State Treasurer of Iowa

Treasure Fitzgerald’s Money Smart Week Tips

April 5, 2022

Des Moines, Iowa – State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is continuing his Financial Literacy Month celebration by sharing tips to help Iowans be smart consumers. In recognition of Money Smart Week’s 20th anniversary, scheduled April 9 – April 16, Fitzgerald wants to empower individuals to make informed decisions on their personal finances. “It is my goal to educate Iowans on important financial matters and supply them with resources to assist in the navigation and management of their finances,” said Fitzgerald. “This year’s Money Smart Week focuses on four topics, and I have provided a related tip for each.”

Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

Budgeting can make all of the difference in your spending habits, including grocery shopping. A good rule of thumb is to allocate roughly 10% of your take home pay on food. Taking stock of your pantry prior to heading to the store, utilizing coupons and comparing the prices of different brands are all ways you can reduce your total spend.

Credit: Build and Improve It!

There are many factors affecting your credit score, including your payment history and the amount of available credit you use. However, did you know the length of time you have had a credit card also affects your score, which is why keeping old accounts open may actually improve it? Be sure to keep track of those accounts and maintain their activity so they aren’t deemed as unclaimed property.

Buying or Refinancing a Home

Speaking of credit scores, improving your credit score can also set you up for success when trying to refinance a home. Why? It plays a key role in determining the interest you will pay and the loans you qualify for.

Understanding Social Security Benefits

Social Security can be of benefit to many. However, retirees who collected Social Security only received an average of $1,600 a month, as reported by the Social Security Administration in their February 2022 snapshot. For most, this will not be enough income to manage day-to-day expenses, which is why saving before retirement age is crucial.

Learn more by registering for Money Smart’s webinars at For additional resources, check out the Treasurer’s Financial Literacy Month activities, including bingo boards and a Q&A, at




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