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Money Smart Week Events

In 2002, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago organized the first Money Smart Week. It has grown to become a national public financial education program delivered by a network of supporters.  The goal is to empower children and adults "with the knowledge and skills to make better-informed personal financial decisions around the key financial pillars of saving, spending, borrowing and planning." Note: All events are scheduled in Central Time.

The following is a list of short virtual events scheduled each day during Money Smart Week (April 10-17, 2021). Click here to register for one or more of the events below.    

Presented by UChicago Financial Education Initiative
How do you talk to your children, aging parents, or life partner about money? It can be challenging to know where to start and what topics to bring up. Join us to discover some easy strategies and simple tools you can use to start these important conversations in a fun and comfortable manner. 

Presented by FINRA Investor Education Foundation
Did you know that even a very modest savings cushion can be associated with major life improvements? Have you heard that savings of three months’ worth of living expenses is necessary to cover emergency expenses? Many financial education programs equate adequate emergency savings with this amount. While this guidance may work for some people, it isn’t a realistic goal for many. Learn how and why a much smaller amount of savings (hint: in the low hundreds) can help keep your rent/mortgage protected and utilities on. Additionally, learn just how much (little) you might need to save per paycheck to reach these attainable goals. As a bonus, achieving these recommended amounts will likely allow you to be more financially satisfied and less likely to have to resort to high-cost borrowing options, such as pawnshops or payday loans. 

Presented by Economic Awareness Council
Wary of opening a bank account due to hidden fees and charges? Worried that you need every dollar that you earn and want to avoid being charged because of a minimum balance requirement? These are all valid concerns, given that many bank account terms contain long, confusing language on fees and high minimum balance requirements. You might have considered skipping a bank to avoid this confusion in managing your money. But did you know that unbanked families are estimated to spend over $40,000 in their lifetime on financial fees? Join us to learn about how to find accounts that remove the risk of overdraft, low balance charges, and other high fees so that you can manage your money to spend on what you choose. Learn all the ways that selecting a high-quality, safe, and affordable bank account can improve your life.

Presented by U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid
Calling all borrowers, students, and parents to join us in learning how the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, can help you and how it has adjusted to consider the impacts of Covid-19 on borrowers. Get a basic overview of federal student loan programs and learn tips to utilize federal student programs to help pay for education beyond high school. The presentation will cover how to create an FSA ID and how to use new and redeveloped tools from the FSA. It will also review information on loan servicers, private student loans, debt relief scam prevention, credit monitoring, and default prevention.

Day 5: Tax-Related
Fraud + Identity Theft

April 14, 2021
1:00 PM-1:15 PM CT

Presented by Internal Revenue Service 
Scam artists can try to take advantage of vulnerable taxpayers during the Covid-19 pandemic by stealing information and subsequently funds. Join us to learn how to recognize signs that your identity has been stolen for tax-related issues. Find out what to do if you are an identity theft victim. Learn how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can help. Discover how to protect your records and stay aware of Covid-19 tax scams and phishing schemes.

Day 6:  Managing Personal Finances During Covid-19

April 15, 2021
1:00 PM-1:15 PM CT 

Presented by Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center
Learn suggestions for managing your money in a time of crisis. Topics covered include budgeting, emergency savings, and managing debt. While some factors affecting financial security are beyond individual control, financial know-how can help all of us better manage our finances, especially during the sudden and drastic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Day 7:  Housing
Protections + Resources

April 16, 2021
12:00 PM-12:15 PM CT

Presented by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will highlight resources that can help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus national emergency. The session will help consumers understand where to turn if they are having trouble making rent payments. Homeowners will learn how they are protected under federal law from foreclosure and can temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments if they’re struggling financially.

Day 8: Tips for Managing
Money Ups and Down

April 17, 2021
10:30 AM-10:45 AM CT

Presented by University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension 
The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a financial blow to many U.S. individuals and families. Join this session to learn how to do your best with what you have available. Learn budgeting tips and tricks to help you plan ahead and meet your monthly financial obligations. We’ll focus on easy steps that you can take to get control of your money, even when it doesn’t seem like enough.
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