Residents Urged To Be More Financially Literate

That includes persons of all ages, not just young people.

Frederick, Md (KM) No matter what your age, it’s important to be financially literate. Cassandra Cassamajor, Senior Community Development Representative for SkyPoint Federal Credit Union, says it involves putting together a plan to achieve your financial goals. “So that goes into spending, creating a saving plan, managing your money effectively,” she says.

The first lesson, says Cassamajor, is learning how to budget. “When you have a budget, and you set a plan for your money, and you stick to that budget, then it helps you take a second step back to say ‘hmmp! do I really want this new pair of shoes; or do I really  want to save for this car that I really want,” Cassamajor says.

As a suggestion, she says you could put 50% of your money into the necessities of life, such as food, rent, mortgage or car payments, and medical expenses. You can set aside 30% of recreational and social activities and put 20% of your money in a saving account.

One rite of passage for many young people is getting their first credit card. But Cassamajor says they need to realize that when they use that card, they have to pay for it later when the bill comes. “When the time come when you do get that first credit card, the temptation to spend that credit card and use it is  really high because you don’t see that money as your own money,” she says.

Cassamajor says it’s important for anyone of any age to be careful when using credit cards. Make sure you have the money in the bank to pay it off.

She also says avoid impulsive spending. “You see something and you buy it right away. And that comes from the lack of a budget,” says Cassamajor.

SkyPoint Federal Credit Union teaches a financial literacy course in all 11 of Frederick County’s public high schools. But Cassamajor says teaching kids about how to handle money should start when they’re in elementary school. “We’re all familiar with the piggybank and I think that our first introduction to money and savings,” she says. “But a child can open a teen account {at a bank} at the age of 13.”

Parents should teach their children  about the value of money at an early age. “How much is a dime worth? How much is a quarter worth? And then give them an allowance and feel empowered to say ‘do I want to spend my money on this candy bar? Or do I want save up for this game?’ So that kind of decision making and habits we’re building will go on to adulthood,” she says.

More information on financial literacy can be found at

By Kevin McManus