This week represents the 10th year of Money Smart Week ® (MSW) and another opportunity to become educated about financial literacy. MSW began in Chicago with the participation and leadership of more than 40 area organizations. Together the organizers realized the need to strengthen the general public’s knowledge of financial responsibility, so the result was the creation of the Money Smart Advisory Council.
According to a recent article from the Daily Beast and despite the reeling market, financial literacy is getting worse. As people lined up at gas stations around the country, it was easy to see that “get rich quick” schemes made many people easy targets. A lottery winner hopeful was struck by lightning only hours after purchasing three tickets. No one wants those odds.
Money management experts suggest a more secure route, starting with financial literacy. To date, 56% of adults don’t have a budget and a third doesn’t pay their bills on time for one reason or another. Statistics like these are exactly what MSW is trying to discourage.
The MSW model has now expanded way beyond Chicago, with official weeks being organized in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, and Washington. Seminars cover a variety of topics that include: extreme couponing, credit management, retirement, and entrepreneurship. Sessions are held by leaders in the financial industry and are free to anyone that wants to attend.
With only a few high schools requiring financial planning classes, MSW courses are suitable for young adults who are leaving the security of their parents. As Anita Werner of WestStar Bank said, “Money does not come with instructions,” but it does have rules and it’s vital that people learn to manage their finances.
For more information on what classes are being offered in your state, visit http://www.moneysmartweek.org. Money Smart Week runs from April 21 – 28, 2012.
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