March 30, 2023

April is Financial Literacy Month

Missouri DCI promotes the importance of smart money management

Jefferson City, Mo – In April, the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) observes Financial Literacy Month to promote the importance of Missourians wisely managing their money and protecting their financial security through insurance, particularly for emergency needs.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about one-third of American families do not have any savings, with almost half of Americans admitting they would struggle to come up with $400 during an emergency. 

“U.S. families have experienced an increase in everyday costs over the last few years that make it even more important to plan for emergencies,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance and 2023 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). “Financial emergencies, whether large or small, are inevitable – so I encourage everyone to spend some time this month educating themselves about the best way to secure their financial future.” 

A financial emergency is any expense or loss of income you do not anticipate – like a missed paycheck, a damaged roof, a flat tire, or a medical bill. Missourians should consider taking action now to protect their financial future with these small steps: 

  • Start an emergency savings account to prepare for unexpected emergencies or disasters. 
  • Review insurance policies regularly. Ensure you have the right types and amounts of coverage. 
  • Protect important records and document your possessions by using DCI’s Home Inventory
  • Keep some cash in a secure place you can access if ATM or debit/credit transactions are unable to be processed in the event of a power outage. 

For anyone experiencing a financial emergency, the department’s Division of Credit Unions (CU) and Division of Finance (DOF) recommend prioritizing essential spending needs. In addition, you should contact credit card companies and lenders to learn about payment options to avoid late penalties, interest charges, and damage to your credit.

Unexpected expenses during a financial hardship can cause additional stress and lead to being more vulnerable to scams,” DOF Acting Commissioner Mick Campbell said. “Always be cautious about disclosing personal financial information, do your own research before borrowing any money, and never sign any document without fully reading and understanding it.” 

"If you are experiencing a financial emergency, notify your lender(s) as quickly as possible," stated CU Director Ken Bonnot. "It may be as easy as going to a lender's website or mobile app, or you may need to contact them by phone – but this initial contact is an important first step to prevent potential problems with creditors."

DCI can also help Missouri consumers with insurance questions or complaints. Call the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390, or visit

The Division of Credit Unions examines and oversees Missouri’s 90 state-chartered credit unions with over $21 billion in assets. The Division of Finance regulates Missouri’s 198 state-chartered banks with over $189 billion in assets, as well as over 2,500 consumer and mortgage lending licensees. CU and DOF are two of nine divisions within the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance.

DCI is charged with protecting Missouri consumers through oversight of the insurance industry, banks, credit unions, utilities, and various professional licensees operating in the state. For more information about the department, please visit our website at