Virtual Money Smart Week 2021 will be held Saturday, April 10 through Saturday, April 17. This week-long free virtual campaign aims to help people, especially those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, better manage their personal finances through the coordinated efforts of experts and educators across the country.
This year's line-up includes:
- Talking Cents on Saturday, April 10 @ 11-11:15 a.m. EST
How do you talk to your children, aging parents, or life partner about money? It can be challenging to know where to start and what topics to bring up. Join us to discover some easy strategies and simple tools you can use to start these important conversations in a fun and comfortable manner. This event is presented by The University of Chicago Financial Education Initiative. Register now.
- Savings: A Little can Make a Big Difference on Sunday, April 11 @ 11-11:15 a.m. EST
Have you heard that saving three months’ living expenses is necessary to cover emergency expenses? Many financial education programs equate this amount with adequate emergency savings. While this guidance may work for some people, it isn’t a realistic goal for many. Learn how and why a much smaller amount of savings (hint: in the low hundreds) can help keep your rent/mortgage protected and utilities on. Additionally, learn just how little you might need to save per paycheck to reach these realizable goals. As a bonus, achieving these recommended amounts will allow you to be more financially satisfied and less likely to have to resort to high cost borrowing options like pawn shops or payday loans. This event is presented by FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Register now.
- Bank On It: Finding Safe + Affordable Bank Accounts on Monday, April 12 @ 1-1:15 p.m. EST
Wary of opening a bank account due to hidden fees and charges? Worried that you need every dollar that you earn, and want to avoid being charged due to a minimum balance requirement? All valid concerns given that many bank account terms contain long, confusing language on fees and high minimum balance requirements. You might have considered skipping a bank to avoid this confusion in managing your money. But – did you know that unbanked families are estimated to spend over $40,000 in their lifetimes on financial fees? Join us to learn how to find accounts that remove the risk of overdraft, low balance charges and other high fees so that you can manage your money to spend on what you choose. This event is presented by the Economic Awareness Council. Register now.
- Understanding the Basics of Federal Student Loans on Tuesday, April 13 @ 1:30-1:50 p.m. EST
Calling all borrowers, students and parents to join us in learning how U.S. Federal Student Aid (FSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, can help you – and how the division has adjusted their offerings to consider the impacts of Covid-19 on borrowers. Get a basic overview on federal student loan programs and learn tips to utilize federal student programs to help pay for education beyond high school. Learn how to create a FSA ID, and how to use new and redeveloped tools from the FSA. Gain insights on loan servicers, private student loans, debt relief scam prevention, monitoring your credit and default prevention. This event is presented by The U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid. Register now.
- Tax-Related Fraud + Identity Theft on Wednesday, April 14 @ 2-2:15 p.m. EST
Find out what to do if you are an identity theft victim. Learn how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can help. Discover how to protect your records and stay aware of Covid-19 tax scams and phishing schemes. This event is presented by the Internal Revenue Service. Register now.
- Managing Personal Finances During COVID-19 on Thursday, April 15 @ 2-2:15 p.m. EST
Learn suggestions for managing your money in a time of crisis. Topics covered include budgeting, emergency savings and managing debt. While some factors affecting financial security are beyond individual control, financial know-how can help all of us better manage our finances – especially during the sudden and drastic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This event is presented by The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC). Register now.
- Housing Protections + Resources on Friday, April 16 @ 1-1:15 p.m. EST
The session will help people understand where to turn if they are having trouble making rent payments. Homeowners will learn how they are protected under federal law from foreclosure and can temporarily pause or reduce their mortgage payments if they’re struggling financially. This event is presented by The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Register now.
- Tips for Managing Money Ups and Downs on Saturday, April 17 @ 11:30-11:45 a.m. EST
The Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a financial blow to many U.S. individuals and families. Join this session to learn how to do your best with what you have available. Learn budgeting tips and tricks to help you plan ahead and meet your monthly financial obligations. This event is presented by The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension. Register now.
Events are free and open to the public, but registration is advised. Questions for the panelists can be submitted during the registration process.