Summer Reboot: Enhance Your Financial Literacy Admist the Season’s Tranquility

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By: Gaby S. Dominguez

Welcome to our series called Confident Kids℠!

The goal and mission is to assist parents and grandparents in helping their children and grandchildren learn how to think about money, i.e., how to save, how to invest, and how to become financially responsible, not only as children but as teenagers, young adults, and eventually as parents.

Age Focus: parents & guardians; teens & young adults

This Confident Kids article informs and guides youth, along with their parents and guardians, on a fruitful path of financial prosperity and ease. Fully grasping the concept of financial literacy provides the fitting puzzle piece in managing the complex whirlwind of finances. Whether you are a parent or caregiver, young adult, or someone stuck in the darker depths of finance, use this article as a tool for relief, insight, resourceful guidance.

While you are relaxing and reenergizing this summer, it is the perfect opportunity to take time to refresh your financial literacy knowledge and boost your tactics before getting wrapped up in the chaos of life, school, and work.

Considering the intensely alarming statistics that young Americans owe over $1 trillion in debt, along with 70% of millennials living paycheck to paycheck, there is an urgent need for proper financial education for the youth of society (1). Due to the lifelong consequences of early-adult financial decisions, it is even more dire to equip people with adequate tools earlier than later. By doing so, a secure financial foundation can be established early, steering young adults away from the cycle of economic insecurity and debt (2).

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy consists of both the knowledge and skills needed to make informed, responsible financial decisions, which contribute to financial well-being and security. The building blocks of financial literacy include concepts such as saving, spending, investing, and borrowing. Additionally, credit management, asset building, debt reduction, and avoiding scams are vital elements for a healthy financial life. Financial literacy education can begin as early as preschool age by helping children with impulse control, behavior modification, and the ability to juggle ideas (3). It is beneficial to allow youth to learn through trial and error, as it strengthens the ability to set career and education goals, along with improving financial decision-making.

The Importance of Financial Literacy

The well-being of many individuals and families is at risk because of low financial literacy, especially among underserved and low-income communities. The lack of a financial foundation leads our youth to fall into risky, highly consequential traps, such as predatory lending and costly errors in managing expenses and debts (2). Leading a life of low financial literacy can result in missing significant wealth-building opportunities and receiving less access to professional training and higher education. Actively engaging in financial literacy bridges the opportunity gap prevalent in underserved communities, while empowering their youth with the skills they need to follow financially healthy, secure lives. The same is true for youth in any economic situation as financial success is a function of maximizing the skills and resources available to any individual.

The Financial Literacy Gap

According to a national financial capability study done by the FINRA Foundation in 2022, a persistent financial literacy gap is evidently present in the United States (4). As a result, the study shows that the most vulnerable groups include young adults, people of color, and low-income households. These groups were also more likely to express psychological symptoms of financial stress, along with having higher rates of missing payments and making hardship withdrawals from retirement accounts. Overall, this study highlights the urgent need for financial literacy education and adequate access to service, to promote economic opportunity and gain.

A Journey Toward Financial Capability & Confidence

The fundamental component to improving financial health is proper financial education. However, the ultimate goal is to fully develop financial capability to optimize one’s available resources and opportunities. Financial capability reaches its peak when financial knowledge is rehearsed and implemented until it becomes natural and subconscious, driving behavior that constantly results in financial optimism and success. Consequently, this heightens one’s financial confidence by exploring and solidifying financial security for oneself and their family.

Next Steps

No matter where you are in life, if you haven’t already jumped on the financial literacy wagon, then it is your chance to do so NOW! Building strong financial habits and skills at an early age creates a key to financial success in adulthood. The best first step is to remember you are not alone and check with your financial advisor to see what programs may be available to be customized to one’s individual or family needs. But it doesn’t end there, positive effect of investing your time and effort into financial literacy early will translate into one’s ability to pass that knowledge onto their children and empower them to preserve and benefit from the legacy you have created for your family. Early success, however, hinges upon parental involvement, a benefit that gives your children real-world experience with money. If you are already stuck in the whirlwind of the financial realm, it is time to take a deep breath, talk to your financial advisor, create an organized plan, and immerse yourself in financial literacy education programs!

Helpful Tools & Resources

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some guiding resources to build your personal financial literacy and capability:

Financial Literacy for All (FL4A)

  • A national initiative to embed financial literacy into society and culture in America. Their website includes more information about the FL4A program, an extensive resource library, and ways to get involved with the organization. – Financial Capability & Literacy

  • This page includes a further dive into what financial literacy and capability means, tips for financing higher education, access to youth employment programs, plus various other resources and tools.

Publications from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

  • This website provides a list of the CFPB’s bookmarks, handouts, guides, books, worksheets, and posters (that can be downloaded or ordered in bulk). Plus, many of these publications are available in multiple languages.

  • This site helps youth manage their money, understand credit, identify scams, and prevent theft.

Money Smart for Young Adults

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers a financial education curriculum to teach basic financial topics to those with low to moderate levels of income. Tools are available for different age groups and in nine languages. The instructor-led curriculum provides practical knowledge, skills-building opportunities, and resources to manage finances with confidence.

  • This website contains financial education resources for young people, caregivers, and educators. It is organized around the “My Money Five Principles”: spend, earn, save and invest, protect, and borrow.

Quick Tips for Managing Your Money (from the FDIC)

  • This page provides strategies and practical guidance to help teens and adults with borrowing, saving, banking, and avoiding scams.

When consistently utilizing tools and knowledge from financial literacy, people can feasibly adopt healthy financial practices leading to stability, capability, and confidence in life. Everyone deserves to experience the protection and relief of asset-building opportunities, and luckily some of these are available with just a click of a button! Despite your personal situation, anyone can valuably benefit from the beauty of financial literacy and capability. While you’re out sunbathing by the beach or pool, ease your worries by doing some of your own research and planning, while guiding your loved ones on a path to financial security and happiness.


(1) Young Americans Owe $1 Trillion of Debt, Zack Friedman, February 27, 2019,

(2) Financial Literacy for Youth: Why It Matters, United Way NCA, June 6, 2023,

(3) Recommendations for Improving Youth Financial Literacy Education, Matt Kasman, Benjamin Heuberger, & Ross A. Hammond, October 9, 2018,

(4) Financial Capability in the United States, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, July 2022,

(5) Financial Capability & Literacy,,

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