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April is Financial Literacy Month, CFO Atwater Encourages Floridians to Start Saving

4/1/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert 
(850) 413-2842

~61 percent of Floridians don’t have a "rainy day" fund~

TALLAHASSEE—A recent study released by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation revealed that of the 500 Floridians surveyed 61 percent lacked a "rainy day" fund to cover expenses for three months in case of emergencies such as sickness, job loss or an economic downturn.  The study also determined that 23 percent of Florida households were not making ends meet and spent more than their income over the past year, further emphasizing the need for Floridians to start saving now for a rainy day.  These statistics underscore the need to promote financial and economic education in Florida and, as part of Financial Literacy Month, CFO Atwater is encouraging Floridians to start saving.  

“Financial literacy is more than opening a bank account, learning how to use credit responsibly or planning for retirement, it is taking the steps to create the conditions for financial prosperity for you and your family,” said CFO Jeff Atwater.  “One of the first and most important steps is starting a ‘rainy day’ savings account, and I encourage all Floridians to use Financial Literacy Month to take that important first step.”

Experts recommend the following tips to help build savings and establish a “rainy day” fund.

• When creating your budget, set aside money for your savings first.
• Pay off debt to free up your money for saving.
• Set short-term savings goals to help establish a habit of saving.
• Cut back on nonessentials in your spending and channel that money to your savings instead.
CFO Atwater’s Department of Financial Services is hosting events throughout the state during the month of April as part of Financial Literacy Month. Topics include identity theft, hurricane preparedness, small business security, life insurance, and financial fraud along with first-time homebuyer workshops.

To find a schedule of events occurring throughout the state for Financial Literacy Month, log on to CFO Atwater’s Family Fiscal Fitness website at www.myfloridacfo.com/FamilyFiscalFitness

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.