On Saturday, Oct. 18, Indiana University Northwest will host Money Smart, a free financial expo aimed at teaching people strategies for better money management. In these uncertain financial times, when investments are shaky and household budgets are tight, sound money management and advance financial planning are more important than ever before. Money Smart offers people of all ages and income levels sound advice and strategies for stretching their dollars further, avoiding scams and pitfalls, and investing in a more secure financial future.
Sponsored by more than 75 public, non-profit, educational, media and financial institutions in the Northwest Indiana and Chicago areas, Money Smart offers more than 20 workshops related to four crucial financial areas: Making Ends Meet, for people who want to learn how to stretch their dollars and establish good spending plans; If It Sounds Too Good ... for people who want to learn how to spot and avoid scams, predators and pitfalls; Enhancing Your Money Power, for people who want to improve their spending, savings and retirement strength; and Youth Track, for students age 7 to 18, because it’s never too early to get a good start.
The annual Money Smart program is part of a nationwide education program aimed at helping families make smart financial decisions. The Northwest Indiana program reaches between 200 and 300 families each year. Money Smart is being held in conjunction with Money Smart Week in Indiana, which runs from Oct. 11 -- 18, and the American Bankers Association's Get Smart About Credit education efforts.
The four theme areas of this year’s expo are subdivided into more than 20 individual workshops.
Making Ends Meet workshops include: Stretching Your Medicaid and Medicare Dollars; 10-20-70 Principle — A Budget for Prosperity; Don’t Lose Your Cool Over Heating Costs; Credit Smart — Steps to Improving Your Credit Score; 12 Months to Home Ownership; and Cut, Clip and County Your Savings — Get More for Less.
If It Sounds Too Good workshops include: Scam, I Am; Predatory Lending — Subprime Mortgages and More; Buying and Keeping Your Home; ID Theft — Safeguarding Your Financial Future; Foreclosures; and Who’s Stealing Your Money? Fees and High Interest You Can Avoid.
Enhancing Your Money Power workshops include: A Look Into Social Security; Making Money with Mutual Funds; All Credit Cards are NOT Created Equal; Basic Wills, Trusts and Funeral Costs; Show Me the Money — Tax Credits You Should Be Getting; and Knowledge is Freedom — Retirement and Pension Taxes.
Youth Track workshops, open to participants age 7 to 18, include: What Happens Next? A Fun Approach to Financial Learning Through Folktales, for participants age 7 to 13; Donate, Save, Spend, Invest, open to participants age 7 to 13; Taxes for Teens, open to participants age 14 to 18; Navigating the Financial Aid Arena, open to participants age 14 to 18; Jr. CEO — Exploring Your Entrepreneurial Skills, open to participants age 7 to 18; and Music and Money, open to participants age 7 to 18.
Opening Money Smart remarks will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by workshops from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Those will be followed by a free lunch and keynote address. Following lunch, participants will have the opportunity to visit information and resource exhibits and learn even more ways to make their money work for them.
As part of this year’s Money Smart event, state-certified foreclosure-prevention experts will be on hand to help families who are in the foreclosure process look for ways to keep their homes.
This month’s Money Smart expo at IU Northwest is free to Indiana consumers, and lunch is included; advance registration is required. Call (219) 980-4800 or (800) 982-4801 to reserve a space.
For more information on Money Smart Week, please visit the Web at http://www.moneysmartweek.org/indiana, or contact Sheila McKean, Senior Outreach Program Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, at Sheila.McKean@chi.frb.org.