By Mike John

It’s National Financial Literacy Month here in the States. It’s fortuitous that this unofficial holiday lands in April every year — a month when most of the country is doing their best to clear out their homes and finish another annual spring clean.

Though seemingly worlds apart on the surface these yearly events go hand in hand when you go a little deeper. To be financially literate you have to be organized, and there’s no better time to get your files in order than when you’ve been bit by the cleaning bug.

As American financial institutions and non-profit financial organizations promote healthy financial options, make your own fiscally intelligent choices this spring. Include your finances in your house-wide scrub down. Financial literacy is an important stepping stone towards financial security.

Without it, you won’t always make responsible choices when spending your money. You won’t know how to manage your pocket cash, savings, or assets, which puts your ability to pay off debts and prepare for retirement in jeopardy.

Your journey towards literacy is a two-fold step.

On one hand, you have to understand the external factors affecting your wealth. The overall economy and fluctuating market trends are no simple subjects, and it can take a lifetime of learning to feel comfortable about these things. There are apps and online tutorials that can help make this easier, but don’t be discouraged if you find it a challenge to parse through everything you can find on the Internet.

Most people find finances too dry and complicated to fully comprehend.

On the other hand, and arguably the more important step, you must understand your own financial capabilities. As you clear out your home of old bills and obsolete tax records, take an afternoon (or several) to create a budget.

If you already have one, take this time to review the plan to make sure it’s still appropriate for your goals.

A budget reveals where your money is going and can help expose unhealthy patterns in your spending you weren’t aware you were making. It can help you plan for the future as you correct these bad habits and invest in savings, debt reduction, and retirement.

Fixing these past financial mistakes may take months or even years, but it’s worth the effort once you see your 401k growing.

Until you can make regular contributions to savings, a part of your financial education should include investigating small dollar loans from direct lenders like MoneyKey. Their personal cash advances can help you cover emergency bills, purchases, and repairs that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to on your own.

While traditional lenders require a thorough review of your credit score and finances, MoneyKey is a direct payday lender that provides these advances for those who may not have the best financial history.

They use other criteria to determine if you qualify for their loans, so people from all walks of life can have access to critical financial assistance.

It can feel a bit like you’re preparing for a huge exam but brushing up on your financial literacy this month has practical benefits beyond a good grade. It can help your prepare for a financially secure future. As you search out ways to learn more about the economy, take stock of your budget and figure out your game plan.

A plan is a great way to get started on achieving your goals.

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