Celebrating Financial Literacy Month in April
Want to get better at managing your money, saving for the future, and feeling financially secure? April is Financial Literacy Month, so it’s the perfect time to brush up on your financial knowledge.
39% of adults in the UK don’t feel confident managing their money. So if you’re not sure how to navigate the financial and banking system here, you’re not alone. But it’s never too late to start learning.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to Financial Literacy Month: a time dedicated to helping you feel more confident when making financial decisions. Here’s everything you need to know about Financial Literacy Month, plus what you can do this April to improve your own financial knowledge.
What is Financial Literacy Month?
Financial Literacy Month was first celebrated in the US in April 2004 to help people become more financially savvy. Now, it’s recognised all over the world as a time to focus on your finances and learn more about money management.
According to Experian, financial literacy is “a confident understanding of money matters.” This includes knowledge and understanding of:
- Saving - putting money aside for the future.
- Investing - putting your money in an asset with a view to making money from this.
- Debt - the amount of money to owe to other people.
- Credit - the amount of money you can borrow from a lender.
Almost everyone comes across these concepts and activities at some point in their lives. So we need to arm ourselves — and our communities — with the knowledge and self-assurance to deal with them.
Why is financial literacy important?
Financial literacy is important for lots of reasons:
- It helps us make good financial decisions so we feel more secure
- We have a complex financial system that isn’t easy to understand
- Passing on good financial knowledge to our children helps future generations flourish
- We can plan for the future and make sure we’re comfortable in later life
The finance industry can move quickly, so there’s always room to learn something new. (Bitcoin, for example, was only created in 2009, so the cryptocurrency movement is still in its infancy).
Even if you feel confident in your money management skills, it’s important to take the time to stay on top of new trends, and pass on your knowledge to younger family members.
5 ways to improve your financial literacy in April
Here are five things you can do right now to improve your money management knowledge this Financial Literacy Month.
1. Check your financial health
Number one: check your own finances. You can do this on your own, with a partner or trusted friend/family member, or even with a financial advisor. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself:
- What are your outgoings vs income?
- Do you always pay your bills on time?
- Do you regularly feel stressed about money before payday?
- Do you have any outstanding loans and credit cards (except your mortgage)?
- Do you have an emergency fund for unexpected costs?
- Do you have extra savings or investments?
- Are you paying into a pension?
HSBC’s financial fitness checker gives you a more structured approach to checking your financial health. It generates a score based on your answers, which helps you benchmark your current financial awareness against other years.
For tailored guidance based on your specific circumstances, here’s where you can find trustworthy financial advice in the UK.
2. Follow money influencers on social media
Make use of your social media feeds by following reputable money and finance influencers.
Be careful about who you follow: there are lots of get-rich-quick schemes out there. Look for accounts that offer great advice without pushing you to pay for services or buy into their 30-day programme.
Here are some of our favourites:
- allthingsmoney_ — Ola’s Instagram account is designed to help you navigate your finances in adulthood, including budgeting, saving, and investing.
- money_unfiltered — A video series discussing the relationship between cash and other elements of our lives (such as fitness, food, and fashion).
- myfrugalyear — Clare paid off over £27k in debt over two years, and now shares everyday tips for keeping your finances in order.
- martinlewismse — Martin Lewis highlights financial policy changes and schemes that can affect your finances.
- mrmoneyjar — Timi creates educational content for everyone, covering topics like budgeting, saving, buying a home, and investing.
- vestpod — Emilie empowers people to look after their own finances, with useful checklists, tips, and FAQs
- bloommoney.co — We share news and money management tips geared towards new UK residents and migrant communities.
3. Learn to spot scams
Money scams are becoming more common as we spend more time online. Learn how to avoid scams in this video:
Read more about money safety in these articles from Bloom:
4. Get advice from a debt charity
It’s not always clear how to find a way out of debt, especially if you have multiple outstanding loans and credit cards with high levels of interest.
But debt is a common problem in the UK, and there are lots of useful resources to help you deal with it.
StepChange debt charity and Fair Money Advice can help you create a manageable repayment plan. They’ll also signpost you to other useful services, from mental health support to information about benefits.
5. Take steps to improve your credit score
A credit score is essential for buying a house, renting a flat, and even getting a phone contract in the UK. So if you don’t have a credit score yet, or your credit score isn’t high enough to achieve your goals, here’s everything you need to know about UK credit scores for new residents.
5 financial literacy initiatives you can join in Financial Literacy Month
Lots of schemes and businesses run workshops and other initiatives to improve financial literacy for UK residents. Here are some of the best you can join this month.
1. Bloom workshops
Our team runs free workshops to help UK residents improve their financial literacy. We’ll help you create a bank account and budget to set yourself up for success.
Follow us on Instagram to see when and where our next workshop will be held.
2. MyBnk home learning
Boost your kids’ financial knowledge with MyBnk’s free home learning programme. This programme is aimed at kids aged 5 to 14, so it’s a great way to teach children about money from home.
3. Natwest Thrive
Natwest Thrive is an immersive money mindset programme. Created with Marcus Rashford, this programme is designed to give kids the confidence and financial skills to help them on the road to their dream careers.
"I want everyone who takes part in NatWest Thrive to dream big, believe that achieving those dreams is possible and understand the steps they need to take to get there."
— Marcus Rashford MBE
Natwest Thrive is run in youth clubs around the UK.
4. The Money Charity
The Money Charity runs money workshops and webinars for both adults and young people. With sessions taking place in workplaces, schools, colleges, and other organisations, these are a great way to improve your knowledge and get up-to-date information from finance experts.
5. Take a free class
Take a free online class designed to teach you about your finances, such as this Principles of Wealth Management course from the Hanken School of Economics, or Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision-Making from the University of Michigan.
These free courses generally have a low weekly time commitment, and can seriously pay off for your financial knowledge and confidence.
Join Bloom this Financial Literacy Month
Bloom’s Learning Hub is designed to help newcomers to the UK learn more about managing their finances. But we also believe in keeping your financial traditions alive. That’s why we’ve created Bloom Circles: a safe, community-centred way to save together.
Find out how Bloom works and join our community this Financial Literacy Month.