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Money Smart Week 2021: Learn to manage your money with a week of programs
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Everyone can use a little help improving their money management skills. But where can you find the resources and information you need to make sound financial decisions? Your local library, of course!
Spend Money Smart Week, from April 10 to April 17, with Charleston County Public Library as we host a collection of virtual events designed to help everyone with their finances, whether the questions are about establishing a budget to first-time home buying to estate planning.
Money Smart Week is the broadest and most comprehensive financial education program in the country. Started in 2002 in Chicago with just 40 programs, it has expanded significantly to become the only national educational program for people at all stages of life.
Each program requires registration, but we've made it easy and linked to them below:
Saturday, April 10 - Talking Cents
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. Register for the event in advance.
Sunday, April 11 - Savings, A Little Can Make A Big Diference
Did you know that even a very modest savings cushion can be associated with major life improvements? Have you heard that savings of three months of living expenses is necessary to cover emergency expenses? Many financial education programs equate adequate emergency savings with this amount. 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 much (little) you might need to save per paycheck to reach these realizable goals. As a bonus, achieving these recommended amounts will likely 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.
Monday, April 12 - Bank On It: Safe and Affordable Bank Accounts
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 because of a minimum balance requirement? These are 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 lifetime on financial fees? Join us to learn about 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. Learn all the ways that selecting a high-quality, safe, and affordable bank account can improve your life.
Tuesday, April 13 - Understanding the Basics of Federal Student Loans
Calling all borrowers, students, and parents to join us in learning how the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, can help you and how it has adjusted to consider the impacts of Covid-19 on borrowers. Get a basic overview of federal student loan programs and learn tips to utilize federal student programs to help pay for education beyond high school. The presentation will cover how to create an FSA ID, plus new and redeveloped tools used by FSA. It will also review information on loan servicers, private student loans, debt relief scam prevention, credit monitoring, and default prevention.
Wednesday, April 14 - Tax-Related Fraud and Identity Theft
Scam artists can try to take advantage of vulnerable taxpayers during the Covid-19 pandemic by stealing information and subsequently funds. Join us to learn how to recognize signs that your identity has been stolen for tax-related issues. 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.
Thursday, April 15 - Managing Personal Finances During COVID-19
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.
Friday, April 16 - Housing Protections and Resources
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will highlight resources that can help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus national emergency. The session will help consumers 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.
Saturday, April 17 - Tips for Managing Money Ups and Downs
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. We’ll focus on easy steps that you can take to get control of your money, even when it doesn’t seem like enough.