Cindy Couyoumjian Explains What Financial Literacy Month Is All About
Since 2004, the United States has officially recognized April as Financial Literacy Month. This month is part of a widespread effort to showcase the importance of financial literacy and to help Americans develop healthy financial habits. It was born out of the need to teach Americans about the major repercussions associated with little to no understanding of one’s personal finances. Certified Financial Planner and CEO of Cinergy Financial, Cindy Couyoumjian, is a fierce advocate of Financial Literacy Month. She has witnessed the lack of financial education among Americans and strongly believes that dedicating such a month to the topic of money management is a great first step in raising awareness about the issue and educating the public. Cindy Couyoumjian has spent over thirty years in the finance industry and is committed to enriching the lives of her clients through financial literacy.
The History of Financial Literacy Month
It all began in 2000 when the National Endowment for Financial Education created Youth Financial Literacy Day. In order to focus on promoting financial literacy across the board, versus highlighting any one organization, the National Endowment for Financial Education turned the initiative over to the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. It was the Jump$tart Coalition who decided one day was not enough and proposed a month-long event. The event was renamed Financial Literacy for Youth Month and the United States Senate designated the month of April in 2003. The following year, the Senate passed Resolution 316, officially recognizing April as National Financial Literacy Month, making the event inclusive to those of all ages. Although President George W. Bush never issued a proclamation that called on the federal and state governments, schools, non-profit organizations, businesses, and people to observe the month, many financial institutions and non-profit financial organizations started to promote it anyway, by holding events and distributing pamphlets about how to manage money and handle debt. In addition, several states including Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma have independently recognized April as Financial Literacy Month.
Why Financial Literacy Month Matters
Certified Financial Planner Cindy Couyoumjian praises the Jump$tart Coalition for the awareness that Financial Literacy Month has raised about the importance of financial education. It has started a conversation about financial literacy and brought it into the mainstream, providing resources for people of all ages across America to learn the necessary skills to manage their finances. After all, the goal of the month-long event is for financial literacy to become commonplace in all communities in the U.S., regardless of socioeconomic standing. To achieve this goal, financial education at home and in school curricula, mainstream financial literacy programs, and government funding for public awareness campaigns are all necessary actions, and ones that Financial Literacy Month have helped to take.
How To Get Involved with Financial Literacy Month
Each April, the Jump$tart Coalition kicks off Financial Literacy Month by hosting an Annual Awards Dinner and Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill. During the Awards Dinner, Jump$tart Coalition announces the winners of their annual awards focused on leadership and outstanding achievement in efforts relating to youth financial literacy. Meanwhile, Hill Day, which first began in 2003, attracts hundreds of visitors and is a day when members of the Capitol Hill community introduce the most effective financial education tools and programs available to students. Attending either of these events is a great way to get involved, says Cindy Couyoumjian. But another option, if traveling to Washington D.C. isn’t possible, is to donate to Jump$tart or to volunteer with a local or state financial literacy coalition. Check with your local school or visit Jump Start’s website to find your state affiliated coalition today.
Cindy Couyoumjian concludes that Financial Literacy Month is extremely important for improving financial literacy in America and helping the younger generations learn the importance of saving their money so that they are at a lower risk of going bankrupt.