KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- April is Financial Literacy Month, which highlights and educates people about the importance of establishing and maintaining healthy financial habits.

During the month, community members can learn about how to eliminate debt, save vs. borrow money, set financial goals and establish a money-management system. Learning about these topics can help increase financial literacy, while giving people the tools to establish or maintain healthy economic habits.

Depending on their goals and values, individuals may have different reasons why financial literacy is important to them and their families.

"It's important to know about finances, so one can be able to live a life that one wants," said Samantha Edwards, an Army spouse from Kaiserslautern. "Whether it's traveling or starting a business, your financial education can help your family."

Army spouse Pamela Raville agreed with Edwards.

"Having a financial plan is important so that my family is stable financially."

So who should be concerned about increasing their financial literacy? Everyone should want to increase their financial literacy. It's not specific to any group of people, it's for all cultures, genders, socio-economic statuses and ages.

Imagine for a moment what would happen if everyone were financially literate and applied the principles of financial literacy to their personal lives. People would live with less debt and stress, while experiencing more fiscal awareness and freedom.

Joshua Merrills, an Air Force spouse from Ramstein Air Base, said, "Being financially educated is not only about me and my family. The more educated I am, the better I am able to serve others in my community."

Although increasing personal financial literacy is a great thing, many people may find the topic of finances very intimidating, especially when it involves looking closely at their own financial situation and making critical decisions. This may lead to miseducation, poor monetary decisions and financial hardship, but it can be avoided with timely, accurate fiscal information.

Katja Bishop, a volunteer with Army Community Service, said, "It is important to know your financial situation and outlook, so you can make good choices for the future and your children."

So, whether people want to learn how to invest the money they have left over at the end of the month or simply want to find out more about increasing their savings and decreasing their expenses -- financial literacy is the way to go.

ACS offers several financial classes to include Matri-Money Workshop for Couples, Thrifty Travels in Europe and Understanding Thrift Savings Plan for people in the Kaiserslautern Military Community.
ACS's accredited financial counselors also provide classes to military units and Family Readiness Groups upon request. Contact ACS for more information or to schedule an appointment with a counselor at (Kaiserslautern) DSN 314-541-9000 or commercial at 0611-143-541-9000 or (Baumholder) DSN 531-2850 or 0611-143-531-2850.