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Financial Literacy Month Calendar

By Richard Barrington | MoneyRates.com Senior Financial Analyst, CFA

  1. Get competing quotes for auto and life insurance coverage. You could learn and save money by comparing different examples.
  2. Review checking account fees. Make sure your bank hasn't raised fees recently, and shop around for free checking account if necessary.
  3. Research TV service options. As viewing habits change and alternatives to cable become more plentiful, you may find ways to save money.
  4. Bookmark on your computer or mobile device credible sources of financial information, such as The New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal.
  5. Review your expenses for the past year, and list ways you could be saving money.
  6. Analyze how your current expenses would change in retirement, and how this figure compares with your current retirement planning target.
  7. Play "grocery store" with a small child (5 to 8 years old) to teach them the basics of how money works.
  8. Review key retirement savings assumptions such as rate of return, inflation and savings rate and see if you are on target.
  9. Adjust your retirement savings rate to your updated assumptions, and plan a budget around meeting this new savings target.
  10. Prioritize your credit card debt by reviewing the current interest rates on all your cards so you can pay off the highest-interest balances first.
  11. Shop for lower credit card rates, but be sure to check for balance transfer fees before transferring any existing balances.
  12. Set up a checking account for a younger teen, and show how to monitor and balance the account records.
  13. Shop around for higher savings account interest rates, and consider switching if you find a bank with significantly higher rates.
  14. Review the performance of your investment programs. Do you have clear benchmarks, and has performance been competitive with those benchmarks over a market cycle?
  15. Formulate or update written objectives for your investment programs, and communicate them to your investment adviser.
  16. If you participate in a 401(k) plan, review the total program fees to make sure the options you are in are cost-effective.
  17. Update and (hopefully) increase your 401(k) payroll contributions to reflect your current income and your retirement savings goals.
  18. Check out personal finance blogs like GetRichSlowly.org and FiveCentNickel.com for tips that might apply to your situation.
  19. Consider opting out of overdraft protection on your checking account -- you'll save costly fees and be forced to develop better banking habits.
  20. Rethink your telephone needs. Are you still paying for a seldom-used land line, or are you paying for more mobile minutes than you use?
  21. Educate an older teen about how credit cards work, and what the potential pitfalls of using them are.
  22. Check the maturity date of any bank CDs you have, and make a note to shop for rates before letting them roll over.
  23. Audit your grocery bill to identify areas where you could cut costs.
  24. Check your credit history to make sure there are no errors in it.
  25. Research the job market. Even if you don't make a change, knowing your value in the marketplace will help you negotiate your next raise.
  26. Use a refinancing calculator to see if you could save money by refinancing your mortgage.
  27. Review your financial situation with your spouse to make sure you are both up to date and share the same goals.
  28. Figure out how many weeks of expenses your emergency fund could meet -- six months is a good target to shoot for.
  29. Make a list of age-appropriate financial lessons for your kids, and start addressing one of these a week.
  30. Consider whether you would be a good fit for an online-only bank, since these accounts often have lower fees and higher interest rates.

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