Today's children must be prepared to handle tough financial
choices regardless of their college major. Currently, the number
one reason for dropping out of college is financial pressure, and
college debt is the largest form of non-mortgage debt in the
Money Smart Week, a financial literacy campaign held April 5-12
and coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, can
It has been providing free financial education activities to
Chicagoans for more than 10 years. Parents can find free, fun money
activities or parent sessions in both the city and the suburbs
focused on paying for college at MoneySmartWeek.org.
Recently, the Economic Awareness Council interviewed local
experts about being Money Smart and released a few of their
"To this very day, I remember my mother instructing me to pick
up a nickel I had seen on the street... She said 'every
little bit counts.' … You can instill in your child a sense
of responsibility about working hard to earn money, spending
carefully and saving regularly!"
Terry Savage, nationally renowned financial journalist and
founding member of Money Smart Week
"Teaching financial literacy early will help prepare our
children for success in their career and in life. The Federal
Reserve's Money Smart Week provides an accessible forum for
students to learn the basics of financial literacy, helping them
grow into future leaders of our city."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
"If students are taught the importance of being Money Smart at
an early age, these habits should carry over into adulthood."
Myles Gage, 2008 Money Smart Kid
"We need to give our young people the tools they will need to
succeed. … This means understanding how to manage their own
finances, how to make and stick to a budget, and how to take
control of their own financial futures."
Stephanie D. Neely, Chicago city treasurer
"We are very pleased that (Money Smart Week) has provided
thousands of educational classes and seminars over the years to
help those in Chicago and throughout the country make more informed
decisions about managing their personal finances."
Charles Evans, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
"You are never too young to start saving and investing your
money, and you don't have to be rich to do so. A good way to
develop good saving habits is to split your money three ways:
donate 10 percent, save and invest 40 percent, and live off of 50
Mario Gage, 2004 Money Smart Kid
The Economic Awareness Council has a free
money smart week activity book
Want fun money ideas? Visit MoneySmartWeek.org for
local activities and have your teen set a savings goal at YoungIllinoisSaves.org.
See more of Chicago Parent's stories here.
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