Improve your financial literacy

CAPITOL CONNECTION
Joe Leibham • 9th Senatorial District

As our state and nation continue to work toward improving our economy, families and individuals are faced with managing their own financial resources to ensure future prosperity and stability. In an effort to educate and support our citizens in this effort, local resource providers and state leaders have planned Money Smart Week Wisconsin for April 20-27, 2013.

Money Smart has become an important annual event in the Lakeshore Area, with hundreds of free educational presentations attended by thousands of residents over the last few years. Presentations cover such important topics as automobile financing, personal budgeting and saving, credit, home buying, identity theft, income taxes, insurance, retirement planning and student loans.

This year, more than 100 presentations have been planned to take place throughout Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Fond du Lac Counties. The event is a worthwhile educational experience, and attendees may be assured of a pressure-free learning environment without having to listen to a sales or advertising pitch, as Money Smart presenters are not allowed to promote themselves or their businesses. Instead, it is a great opportunity for businesses to help educate our citizens on important financial matters.

The Money Smart financial learning opportunities are not limited to adults. There is something for people of all ages, including fun programs for children under 10 years of age to learn how to save, spend, invest and donate. Innovative programs like Money Smart Story Time and Penny the Pig have earned our area Money Smart programs the well-deserved reputation of being among the best in the state, winning wide-ranging acclaim from organizations like the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and even the Chicago Federal Reserve.

If you would like more information on the time and location of specific Money Smart events in our area, you will find details on www.moneysmartweek.org. This page contains a searchable database by state, county and zip code.

The full calendar of events for Sheboygan County was included as an insert in the Sunday, April 14 edition of The Sheboygan Press and can also be obtained at Consumer Credit Counseling Service (920-458-3784), 1930 N. Eighth St., Sheboygan, or your local bank. You may view the insert at www.sheboyganpress.com/moneysmart.

In today’s complex world, being financially literate is as important as being competent in reading and writing. I encourage all citizens, young and old to take advantage of the excellent programs and services offered next week and to become Money Smart.


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