What is Money Smart Week?
Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of hundreds of organizations across the country including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media. These groups come together once a year to stress the importance of financial literacy, inform consumers about where they can get help and provide free educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning. De La Salle and Christian Financial Credit Union are two participating partners.
How did it all get started?
Money Smart Week began as a coordinated effort of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Money Smart Advisory Council – a diverse group of more than 40 Chicago-area organizations working together to promote personal financial literacy. Members agreed to share resources and ideas to achieve greater public awareness of the programs and services available in the city of Chicago. The result was Money Smart Week 2002, a week of 40 financial seminars and educational activities. The effort would showcase different programs, help consumers get information, bring together different organizations — many for the first time — and help these organizations share expertise and leverage limited resources. The Money Smart Week model has since spread throughout the country with successful campaigns in 13 states.