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Tennessee Treasurer comments on National Financial Literacy Month

Financial literacy is essential to managing money. In fact, financial literacy is so important that in the U.S. April is National Financial Literacy Month. While the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission has tried to increase the focus on financial literacy over that last few years, the numbers suggest that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Despite a push to increase financial literacy throughout the state, according to recent statistics the average Tennessee resident has around $7,000 in credit card debt, and there are around 6.59 bankruptcies in Tennessee for every 1,000 residents. This is unacceptably high according to David H Lillard Jr., Tennessee state treasurer, who discussed the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission in a recent article.

As Lillard points out, financial literacy isn't a skill set just for economists, it is a skill set that everyone needs to acquire in order to be successful and productive in their lives. From balancing the checkbook to establishing a budget, acquiring basic financial literacy concepts is vital to the establishment of a strong financial foundation. And, because research shows that elementary children are old enough to learn these concepts, Tennessee has started to reach out to teachers.

While financial literacy is essential to managing money, building a budget and staying on top of the family finances is not always enough. In fact, many people fall on hard financial times through no fault of their own. When this happens, whether a person is dealing with mounting credit card bills or bad investments, it may be time to think about debt relief options. While financial literacy can help consumers avoid some of the more preventable financial mistakes out there, not all financial challenges are foreseeable.

Source: Tennessean, "Good money habits can last a lifetime," David H. Lillard Jr.," April 15, 2014

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