Mind Your Money


Welcome to the library's multi-author blog and associated resources for increased financial literacy. This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through Smart investing@your library®, a partnership with the American Library Association

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For questions or comments about this program, please send email to mym [at] hmcpl [dot] org.



For military families: a roadmap to less stress about money

Feeling a bit stressed when it comes to money?  Nearly two thirds of the U.S. military families feel the same way.  Good news: you can reduce your stress!  Military.com recently published this roadmap to working your way through your financial worries.

Starting January 2014, the Library is teaming up with Army Community Services on Redstone Arsenal to offer a series of classes and workshops geared towards personal finance mastery for military families.  Stay tuned for more information!


MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from more than 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.  One featured article titled My Money Five is summarized below.

My Money Five

Making the most of your money starts with five building blocks for managing and growing your money -- The MyMoney Five. Keep these five principles in mind as you make day-to-day decisions and plan your financial goals.

The Five Principles

EARN – Make the most of what you earn by understanding your pay and benefits.

SAVE & INVEST - It’s never too early to start saving for future goals such as a house or retirement, even by saving small amounts.

PROTECT – Taking precautions about your financial situation, accumulate emergency savings, and have the right insurance.

SPEND – Be sure you are getting a good value, especially with big purchases, by shopping around and comparing prices and products.

 BORROW – Borrowing money can enable some essential purchases and builds credit, but interest costs can be expensive. And, if you borrow too much, you will have a large debt to be repaid.

For more insight about My Money Five or other financial information from this website go to MyMoney.gov


Jump start your retirement savings in 5 easy steps

According to Frank Paré, a certified financial planner and founder of PF Wealth Management Group LLC in Oakland, California, many people “are just really unsure of what the process is” to saving for retirement. Here is his simple 5 step process: 

  1. Forget yesterday. “Do not get caught up in what you haven’t done. It just creates this internal angst,” he said. “It’s time to focus on what you can do now.”
  2. Automate savings. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account, ideally into a savings account that’s harder to raid. Online-only banks, which often offer slightly better interest rates than traditional banks, usually entail a slower withdrawal process, which can be a good thing.
  3. Get to positive cash flow A workable savings strategy requires that you’re not overspending. Your next step is to track income and spending.
  4. Build your reserve. Your reserve account is essential to ensure that unexpected emergencies don’t waylay your finances, forcing you into high-cost credit-card debt or into pulling money out of tax-deferred retirement savings (depending on the circumstances, that can bring a tax hit and other penalties).
  5. Create buckets based on goals. Next, nail down your short- and long-term goals and allocate your money accordingly. “Start to attach goals to the money that you are setting aside,” Paré said. “Now that the reserve is built, perhaps the next goal is to build up a certain amount of money for your retirement.”

For more insight to Paré's steps read the full article at MarketWatch.com

Money Management Resources for Members of the Military

Here's an interesting resource page from Loyola University, featuring Money Management resources for members of the military community. It includes federal as well as private sources and tools to help families and members of the military manage their financial resources, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members.

In January, we'll be launching a joint effort with Redstone Arsenal's Army Community Service office to provide financial literacy workshops and resources for Madison County's military community.  Stay tuned!

Money as You Grow resource

Money as You Grow  was recommended as an initiative from the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability, chaired by John W. Rogers and vice-chaired by Amy Rosen.

The initiative, spearheaded by Beth Kobliner, chair of the Council's Money as You Grow working group, offers 20 essential, age-appropriate financial lessons—with corresponding activities—that kids need to know as they grow. Written in down-to-earth language for children and their families, Money as You Grow will help equip kids with the knowledge they need to live fiscally fit lives. The lessons in Money as You Grow are based on more than a year of research, and drawn from dozens of standards, curricula, and academic studies.


Families can use Money as You Grow to start a dialogue about money and teach kids important lessons about saving, making choices, and avoiding debt. Put up a Money as You Grow poster on your refrigerator, try the activities in your everyday life, and check to see if your children know the milestones for their age groups.

Community organizations like libraries, schools, and religious groups can provide Money as You Grow to families.

Nonprofits geared toward kids, families, and financial literacy can share Money as You Grow with their members.

Businesses that reach young people and families can shareMoney as You Grow with employees, customers, and clients.

age progression of user

Great games for kids and financial literacy

These are some great games that you might want to share with your children to increase their financial knowledge!

From Practical Money Skills: These dynamic, educational video games engage kids while teaching them important money skills. Money Metropolis allows kids ages 7–12 to navigate a multi-dimensional world, making life decisions that will affect whether their virtual bank account shrinks or grows. And in Peter Pig's Money Counter, kids ages 4–7 can practice sorting and counting coins with the help of wise Peter Pig.

Sample image of games
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