Money Smart Week in Chicago kicks off Saturday

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 U.S.

Money Smart Week, a financial literacy campaign held April 5-12 and coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, can help.

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 focusedon paying for college at

Recently, the Economic Awareness Council interviewed local experts about being Money Smart and released a few of their findings:

“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 president

“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 percent.”

Mario Gage, 2004 Money Smart Kid

The Economic Awareness Council has a free money smart week activity book

Want fun money ideas? Visit for local activities and have your teen set a savings goal at

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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