What is financial literacy?

Financial literacy is defined as:


  • The ability to read, analyze, manage and communicate about the personal financial conditions affecting material well being.
  • The term is used to describe financial education programs on college campuses and within high schools. The objective of financial literacy programs is to help students better manage their finances, budget effectively, and borrow wisely.


Planning for Financial Success


Smart financial management includes a few basic good habits. You may already have a checking account, a credit card, or maybe even a car loan. When continuing your education, you may also need to borrow student loans. But have you determined your financial goals and established good financial habits? Here are a few tips to get you started.




Steps you can take now to get on the right financial path


  • Take charge of your spending. Establish a budget; set limits and prioritize; determine the difference between needs and wants; speak with a professional, nonprofit credit counselor if needed.


  • Start saving. The earlier you save, the more you'll have.


  • Understand the costs of credit. Compare at least three offers before you choose a credit card; look for low interest rates and no annual fees; don’t spend more than you can afford to pay off each month, but if you do, always pay more than the minimum payment.


  • Understand how credit use affects your future. Know the difference between good and bad debt; check your credit report annually.


  • Protect your credit and your financial future. Beware of identity theft; review statements and notify creditors immediately of errors; know what’s in your wallet/purse.


Teachers and Counselors – Financial Literacy Resources



Financial Literacy Staff


Do you need personalized assistance with financial literacy? Contact the MDHE’s financial literacy staff to request on-site training or to request a speaker.