National Financial Awareness Day – August 14

August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day, and although it might not seem like a blast, when you think about it, what’s more fun than financial independence? First off, who doesn’t love money or that feeling you get when you don’t have the looming specter of debt hanging over you? Also, sound financial decisions can really make a difference down the road. Remember, retirement is a time to take all those vacations you couldn’t when you were working the daily grind. Financial Awareness Day is a great opportunity to gain some awareness of your finances. Don’t let bad financial decisions ruin the best years of your life!

Why National Financial Awareness Day is Important

A. It celebrates Easy Street
As the saying goes, why work for your money when you can make it work for you? Sometimes in the seemingly endless race to chase that paper, we forget that we don’t always need to take the uphill course. With the right knowledge, you can make the road to riches far less bumpy, and a lot more scenic. Sounds investment practices can help you spend less time working and more time enjoying your life.

B. It teaches us that finances don’t have to be confusing
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and if there is one thing most people are clueless about, it’s finance. There’s no downside to having a bit of financial literacy in life. It’s a subject many people find daunting, but taking the initiative to learn how money works will make all your peers green with envy. Just like everyone flocks to that one mechanically inclined friend when their car breaks down, you’ll be that guy- but for money. Plus, when your car breaks down you can just buy a better one!

C. It reminds us to prepare for the unforeseeable future
They say money can’t buy you happiness. Perhaps — but not having money can sure bring you a lot of sadness. That’s why it’s so important to make sound investment decisions now, so you’re not suffering later down the line. You never know what kind of pitfalls life may throw your way, but there’s no better safety net than having a nice contingency fund in your pocket.

How to Observe National Financial Awareness Day

1. Invest
Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Instead of spending it on some fleeting luxury, why not get in on some of that sweet return on investment action? Very rarely do you get the chance to spend your money on something that gives a bit back — well, unless you take a trip to Vegas, but those odds are for suckers. In the end playing it safe is always sexier than spending it all. Use National Financial Awareness Day as an excuse to start investing. It’s sure to pay off!

2. Take a trip to the U.S. Mint
What better way than to celebrate money than by finding out how it’s made? There are for U.S. mints in the country: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point. If pennies aren’t quite as pretty as paper to you, you’ll have to head on down to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing or BEP for short. Not only to they offer tours and rare currency products, but you can take any of those ratty dollars that accidentally got tossed in the dryer and redeem it for free. How’s that for smart money?

3. Get smart about your money
National Financial Awareness Day is the perfect opportunity to make a budget. We know, we know, it’s not a very attractive task, but it’s so important. Find out where you spend your money by making a spreadsheet or using one of the many online services and apps that will do it for you. The numbers may shock you, but that’s okay — knowledge is power!

National Financial Awareness Day - Key Moments
1959
Put It On Plastic

American Express introduced its first credit card in 1958, and in 1959 releases the first credit card made of plastic

1950
Check, Please

Frank McNamara and Ralph Schneider introduce the Diners Club Card as an alternative to cash. It has 20,000 cardholders in a year.

1946
Charge Ahead

John Biggins, a banker in Brooklyn, introduces the "Charg-It" card, believed to be the first bank card. (Customers used it at local businesses, who then forwarded the bill to the bank.)

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