In a world filled with an abundance of credit card offers, rising student loan debt, and the projection of Social Security funds being depleted by 2033, the individual consumer is left struggling trying to navigate and plan their financial future. The Black Coffee Company understands the importance of financial literacy and its impact on the quality of life. We are dedicated to providing the community with the tools and resources to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.
Throughout the month of April, The Black Coffee Company will provide tips, fun facts, activities, and educational resources geared toward promoting/increasing financial knowledge, skills, and confidence.
We hope increased financial discussions/engagement in group settings will lead to healthy financial behavior.
This blog post covers the first ten days of financial literacy month campaign with a mix of fun activities and general information regarding improving your financial literacy.
Day 1: [Activity] Financial Literacy Test
Let’s kick-off Financial Literacy Month (FLM) with seeing how financially literate you are. Below are two online tests to assess your financial literacy. Share your results if you dare...have fun!!!
http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/quiz.php (6 questions)
Day 2: [Activity] Donate to your favorite organization/charity
The Black Coffee Company is dedicated to giving back, not only with our time, knowledge, and experience, but also with our proceeds from our sales. Below are a few organizations you can donate to:
Day 3: [Information] List of organizations that promote financial literacy
Below are links to organizations/sites that promote financial literacy and are a great resource to learning more about saving, investing, budgeting, etc. The list is obviously not exhaustive, if you know of other sites you found useful, please let us know via @blkcoffeeco
or in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Day 4: [Information] Dave Ramsey Baby Steps
Those that know Dave Ramsey, know that he lives by his Baby Steps as a guide to live a happy, debt,-free, and giving life. Below are his 7 Baby Steps:
Save $1,000 for your starter emergency fund
Pay of all debt (except the house) using the debt snowball
Save 3 to 6 months of expense in a fully funded emergency fund
Invest 15% of your household income in retirement
Save for your children’s college fund
Pay off your home early
Build wealth and give
Day 5: [Activity] Credit card offers
Keep track of the number of credit card offers you receive in the mail for the next two weeks.
The consumer credit card industry is a trillion dollar industry. Their marketing is very aggressive. Share the number of credit card offers you get via @blkcoffeeco.Our bet is that you will get at least 5 offers, which is ridiculous considering the amount of trees they are killing just to get the consumer to sign up for their credit card.
Day 6: [Information] 9 Simple Steps to Improve Your Financial Behavior
The 9 simple steps are from book "The Index Card: Why Personal Finances Doesn’t Have to be Complicated" by Harold Pollack and Helaine Olen. It is a very easy read. Pick it up for free at your local library or purchase it (you will not regret it), Below are the 9 steps:
Strive to save 10% to 20% of your income
Pay your credit card balance in full every month (Use cash as much as you can)
Max out your retirement (401(k), IRA, Roth, etc) and other tax-advantaged saving accounts (529 College Saving Account)
Never buy or sell individual stocks
Buy inexpensive, well-diversified index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds
Make your financial advisor commit to the fiduciary standard
Buy a home when you are financially ready (at a minimum, put down 20%)
Make sure you are protected by having the proper insurance
Do what you can to support the social safety net --> "no one can fail because everyone will be each others crutches. (c) Jay-Z"
Day 7: [Information] Books
Below is a list of books that does a great introducing and job breaking down an array of financial topics:
Dave Ramsey - "Total Money Makeover"
Chris Hogan - "Retire Inspire"
Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze - "Smart Money Smart Kids"
Anthony O'Neal - "The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in College"
Day 8: [Information] Podcasts
Many of us do not have time to sit down and read through a book. So below are a few podcasts we found helpful in terms of learning more about finances. These podcasts can easily be consumed while commuting to work, tidying up the house or cutting the lawn. If you have other recommendations, please share via @blkcoffeeco.
Day 9: [Activity] No Spend Day/Week/Month
Pick a day, week or/and month to not spend any money. That's it!
Day 10: [Activity] Chat with your family members about finances
Grab some fresh and organic Black Coffee, and have a chat with your family members about finances. It is imperative that we talk finance as often as possible with our love ones because it is such a big part of our lives ($$$ make the world go around). Finances are rarely discussed in our community, so we must break the cycle. The conversation does not have to start out with an in-depth review of taxes and debt. Just simply asking how the family member is doing financially is a great start. If your parents are about to retire (or have retired) ask if they think they have enough saved, will they be able to cover medical cost, mortgage, property taxes, etc. Below is a list of topics you can discuss with older family members:
Setting up a will/trust
Be sure to check back for the follow-up blog post with the second set (Day 11 - Day 20) of activities/information for Financial Literacy Month.