West Virginia Money Smart Week

A full week of opportunities to increase your financial literacy.

Money Smart Week 2017 begins on Saturday, April 22nd and ends on Saturday April 29th.

The idea of Money Smart Week began in 2001 as a coordinated effort by a diverse group of more than 40 Chicago-area organizations working together to promote personal financial literacy.

The Chicago Federal Reserve Bank was the convener but it was the partners that agreed to share resources and ideas to achieve greater public awareness of the programs and services available in the city of Chicago. The very first Money Smart Week was in Chicago in 2002 — six days of focused presentations by community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational  organizations, and financial experts, all designed to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances.

Fast forward to 2010 which was the first time that Money Smart Week came to West Virginia.

West Virginians embraced the idea of Money Smart Week, meant to showcase different programs, help consumers get information, bring together different organizations — many for the first time — and help these organizations share expertise and leverage limited resources.

Today, Money Smart Week is much broader in scope and continues to expand, creating new partnerships, heightened exposure, and substantive events. The Money Smart Week model has grown beyond Chicago with successful campaigns taking place in more than a dozen states and clusters of individual events and activities in nearly forty states.

In West Virginia more than 35 partners work together to make sure that there are financial literacy activities across West Virginia for every possible age group. We live in a wonderful state, and there are lots of organizations, businesses, agencies and associations that are excited to join the effort to bring financial literacy events, programs and information to the Mountain State. Last year, the Money Smart Week Partners conducted over 100 financial literacy events during West Virginia Money Smart Week.

Some of the West Virginia Money Smart Week Partners include: The US Postal Inspection Service, the AARP Fraud Watch Network, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, WV Attorney General, WV State Treasurer, WV Bankers Association, WV Bureau of Senior Services, WV Library Commission, Federal Trade Commission, AARP West Virginia, WV Financial Exploitation Taskforce, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the US Small Business Administration, Bluegrass E-Cycle, Charleston Newspapers, Cabelas, and the WV Statewide Independent Living Council.

There are events for everyone – young, old, working, retired, veterans, students…

Financial literacy covers a lot of bases, whether it is avoiding scams, investing wisely, helping small businesses, preparing for retirement or saving for college.  Money Smart Week helps consumers learn new things, but they also learn about resources and programs that are available to them, that they may never have taken advantage of.

Having so many partners working on financial literacy for a solid week has an amazing synergy. The events are all free.

The WV Bankers Association will conduct “Teach a Child to Save” events. The WV Treasurer’s Office will conduct “Get a Life” events for Middle School students.  AARP West Virginia will be hosting Operation Scam Jam, a free shredding event and an AARP Fraud Watch Network consumer protection teletown hall. There will be dozens of other events throughout the state.

All West Virginia consumers are encouraged to seek out and participate in a West Virginia Money Smart Week event to broadening their financial literacy.

As Ben Franklin would say, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”


For more information about West Virginia Money Smart Week:

Follow us on Twitter – @WVMSW

Friend us on Facebook – WVMSW

Contact Linda Bunn – 304.340.4601 or email lbunn@aarp.org

You can find out more information about national Money Smart Week at www.moneysmartweek.org