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Be Money Smart: A Library Program, Online Courses and Reads for Financial Literacy Month


Be Money Smart: A Library Program, Online Courses and Reads for Financial Literacy Month

National Financial Literacy month, renamed by the Biden administration as National Financial Capability 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 having both the knowledge and the competence to manage your personal and household finances in order to set and reach meaningful goals.  

In its new “Be Money Wise” program series, the Library is presenting 3 financial education programs  in collaboration with M&T Bank of Livingston.

The first, Budgeting: Why and How, is on April 5 at 2pm.

Having a budget is knowing where your money is going instead of wondering where it went.  This workshop will explore the importance of creating and maintaining a budget. It will show how knowing where your money is going can provide a sense of empowerment and control, reduce your stress, and help you to achieve your short- and long-term financial goals. It will examine the differences between wants and needs, which will help set one’s goals for spending, savings, and even debt repayment. The talk will also cover topics like what’s breaking your budget, knowing your income and expenses, and tracking your spending.

The 2 other programs in the series are Planning for Retirement on May 3 at 2pm, and Identity Theft and Protection on June 7 at 2pm.

Personal finance books can help you sharpen up on basics—how to manage and pay off debt, paying for college, planning for retirement, how to invest, budgeting tips, and more—and can help you become savvier, more directed, and more confident in handling your finances and making your money work to meet your goals.

Online Courses

You can access a variety of personal finance and money management courses at Gale Courses and at Universal Class, both available to Livingston Library cardholders.


Here are some of the latest titles in our collection covering a wide gamut of personal finance topics, which impart the latest advice, tips, and information to help you with your money management skills. 

Please note: Some of the titles were on order at the time of going to press; descriptions are provided by the publishers.

Building Wealth On A Dime : Finding Your Financial Freedom by Kimberly Hamilton

Hamilton wrote this book to reveal her story of how she went from financial debt to buying a house. She shows how she was able to accomplish this feat via financial education and strategy. This book covers powerful information such as efficient technology tools for saving better and investing easily, advice on shifting your attitude toward money as well as reducing financial anxiety, generating passive income, retirement investing, entrepreneurship advice, and information on house purchasing.

Catching Up To Crypto : Your Guide To Bitcoin And The New Digital Economy by Ben Armstrong

Armstrong delivers an exciting and fresh new exploration of Bitcoin and digital currencies. He explains what Bitcoin is, how it works, and how and why we’re all transitioning to a digital economy as we speak. He discusses the deficiencies of traditional fiat currency, how it’s commonly manipulated, and how we can all benefit from the adoption of new, digital assets.

Credit Repair by Amy Loftsgordon

This book discusses how to prioritize debts and create a budget, reduce debts and cut expenses, negotiate with creditors, correct credit report errors and remove old information, add positive information to a credit report, adopt strategies to rebuild credit, and avoid identity theft and credit repair scams.

Financial Feminist: Overcome The Patriarchy’s Bullsh*t To Master Your Money And Build A Life You Love by Tori Dunlap

Dunlap distills the principles of her shame- and judgment-free approach to paying off debt, figuring out your value categories to spend mindfully, saving money without monk-like deprivation, and investing in order to spend your retirement tanning in Tulum. You will learn: – Exercises to help you understand your current relationship with money, figure out what you want to change, and how to make that happen – How to decide on your investment goal, and discover the three steps to meeting it – Learn how to source the data you need to negotiate the money you deserve Featuring journaling prompts, deep-dives into the invisible aspects of the financial landscape, and interviews with experts on everything money—from predatory credit card companies to the racial wealth gap and voting with your dollars.

Financial First Aid : Essential Tools For Confident, Secure Money Management by Alyssa Davies

A practical guide for handling life’s financial emergencies for the cash-strapped, the meticulous budgeter, and everyone in between. It offers actionable advice for different types of emergencies, short- and long-term solutions, resources, and tips from well-known financial experts who have been there before. You’ll find scripts for negotiating payments for large bills, and learn how to revise a budget if you need to care for a loved one who is sick, recognize financial abuse, and much more. Charming illustrations by the author add a touch of humor to her expert advice. Best practices for building a robust emergency fund and road maps for recovering from a financial emergency will help you face your next rainy day.

The Five Conversations About Money That Will Radically Change Your Life : Could Be The Best Money Book You Ever Own by Vanessa Stoykov

For anyone who wants to create a financial legacy, this finance book can help spark change in yours and your family’s financial future. Share eye opening money moments and courageous conversations about money. Do your parents have a legacy plan or financial retirement plan? Is your family managing money well enough to meet its financial goals? 

The Great Money Reset: Change Your Work, Change Your Wealth, Change Your Life by Jill Schlesinger

 A road map for navigating our present era, this book shows us how to take advantage of the seismic changes unfurling all around us to make big life improvements. Whether it’s negotiating a better deal with your boss, starting or selling a business, moving to a new locale, retraining for a new career, taking time off to find yourself, or saying “the heck with it” and retiring early, Schlesinger provides an essential frame-work for strategizing and planning your next move. 

How To Invest : Navigating The Brave New World Of Personal Investment by Peter Stanyer

The first quarter of the new century has seen developments in technology, monetary policy, and the management of large companies that have transformed personal savings and investment around the world. Love it, loathe it, or just not interested in it, this innovation has changed not only the nature of money, but our understanding of what it means to invest–whether we want to safeguard our pensions, experiment with personal trading platforms, or simply understand how the markets really work.  This book aims to help investors navigate this new world, offering a principles-based, keep-it-simple approach to help them make investment decisions and have investment conversations that will make the most of their money.

It’s Not About The Money : A Proven Path To Building Wealth And Living The Rich Life You Deserve by Scarlett Cochran

A new, holistic way to understand money and find your own path to financial freedom, from the wealth-building expert behind One Big Happy Life.  You deserve to live your dream life. Mastering your finances and learning how to use your money to create that life is non negotiable, because let’s be honest- life costs money. The good news is that you can create a money plan that you actually enjoy sticking to-one that allows you to build wealth while spending guilt-free on a life that you love today.

Managing Your Money All-In-One For Dummies

 Your one-stop resource to turn to when you’re ready to manage your money. It offers everything you need to confidently handle your finances. When you’re ready to create a budget, pay down debt, and scale back your expenses, you’ll find the support you need here. If you’re eyeing the future, you’ll find advice on improving your credit score, saving for college and retirement, and planning an estate. As if all of that isn’t enough, this comprehensive book covers other financial topics such as buying insurance, investing in your 401(k), and so much more.

More Money Now : A Millennial’s Guide To Financial Freedom And Security by Nicole Victoria

Victoria is a CEO, money coach, financial literacy advocate, mom, and millennial. In balancing all these roles, she has learned the secrets to modern financial freedom. Inside this book, learn the money management rules that enabled Nicole to: Pay off her $40,000 of debt in eighteen months, Save her firs $100,000 by twenty-five, Pay for her wedding in cash, Buy her dream home and feel financially stable enough for kids, Build $500,000 of net worth in her twenties, and grow her net worth to over a million dollars at thirty.

A New Way To Wealth : The Power Of Doing More With Less by Bruce Piasecki

In this book, Piasecki urgently calls for a new era of restraint, public mindedness, and social purpose in capitalism. This homage to historical financial leaders allows an understanding between self-determination and self-actualization in a time of capital constraints. This book helps you understand which attributes lead to the accumulation of wealth and using that wealth responsibly. Piasecki breaks open the differences between self-determination and self-actualization in a time of capital constraints. Inspired by the wisdom of Ben Franklin–and his competitive insights into frugality, Piasecki incorporates his knowledge of corporate governance, energy, product, and environmental strategy. 

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew P. Tobias

Presents financial advice on such topics as the stock market, savings accounts, taxes, Social Security, wills, college funds, life insurance, and mutual funds.

Overcoming Debt, Achieving Financial Freedom : 8 Pillars To Build Wealth by Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez

The average college student graduates with nearly $30,000 of student loan debt. The average law student graduates with $160,000 of student loan debt. These numbers are even more significant for Black and Latino students. Many of these young adults are thrown into their careers with little to no personal finance education. This book offers a holistic approach on how to properly manage money, including debt, from the lens of a first-generation wealth builder.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street : The Best Investment Guide That Money Can Buy by Burton G. Malkiel

Drawing on his experience as an economist, financial adviser, and successful investor, Malkiel shows why an individual who saves consistently over time and buys a diversified set of index funds can achieve above-average investment results. He addresses current investment fads and critically analyzes cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and meme stocks. Malkiel reveals how to be a tax smart investor and how to make sense of recently popular investment management techniques, including factor investing, risk parity, and ESG portfolios. Investors of every age, experience level, and risk tolerance will find the step-by-step guidance they need to protect and grow their dollars.

Wealth Habits : Six Ordinary Steps To Achieve Extraordinary Financial Freedom by Cany Valentino

This book will teach you how to do ordinary things well in order to create, grow, and retain wealth over time. By following the six proven steps Valentino followed in her own ascent to wealth, you can achieve sustainable, extraordinary wealth too.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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