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Financial Literacy Makes A Difference

National Financial Literacy month is recognized each year in April to raise public awareness of the importance of financial literacy and maintaining smart money management habits.  

Financial literacy is defined as “‘the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage one’s financial resources effectively for lifetime financial security.” Financial literacy is more than knowing financial facts; it is also understanding and applying this financial knowledge to the parts of one’s life that depend on sound financial management: managing monthly bills, budgets, credit cards, and loans; having a savings plan for the future; deciding where to live and buying a first home; getting married and providing for a family; or starting a business and planning for retirement. 

Without a stable foundation of money management skills and an understanding of financial issues, individuals are less able to optimize their welfare and are more vulnerable to making questionable investments or to exploitation. This can have even larger repercussions on a state and national level, as it can lead to higher social safety net usage, inability to achieve independence, and overall lower quality of life for society, communities, and families 

To learn more and complete a financial literacy quiz go to Financial Literacy - The Policy Circle 

To help better understand Financial Literacy, the US Financial Literacy and Education Commission established the following 5 principles to follow: 

1. Earn. Understand pay and benefits. Take advantage of workplace benefits and a company’s match policy for 401(k) accounts.  

2. Save and invest. Save for future goals, like buying a house or retirement.  

3. Protect. Take steps to safeguard in case of unexpected emergencies, which can be very costly. This includes accumulating an emergency savings account and acquiring necessary insurance.  

4. Spend. Be sure to get good value for purchases by shopping around and comparing options. When considering large purchases, determine whether it is a need or a want. 

5. Borrow. Borrowing money enables essential purchases, like going to college or buying a home. When considering taking on debt, be sure it is financially manageable. Not all debt is bad – and wealth can grow by providing liquidity needs while investments grow. 

Members of the SLB team regularly visit area classrooms and school banks to reinforce financial literacy lessons via Junior Achievement lessons and other speaking engagements. If you would like to have a speaker for your class or organization, please contact our schools coordinator, Barbara Gannaway,

SLB Sponsors Student-Run Banks

Silver Lake Bank provides a student-run bank opportunity to three local high schools within the community. Students receive a career experience which includes visualizing the big picture of how a bank runs, the importance of accuracy, timeliness and accountability. Practical examples include balancing the bank, preparing monthly statements, performing audit functions, working up deposits, marketing and customer service.

The Bank’s support includes bank set-up, training assistance, troubleshooting and financial assistance with purchasing equipment. A database for account and transaction record keeping was developed by the Bank for the school’s use. Students, staff and organizations banking at the student bank utilize a transaction account, whereby deposits and payments are processed and reflected in monthly statements. The student bank’s business is settled daily complete with reporting on assets, liabilities and cash positions.

Silver Lake Bank values our school partnerships and believes the school bank provides a great educational opportunity to develop financial literacy for students not only enrolled in this program but for student account holders as well. 

Silver Lake Bank sponsored student banks

WRHS Bank – Est. 2005 (Auburn-Washburn USD 437)

Golden Eagle Bank at SLHS – Est. 2013 (Silver Lake USD 372)

Seaman High School Bank – Est. 1927, SLB sponsorship 2017 (Seaman USD 345)

Silver Lake Bank - Seaman High School Check Presentation