A weeklong program designed to help Iowans better manage their money is launching Saturday with dozens of events statewide. The fifth annual Money Smart Week involves financial institutions, government agencies, non-profit groups and community organizations. Financial educator Joanne Kuster is chair of Money Smart Week in Iowa.
“We could all use a few tips on how to use our dollars better,” Kuster says. “What we do is provide free classes. They are educational, they are free and there are no sales pitches.” In all, there are 136 free financial seminars being offered over the next week in communities across the state, including: Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, the Council Bluffs area, Des Moines and central Iowa, Waterloo/Cedar Falls and the Quad Cities.
There are also two Money Smart investor conferences planned, one this Saturday in Des Moines and the other on Friday, April 8th, in Davenport. “The conferences are geared to investors,” Kuster says. “The topics are things that you might wish to know about should you want to invest or if you’re a very astute investor, these can also be for you.”
The conferences are free but registration is encouraged. For more on those, visit: “www.womenandmoneyconference.com“. For some students, an actor posing as Ben Franklin will be visiting several Iowa schools next week to offer advice about the importance of saving.
As for the dozens of free classes, Kuster says the topics range from home-buying basics and financial literacy for youth to retirement planning and investment options for senior citizens.
“I would encourage people to go try a workshop,” Kuster says. “We have things for kids. We have shred days. The shredding is important to prevent identity theft. We have numerous sites where you can take your confidential papers and get them shredded for free, and then the conferences are wonderful tools to learn about investing.”
A full calendar of events is available at “www.moneysmartweek.org/iowa“.