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What is financial literacy and what does it mean for me?

Danielle Bly

Issue date: 9/4/09 Section: News
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Financial literacy is the ability to make informed judgments and to make effective decisions regarding the use and management of money. Financial literacy can be a confusing subject for many college students, but understanding your personal finances is vital to being successful in life after college. Here are a few tips to get you started in understanding your finances and managing your money.

1. Get over your fear/hate/disinterest for finances. It doesn't matter if you are a finance, engineering, chemistry, or anthropology major - eventually, you're going to have to deal with your personal finances. Bills, 401Ks, student loans, credit cards, and mortgages are all a part of life that we unfortunately cannot avoid. The sooner you realize this fact and begin your journey toward financial literacy, the better.

2. Learn about one topic at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to learn everything there is to know about personal finances overnight. Financial literacy is a life-long learning process. Take small steps to further inform yourself about financial literacy topics.

3. Seek out free professional knowledge. CWRU and the surrounding area have a wealth of resources, to which you can reach out to in order to learn more about financial literacy topics that interest you. Your local bank branch will have information about investing tools and banking options within their branches and on their websites. In addition, seek the real-world advice of people who have had to deal with money management throughout their lives, such as a parent, mentor, or professor you trust.

4. Employ online tools. As CWRU students, most of us have honed our Googling skills to perfection over the years. Why not use these skills to educate yourself about how to manage your money? It's as easy as a 10- minute internet search. You can also check out these great websites with tons of readily available;;

5. Read financial news. News about personal finances occurs every day in the U.S. For example, the new economic stimulus package is having a huge impact on how investors and consumers spend and manage their money. Take advantage of your online resources to find out about these changes and how they can impact you (either positively or negatively). Yahoo Finance and are both great resources to check daily about financial news and updates.

These are just a few short tips on how to increase your financial knowledge. Remember, the more you know, the better prepared you will be for the real-life challenges you will definitely have to face during and after college. Being educated about how to manage your money will surely save you valuable time and money when you are faced with financial decisions and situations in the future.

Have a financial question for Danielle? E-mail her at !
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs


  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?


  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland


  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date


  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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