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What is Financial Literacy?

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Wikipedia defines “Financial literacy as the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others.  More specifically, it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.” (

Hawaii Federal Credit Union holds financial literacy sessions one on one, in workshops at the credit union and in group sessions held at various sites. The topics we cover include; introduction to budgeting, building a budget, buying a car, basic information on taxes, setting financial goals, it’s all about credit, credit review, improving credit scores, why should I save and preparing for retirement.  In our one-on-one sessions, we address your specific situation and work directly with you.

Anyone can attend our workshops: members as well as their friends and family. Watch for workshop announcements through the website, in our newsletters or call the credit union at (808) 441-4285 to get more information about attending a workshop or to schedule a one-on-one session with one of our certified financial counselors.

Do you have a rainy-day fund?

Don’t let life rain on your parade when unexpected expenses arise. The best way to be prepared for these unwelcome bills, is to save in advance by creating a rainy-day fund. Here are some helpful tips to be prepared for any storm. Additionally, keeping a rainy-day fund will also help you build financial discipline.

What is a rainy-day fund?

A rainy-day fund is money reserved to be used when unexpected expenses arise such as, a leaky roof or a car repair. The idea is to use the rainy-day fund for one-off expenses outside of your normal living expenses. By having funds readily available for non-routine bills, you can cover the extra costs without suffering too much hardship.

How to save for a rainy-day fund?

  • Transfer cash monthly: Setting up an automatic transfer that occurs once a month would be a useful tactic to build your rainy-day savings fund.


  • Create a rainy-day fund jar: Just as you would any other savings jar, anytime you have spare change, throw it in a jar. Over time, your savings will build.


  • Reduce your spending: Try trimming your spending and adding that money you would usually spend on unnecessary things, to your rainy-day fund. For example, if you normally buy a coffee every morning or shop for new clothes every month, consider scaling back and instead, place that money in your rainy-day fund.


  • Sell things you don’t need: Declutter and make some extra money on the side while doing it. Selling items like clothes, electronics, furniture, anything that you no longer need or want can be a great way to pocket some extra money for your rainy-day fund.