Northern Illinois residents will have the opportunity to gain financial literacy this week from a series of free events in Boone, DeKalb, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties.
Chairwoman Lorna Cote said that, with more than 160 events and programs for a wide range of age groups, there is something for everyone to learn by attending. “I’ve attended quite a few seminars over the years, and I always learn something new,” she said.
Money Smart Week is sponsored by more than 100 local organizations, including financial institutions, libraries, government agencies, investment firms and more.
The event was created in 2002 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Cote said a group of people examined the lack of financial literacy and came up with Money Smart Week as a way to educate individuals on a variety of financial topics. The idea spread from there, and now at least one city in 48 states hosts events for the week.
Cote said some of the more popular events are shred days, where people are able to shred documents and learn about identity theft prevention; coupon clipping classes; pre-retirement planning seminars; and a teen reality fair, where teenagers are able to experience a day in the life of an adult who has a family to support and bills to pay.
Each year, new events are added to the schedule, Cote said. New events this year include a seminar on car care for women and a Goodwill fashion show.
Cote encourages northern Illinois residents to search the calendar and find events relevant to them.
“Bottom line is they’re going to learn something to help them spend their money or save their money more wisely,” she said.
The sixth annual Northern Illinois Money Smart Week will run April 20-27 at various times and locations in the region. For a calendar of events, visit www.moneysmartweek.org. All events are completely free and open to the public.