Q: What takes place during Money Smart Week?
A: Money Smart Week is an effort by financial institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and community groups to promote personal financial literacy. Money Smart Week began in 2002 when Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President, Michael Moskow, brought these kinds of organizations together to share resources and ideas for programs and services in Chicago. Money Smart Week has grown to include all five states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin) in the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's district. This year will be Iowa's fourth year of participation. More than 80 free financial seminars for people of all ages are available, April 1724, in Bloomfield, Cedar Rapids, Clive, Coralville, Davenport, Des Moines, Hiawatha, Iowa City, Marion, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Pleasant Hill, Treynor, Urbandale, Washington and West Des Moines. Topics will include financial literacy for youth, the basics of buying a home, retirement planning, and investments for seniors. To see a listing of all the events, visit www.moneysmartweek.org/iowa .
Q: Why is financial literacy important?
A: With the income and savings that have been lost during the last two years, it's more important than ever to understand your financial status and outlook. These free seminars will help individuals and families stretch their dollars and plan for the future, especially in the current economic environment. When it comes to financial matters, the more you know, the better off you are. Participating Iowans will learn new tools that can help put them in a position to better manage and control their finances.
Q: How can kids get involved?
A: Kids are more than welcome at Money Smart Week events. It's never too early to set a good example for children, expose them to educational opportunities about finances, and encourage them to pick up good financial habits. Learning the basics of how credit works and how to keep a good credit history are valuable lessons that can stick with kids forever.