April Is Financial Capability Month. How Prepared Are You?

By Robert Steen, CFP® and Mikel Van Cleve, CFP®

A noteworthy month, April fills up fast with observances ranging from National Fresh Celery Month and National Straw Hat Month to National Humor Month (no kidding!). Despite the competition among deserving topics, Financial Capability earned its own month of recognition in April. 


National Financial Capability Month was declared to help all Americans improve their financial knowledge so they can

make better decisions with their money. It’s an ambitious goal and an important one.


The President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability defines personal financial literacy as "the capacity, based on knowledge, skills and access, to manage financial resources prudently and effectively."  


The truth is, many Americans struggle with making common-sense financial decisions. Consider these National Financial Capability Study findings: 

  • Only 40% of respondents spend less than they earn.
  • Of those with credit cards, 39% engage in expensive behaviors, such as only making minimum payments, paying late fees, or using the card for cash advances.
  • A third of respondents said they could not come up with $2,000 in the event of an emergency or unexpected expense.

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USAA believes that members can make themselves more financially ready by following six Core Advice principles. Throughout the month of April, you can learn more about these principles and how to apply them on our Ask USAA blog. Adhering to these guidelines may help improve your chances of living the life you want. 


And here’s more good info: You don’t have to wait until next April to improve your financial capability. USAA is here year-round with advice and programs to help you achieve your life goals.