Money Smart Week to Help Iowans Manage Personal Finances

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowans have a chance to brush up on money management skills during the 10th annual Money Smart Week April 21-28. Financial institutions, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and community groups throughout the state have teamed up to offer a full week of events designed to help Iowans of all ages better manage their finances. Money Smart Week includes activities in Council Bluffs, Creston, Harlan, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and the Quad Cities.

Money Smart WeekMoney Smart Investor Conferences serve as the cornerstone events for Money Smart Week across the country. The Iowa conference will take place Saturday, April 21, in Des Moines at Drake University Olmstead Center.

“A new event that will take place in Des Moines this year is the Money Smart Fair,” said Margaret VanGinkel, a family finance program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and chair of the Money Smart Fair. “Following the conference, the fair will begin at 12:30 pm and include a panel of experts, demonstrations every 20 minutes, vendors with lots of information about saving money and prizes.”

Those giving demonstrations include the Coupon Lady from Grimes, Dress for Success, Des Moines, Travel and Transport, Traveling on a Budget, and Spend Smart, Eat Smart from ISU Extension and Outreach. Both the conference and fair are free to attend, but seating is limited. More information about the conferences and fair is available at www.moneysmartweek.org/iowa.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and nearly 140 Iowa Money Smart Week partners are offering at least 136 free financial seminars in communities across the state, including Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, the Council Bluffs area, Des Moines/central Iowa, Waterloo/Cedar Falls and the Quad Cities. Topics range from home-buying basics and financial literacy for youth to retirement planning and investment options for senior citizens. The events – which are provided at no charge and do not include sales pitches – will take place at banks, credit unions, libraries, ISU Extension and Outreach offices and local businesses throughout the week.  A full calendar of events is available at www.moneysmartweek.org/iowa.

“There has never been a better time for Iowans to enhance their personal money management skills,” said Joanne Kuster, Money Smart Week Chairperson. “Plenty of information exists, but many consumers don’t know where to turn or who to believe. Money Smart Week points them in the right direction, offering education without the pressure of product sales pitches.”

Since 2002, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has sponsored Money Smart Week. “Money Smart Week Iowa’s statewide and community-based efforts, as well as its partners’ commitment, will make this event a success again this year,” Chicago Federal Reserve President and CEO Charles Evans said. “We hope consumers of all ages, including children, will take part in this week’s diverse personal finance offerings.”

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Contact: Joanne Kuster, Money Smart Week Chairperson, 515-991-5632

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