makes learning financial basics and smart money management fun. Resources are specially tailored for children, young adults and adults, and there is even a free financial curriculum for educators.

Resilience Circles

With economic security eroding for millions of people, particularly in communities of color, many people lack a safe place to vent frustrations and receive emotional support. So, Common Security Club created resilience circles which are small groups nationwide where people come together to increase their personal security through learning, mutual aid, social action and community support.

BettterMoneyHabits.com

Bank of America and Khan Academy recently announced the launch of a financial education effort that provides both bank customers and non-customers free, self-paced, easy-to-understand resources to develop better money habits.  Targeted to adults who want to improve their understanding of their finances, lessons on the essentials of money management range from creating a budget to understanding compound interest.  This resource's unique visual narration of complex economic issues makes financial issues more understandable.

Ask a Financial Planner

The Financial Planning Association is a community of financial planning experts ready to help you. One of its resources called Ask a Financial Planner invites you to submit financial questions online and receive prompt responses from certified financial planners.

NID Housing Counseling Agency

The National Investment Division-Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA), founded by African-American real estate brokers, is a HUD approved non-profit organization with 25 years of experience in housing counseling (e.g., homeownership, foreclosure prevention, foreclosure recovery, etc.) and community building.

All these resources can assist your journey in becoming more financially secure. And many of these resources are great for kids and seniors. So make celebrating National Financial Literacy Month a family activity and build your personal economy over generations.

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