SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April is Financial Literacy Month, an opportune time to take stock of your personal finances. Established in 2003, Financial Literacy Month has never been timelier, says Stephen D. Mayer, founder of the Five Buckets Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides free financial literacy programs to adults and teens so they can make informed financial decisions.
“We’ve all heard the statistics: most Americans don’t have enough savings to cover an emergency room visit or car repair; 33 percent haven’t saved for retirement, and 78 percent live paycheck to paycheck. And only 16 percent of Americans between 18 and 26 are optimistic about their financial future. This just perpetuates a viscous cycle of stress and inequity, and we’ve got to change that,” Mayer says.
Mayer, a CPA and founder of two public accounting firms, has authored two books on the subject: Five Buckets, Four Shovels, a Beach and a Map, aimed at adults, and Adulting 101, for high school and college students. A veterans’ edition is in the works. Proceeds from the books benefit the Five Buckets Foundation, which provides free programs to promote financial literacy.
Using easily understood and memorable metaphors for asset groups (the buckets), advisors (the shovels), life (the beach) and a financial plan (the map), the programs strive to help everyone – at every stage and every phase of life – have the knowledge and understanding to make good financial choices and decisions. For a high school or college student, that might be understanding how to best finance a car or pay off student debt. For adults, it might involve saving for retirement, qualifying for a mortgage, or having the right amount of insurance to protect against life’s uncertainties.
“We are challenging everyone who feels uninformed or under financial pressure to take a deep breath during April and commit to educating themselves about how to take control of their future by having basic knowledge and a financial plan,” Mayer says. “There are many great organizations out there who can help – including ours, at no charge. What better time than now?”