PEWAUKEE, Wis., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Not-for-profit credit unions are working alongside financial institutions, businesses, organizations and government to lead the charge in teaching Wisconsin citizens better money management skills during Money Smart Week Wisconsin, Oct. 7-13. In total, more than 700 events are taking place next week across the state, and nearly all come at no cost to the attendees.
“Managing money is a critical life skill, and one that’s needed to reverse the massive growth in personal debt that has created a society that lives on the financial edge,” says Brett Thompson, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, the trade association representing 260 member-owned financial institutions statewide.
He says the observance, begun in 2006 by the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy, offers citizens an opportunity to attend an event in their area that will offer information and ideas about saving, budgeting, credit, homeownership and much more that can improve a person’s financial position over the long term.
“Financial education is the key to helping people become better prepared to weather the inevitable financial crises of life,” Thompson adds. “Learning to save is a big part of that. But it’s also important to understand the costs of credit and how to build and protect one’s creditworthiness as a means to greater financial security.”
Credit unions see Money Smart Week as an extension of their REAL Solutions initiative, which helps members and the community without regard for profit. Through the effort, for example, Wisconsin credit unions have provided free to all Wisconsin’s public high schools the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM, whose lifestyle money magazine brass makes personal finance relevant to teens. Other REAL Solutions programs teach consumers to save, avoid financial predators, access low-cost loans, improve creditworthiness and build wealth.
Last year during Money Smart Week Wisconsin more than 460 events were held statewide. Visit http://www.moneysmartwi.org/events/ for a financial learning opportunity near you.
Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned by their members and do not have stockholders. Because they are not-for-profit, they return earnings to members in the form of more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. Around 2.1 million Wisconsin residents belong to credit unions, of which nearly half are open to the local community. People can find a credit union to join by looking in the phone book or by visiting http://www.creditunion.coop/.