This April, my office is joining various financial institutions across the state and nation in celebrating Financial Literacy Month. A number of banks, libraries and public organizations are offering programs emphasizing the financial education and empowerment of all Iowans. Throughout the month, I will release a series of four editorials addressing various financial topics.
A Message from State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald
Financial Literacy Month reminds us that a child is never too young to start learning successful financial habits, and an adult is never too old to continue. A solid financial education starts as early as kindergarten, when children learn the value of coins and how to count. The introduction of saving, spending, budgeting and borrowing builds upon this elementary education as students progress into middle and high school. Teenagers become financial actors, earning paychecks and putting their saving and spending knowledge into practice. The questions of whether to rent or buy, when to use credit, and how much money to put aside for retirement are facing adults of all ages. Throughout life, informed financial decisions pave the way for economic security.
I encourage all Iowans to participate in Financial Literacy Month by reading a financial article, opening a new savings account or reevaluating a budget. Take the time to learn how an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) prepares people for retirement, or how a healthy credit score translates to lower loan and insurance rates. Empower the next generation by encouraging smart financial habits at home. My office is committed to providing all Iowans with unbiased financial information and education programs, and is pleased to offer a list of resources – from simulation games to savings calculators – on our website. Visit IowaTreasurer.gov, click on the “For Citizens” tab and select “Financial Education and Empowerment.”
For more ways to participate in Financial Literacy Month, visit MoneySmartWeek.org and select “Find Events.” Money Smart Week is celebrated during the last week of April (Saturday, April 23 – Saturday, April 30), and offers a variety of financial awareness events across neighborhoods in Iowa. From bike rides to piggy bank decorating contests, parents and kids alike will find a fun way to learn about finances.
In the upcoming weeks, I will discuss the importance of saving for a few of life’s biggest moments and offer tips on how to keep children financially engaged over the summer months. Stay tuned!
Michael L. Fitzgerald
Treasurer of State