An Iowa State University professor is a member of a federal panel that spent much of the day Tuesday in Des Moines discussing the current financial situation. Tahira Hira is on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

Hira says financial literacy means to her that everyone is equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to help make the right financial decisions. She says that includes the small decisions like making a credit card purchase, to buying a home. Hira is a personal finance and consumer economics professor who says Americans need a full range of information to be financially literate.

Hira says every decision we make are not just a matter of knowledge, but also include our values system and our attitudes. She says people need to be equipped to know how to make decisions every single day by understanding limits and parameters.

Hira says that equipping of knowledge includes an understanding of the definition of credit. "Does that mean its my money and I can spend it forever,forever forever, or does that mean that I have somebody’s money to spend for something and I entered into a contract to return it at a certain point that I agreed upon with a certain interest that I agreed upon. Somehow we have forgotten what this is, it’s not just an extension of our income," Hira says.

She says financial literacy means helping people understand their money world much better than they are now. The council is holding discussion sessions across the country and plans to make recommendations to the president in December.