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People who feel good about their finances: What do they have in common?

By CFPB and FDIC

Parents tell us it’s important for children to be well-prepared to lead good financial lives. Yes, financial facts and information are important. But the way we behave around money is connected to the way we behave in the rest of our lives. That means it’s important for children to develop attitudes and characteristics as well as knowledge.

So, what kind of person is likely to have financial well-being—that is, to feel confident about their financial situation, today and down the road? It turns out that people who feel financial well-being have a few personality traits in common:

  • Focus on the future. People with this characteristic tend to plan ahead and think about how their actions today will affect them in the future.

  • Diligence. This trait describes people who are driven to finish what they start, work hard, and take care of details.

  • Self-control. People with self-control are generally able to show patience and wait for what they want.

  • Self-confidence. People with this trait tend to measure themselves against an inner yardstick, and believe their actions can make a difference in their own lives.

Parents, if you’re thinking about getting your children on the path to financial well-being, try helping them work on these traits. They can help children get ahead in many areas of life. Young people develop these traits at their own pace, and almost everyone benefits from help and practice. For example, for children younger than age five, activities like martial arts and playing pretend can develop these qualities. You don’t have to be a money expert, and you can help form a good foundation for your child’s future financial life.

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From the National Archives:

Happy Birthday, Lewis Hine 

These haunting child labor photos are only a fraction of the thousands taken by investigative photographer Lewis Wickes Hine, born one hundred and forty years ago on September 26, 1874.  Hine used his camera as both a research tool and an instrument of social reform.  In 1908 he was hired as the photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and spent a decade documenting child labor in American industry to aid the NCLC’s lobbying efforts to end the practice.  Hine worked tirelessly, staying out at all hours to capture images of children working on city streets, or bluffing his way into mills and factories where he would not have been welcome otherwise.   

National Child Labor Committee Photographs taken by Lewis Hine, ca. 1912

Other examples of Hine’s work can be found in his series of photographs for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), documenting life in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, and for the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) National Research Project, highlighting changes in industry and their effect on employment:

Get Your Financial Questions Answered for Free

Have you ever considered talking to a financial planner, but have been scared off because of costs? If so, Financial Planning Days is your opportunity to talk with a certified financial planner for free.

Organized in partnership with local city governments, these free public events that run from Sept. 27 through Nov. 8 give you an opportunity to address your personal finance questions privately with highly qualified Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals who will volunteer their time to meet with you one-on-one.  You will also be able to attend informative classroom workshops addressing key areas of financial planning.  

You can ask questions on a variety of topics including

  • retirement planning

  • investment strategies

  • budgeting

  • credit and debt

  • taxes

  • insurance

  • education savings

  • small business finances, among many others.  

Best of all – it’s all free and there are no strings attached! Financial planners are participating as volunteers and they will not take down names, sell products or services or give out business cards or marketing materials.  And, you can consult with as many different financial planners as you need.  

Come as you are or come prepared with any financial paperwork related to your questions.  You can also pick up a variety of free personal finance resources, including government publications from USA.gov.  


To learn more and to register for an event in your area, visit www.FinancialPlanningDays.org.  You can also call toll free at 877-861-7826.  Walk-ins are welcome too, but we recommend that you register in advance.

Today in 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.

Today in 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice in history.

Federal Income Tax Filing Due Date Coming Up!

April 14 may seem like it was ages ago, but, if you applied for and were granted an extension to file your income taxes, your six months of additional time is nearly up!

Make sure you file online with the IRS by Oct. 14. If you have questions about filing, you can get help from several hotlines and websites. For more information on tax extensions, see the IRS website.