April is National Financial Literacy Month
By Economy Jackson, Director Asset Building, Income at United Way of Greater Atlanta, Venus R. Lockett, Bank On Atlanta Program Manager
Since 2003, April has been designated by U.S. legislators as National Financial Literacy Month. This was done to highlight the importance of being financially literate and for people to learn techniques in becoming financially empowered. Many Americans from all age groups and backgrounds lack the necessary financial life skills to succeed. There is an ongoing need for accessible, reliable financial education to help people achieve their hopes, dreams, and goals. The United States economy took a hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve reported that 36 % of adults could not cover an emergency expense costing $400.00.
United Way of Greater Atlanta has set a goal of positively impacting 250,000 children by 2027 across our 13-county region. Through our Economic Stability Investment Priority Area, we are focused on improving family financial stability by 10%. By investing in job skills and addressing other factors like health costs, housing and financial education, we are helping to ensure the well-being of children, families, and communities regardless of zip code.
The U.S. poverty rate in 2021 was 13.7% while Georgia’s poverty rate was 20.9%. Helping families and individuals attain financial security is foundational for our community to become economically stable. Efforts to promote and advance financial literacy and awareness are made possible through the collaboration of our community partners.
“Participating in the financial mainstream is an important step towards personal financial success and asset building goals such as entrepreneurship, homeownership, saving, and more. Bank On Atlanta works collaboratively with banks, credit unions, community partners, and government agencies to educate on the importance of having a mainstream bank or credit union account and the importance of building relationships with your local financial institutions. Collectively, we work to bring unbanked and underbanked individuals into the financial mainstream by providing safe, affordable bank and credit union accounts for those that are using alternative financial services such as check cashers for their financial transactions,” says Venus R. Lockett, Bank On Atlanta Program Manager.
As families rebound from financial devastation, small changes can make a big difference. There are some easy steps families can take to turn the corner on their finances. You are invited to join us virtually for our Financial Literacy Month #BankedforSuccess events Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, and Tuesday, April 26, 2022, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Please visit https://bankon.atlantaga.gov/ to register.
Filing your taxes is another way to increase your family’s economic stability. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps to educate families on the benefits of IRS Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is the nation’s largest anti-poverty program. Go to www.MyFreeTaxes.com to complete your taxes FREE. Or visit Take Advantage of Free Tax Prep Today! – United Way of Greater Atlanta (unitedwayatlanta.org) for more information. Don’t miss the April 18, 2022, deadline.