Money matters

April is Financial Literacy Month. With tax season nearly in the rearview mirror, don’t let the topic of personal finance slip into the dark recesses of your mind. There are plenty of free resources available with and without your library card to help you navigate your journey.

One of the latest additions to our collection is Morningstar Investment Research Center. A complement to our much-utilized Value Line, Morningstar provides data on over 14,500 stocks, 24,800 mutual funds, 1,500 exchange-traded funds, and 700 closed-end funds. This is a one-stop tool for collecting financial information, getting reliable portfolio analysis, learning about investment options, and getting the most up-to-date financial news commentary.

What’s that? You don’t have any investments yet? It’s never too early or too late to begin investing. Using your library card to sign in to Morningstar, click on the “Planning & Education” tab to find planning tools, including an investing classroom to learn the basics. You’ll also find a few cost calculators – one for college and one for retirement. Take the time to log into Value Line, too. In addition to their coverage of thousands of stocks and equities, Value Line also offers investment education, meeting beginners where they are with Value Line University. Both Morningstar and Value Line are highly regarded resources in the commercial financial marketplace, and they are free to access with your library membership.

While we hope you’re not intimidated by these heavy hitters, we understand if you want to take a different approach to learn about money. The library’s print collection includes a wide array of books and magazines on the subject, including Weiss Ratings and Grey Publishing’s Financial Literacy Basics. Easy to understand, this multiple volume series covers topics including managing debt, auto and renters’ insurance, checking accounts, 401Ks, understanding the cost of college, student loans, how to make and stick to a budget, and understanding health insurance plans.

If print is not your thing, Investopedia is a helpful resource for everyone, from beginners (check out their financial literacy  and personal finance pages) to more seasoned investors. Social media is also full of financial educators, and influencers who could be useful in your own personal finance journey. Check out a list of the “Top 21 Financial Speakers & Influencers,” from One notable millennial who has made an impression in the historically male-dominated financial stratosphere is Tori Dunlap, the founder of Her First 100K. After saving $100,000.00 at age 25, she quit her corporate job in marketing and founded her company to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their finances. With a presence in multiple spheres – a podcast (Financial Feminist), TikTok, Instagram profile , and more, Dunlap provides content and products designed to help women get on track for financial success.

Let the library help guide you with a different type of spring cleaning, involving your finances. It’s never too late to begin.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

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