April is Financial Literacy Month

Economy is Affecting Personal Finance Behaviors, Including Saving

PHILADELPHIA - Since 2004, April has been recognized as National Financial Literacy Month. The goal of Financial Literacy Month is to teach Americans how to establish and maintain good financial habits. As consumers have wrestled with the roller coaster economy, they have become more receptive to financial literacy messages, particularly tips on how to save. According to a recent Commerce Department release, the U.S. savings rate is at 3.1 percent which is a good sign considering it was in the negative a few years ago.

Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) members will support Financial Literacy Month by participating in programs taking place across Pennsylvania. These programs, geared toward the general public, will cover topics such as budgeting, managing debt, and teaching children about money. PICPA has partnered with local colleges, legislative offices, consumer financial agencies, and the Girl Scouts to help individuals reach their financial goals. PICPA's financial literacy programs are offered year-round at no cost and can be scheduled by contacting the PICPA Communications Team at communications@picpa.org or
(888) CPA-2001.

PICPA's Web site - www.picpa.org - offers resources that help consumers take control of their finances and get access to useful information. The site's free Ask a CPA service allows consumers to submit financial questions to PICPA members. They can also browse previously asked and answered questions covering individual and business topics. Money Management financial columns, addressing topics such as college savings, tax, and insurance are also available for reference. Finally, although good finances are no laughing matter, Pennsylvania CPAs have created a light-hearted reminder of the importance of a good credit score through a TV spoof titled "What Not to Spend."

Nationally, CPAs have embraced the Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ad Council created the Feed the Pig campaign to encourage Americans ages 25 to 34 to save. The program touts the message "small changes add up - feed the pig."

Feed the Pig complements the CPA profession's 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy Web site. By logging on to www.360financialliteracy.org, consumers can find information that covers financial issues faced at each stage of life, including college, couples and marriage, the sandwich generation, and retirement. The site, developed and maintained by AICPA, houses hundreds of articles, calculators, and other tools to help consumers make sound financial decisions.

For more information on PICPA's financial literacy programs in your area, please contact Kathleen Miller at kmiller@picpa.org or (215) 972-6188.

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