Financial awareness, literacy to be taught in Money Smart Week

By Shikha Duttyal

Locals can learn how to manage their money and plan for the future during Money Smart Week.

The College of Business is hosting Money Smart Week April 5-12. NIU’s Financial Literacy Collaborative is partnering with the DeKalb County Cash Coalition to bring the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s national Money Smart Week program to the community.

The week is a public awareness campaign to help people manage their finances. Organizations across DeKalb County, including schools, libraries, businesses and government agencies, will present workshops on financial awareness.

“The idea is to educate people about … financial literacy, like tax preparation, money management, savings for college, retirement, etcetera,” said Randi Napientek, Student Academic Success assistant director.

This is the third year NIU is organizing Money Smart Week. There will be 60 free events and more than 100 people are involved in it.

“It’s great for education, great for community outreach, helping students gain knowledge to make smart financial decisions which will impact the future,” Napientek said.

The topics of the workshops will include free tax preparation and filing, healthcare and retirement and understanding a credit score. Faculty members and students will educate Genoa-Kingston Middle School, 941 W. Main St., students about their plans after school and will teach them financial literacy and relevance of education to the workplace.

“We really believe the people need to receive information to be financially literate. [There are] so many wonderful tips our speakers can provide to the people,” said STEM Outreach associate Judith Dymond.

NIU’s Financial Literacy Collaborative is composed of the College of Business, Center for Economic Education, Econ Illinois, Office of Engaged Learning, Financial Cents, IDEAL Industries Inc., and Junior Achievement.

Danielle Dyra, freshman history education major, said events like Money Smart Week will educate students on spending money.

“It helps us with stuff not taught in class. I came out of high school and it helps me adjust how to spend,” Dyra said.