Do You Have the Skills to Pay the Bills?


Ada Hallmon, Cactus Contributor

What is financial literacy? The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy defines it as “the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being”.

Personal financial literacy is more than just being able to balance a checkbook, compare prices or get a job.  It also includes skills like long term vision and planning for the future, and the discipline to use this skill every day

Financial well-being is the ability to prioritize needs before wants. For example, do you spend your last dollars on the movies or use it for gas in your car to get to school or work?

Tip #1: When you break a dollar, save your change and put it in a jar at the end of each day and watch it grow. Think of the coins as food for the jar that you feed daily or weekly continuously.

Tip #2: Make it a habit to save some of the financial aid and grant money you get from school. This also includes money you get from your parents.

Tip #3: If you are employed and get paid weekly, check the calendar for the months that have five weeks and save the extra check. If you are paid bi-weekly, same thing applies. Note, save small amounts on a regular basis.

Incorporating these tips will certainly add to the peace of mind and quality of your life. Do take the time along with working toward your degree to educate yourself financially.

If you want to further educate yourself, here are some resources that you may find helpful:

  • Ada’s Eye Opener – Managing Your Personal Finances, self-published workbook
  • Local Banks, such as Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, etc.
  • Various online sources, such as