It is never too early to become financially literate. At every stage in life, we are faced with financial issues, whether it means spending our allowance wisely, obtaining loans for college, applying for a mortgage or saving for retirement. And our nation’s libraries are here to help, with a wealth of free resources and programs.
From April 21-28, 2018, more than 1,000 of our nation’s libraries will be participating in Money Smart Week®. Library events will focus on such diverse financial issues as first-time home buying, obtaining renovation loans, preparing a personal spending plan, the property tax appeal process, evaluating financial aid packages, choosing the proper Medicare plan and the basics of wills and trusts. Libraries are also offering programs that week on options for tax-free savings and charitable tax strategies.
Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week® is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. The American Library Association (ALA) is among several partnering organizations.
Here are just some examples of what is being offered during Money Smart Week:
- The Cleveland Public Library, along with the Veterans Administration Benefits Office of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission, is presenting a special Veterans’ edition of our Money Smart Week programming. Whether it’s a home loan or grocery money, VA benefits can make the difference between needing and having.
- In Georgia, North Carolina and Wisconsin in 2018, libraries are holding Money Smart Week® Kids Read events. The program focuses on children 5-8-years old. Each family attending gets to take home a free book and discussion guide that will teach children valuable lesson about money and money management.
- At the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer Advocate Service will provide those participating in the sharing economy, such as Uber, Lyft or Airbnb, with answers to their tax questions, as well as provide information on how to prepare for an audit.
- At the Rogers Park branch of the Chicago Public Library, a program entitled Property Tax 101, will teach attendees how to lower property taxes, get tax exemptions, refunds and understand market value reassessment notices, among other issues.
- The Pickerington (Ohio) Public Library will have a representative from Kroger present tips on managing one’s grocery budget while maximizing the quality of each meal.
Money Smart Week is a national initiative in its seventh year between the ALA and the Federal Reserve Bank (Chicago) to provide financial literacy programming to help members of your community better manage their personal finances.
For more information, visit www.moneysmartweek.org, which contains an interactive map that will guide you to events across the nation.