MADISON, Wis. – Today the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed the month of April as Financial Literacy and Capability Month in Wisconsin. The proclamation is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of financial literacy education and financial wellness.
“We’re working hard to help Wisconsinites recover from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Evers. “Financial education that builds financial capability helps families build resilience and benefit from a stronger and more equitable economy. April is recognized as Financial Literacy and Capability Month to highlight the value of high-quality financial education on improving Wisconsinites’ financial capability. I encourage all Wisconsinites to take action to build their own financial capability and assist others in doing so as well.”
The month-long financial education campaign is a joint effort by Wisconsin banks and credit unions, the insurance and financial industries, state and federal agencies, consumer groups, and private sector organizations coming together to conduct educational activities in schools, workplaces, and communities illustrating the importance of personal financial literacy and capability.
“The need for financial education remains crucial as people face increasingly complex financial choices throughout their lives,” said DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “Financial capability is about people’s lives and giving them the tools and resources they need to reach their own financial goals, dreams, and security. Helping people make well-informed financial decisions is key to improving the quality-of-life for all Wisconsinites.”
A variety of virtual financial literacy initiatives and events designed to improve financial skills, especially among Wisconsin’s youth, and promote financial well-being for all Wisconsin residents are taking place throughout the month of April. Wisconsinites are encouraged to participate in these events and engage with these organizations to gain financial literacy and capability skills.
The 2021 Money Smart Week®, a national public education program coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and delivered by a network of supporters, is taking place April 10-17, 2021. This free virtual campaign aims to help people better manage their personal finances with a focus on those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Join the virtual Money Smart Week® for a week of financial capability programming at www.moneysmartweek.org.
To kick-off Money Smart Week® on Saturday, April 10, 2021, DFI, the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition, and Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) are offering teachers a free, three-hour interactive professional development event. Teachers will collaborate virtually to explore NGPF’s free financial education resources and discuss the latest trends related to banking fees and the psychology of money among other critical financial education topics. Learn more and register here.
During Money Smart Week®, DFI, Edvest, Wisconsin’s College Savings Plan, and Sallie Mae are hosting two free webinars about saving and finding free money for college on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, from 6-6:45 p.m., and Wednesday, April 14, 2021, from 12-12:45 p.m. Register to attend here and here for valuable information and tips to maximize college savings and find scholarships for technical education, vocational certification, and college degrees. In addition, be sure to tune in for Edvest’s regular monthly webinars and explore Edvest’s Teaching Kids About Money for a comprehensive look at how to educate children about the importance and role of money in their lives, no matter their age.
The annual National Teach Children to Save Day is Thursday, April 22, 2021. The day was established to spotlight the importance of teaching youth about saving money. The Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) and Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) help the state’s banks and savings associations promote financial literacy and financial responsibility by providing enhanced classroom learning through access to online financial education resources to schools throughout the state, accompanied by over 100 bank branches presenting Reading Raises Interest Kits to help students of all ages and locations statewide. The kits and presentations by bank employees in K-12 classes are part of WBA’s fourth-annual Power of Community Week taking place the week of April 19-24, 2021.
National Credit Union Youth Month is also celebrated in April. The month was created by credit unions to encourage kids to develop healthy saving habits by making savings fun and exciting. The Wisconsin Credit Union League (The League) and the state’s not-for-profit credit unions support the month and offer opportunities to improve the social and economic lives of credit union members through financial wellness programs throughout the year. These programs include certified financial counseling, reality fairs and apps to simulate adult financial scenarios for school districts and community groups, and over 100 student-run, in-school branches which are a best practice in financial education.
The Wisconsin Strong Financial Fitness Challenge is under way for all Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) members and their families. Gain free access to a financial fitness self-assessment and a personalized playlist of interactive courses, quizzes, videos, and articles. The challenge is a part of the Wisconsin Strong: Your Financial Security™ program provided by the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) in conjunction with DFI. Wisconsin Strong takes a holistic approach to empowering members to maximize their WRS pension, health, and other benefits while growing knowledge about financial planning and retirement preparedness.
For Wisconsinites looking to purchase their first home, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is offering a free first-time home buyer webinar on Thursday, April 29, 2021, from 6-7 p.m. Register to attend here to learn how to purchase a home in six simple steps. For more than 48 years, WHEDA has worked to provide low-cost financing for housing and helped more than 135,000 families purchase a home by providing the tools to help people and communities realize their hopes and dreams.
Additionally, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) reminds all Wisconsinites they have a second chance to get enrolled in health insurance coverage until Sunday, August 15, 2021. Get free expert help to select and sign-up for a health insurance plan by visiting www.wiscovered.com. OCI works to inform, empower, and advocate for consumers because accessing quality insurance coverage can help Wisconsinites keep their finances on track. The agency is Wisconsin’s insurance watchdog, working to ensure a financially strong and competitive marketplace for Wisconsin’s insurance industry so every consumer can access the best rates and highest quality insurance plans available.
“Together these organizations are helping improve the financial literacy and capability of Wisconsinites across the state,” said DFI Secretary Blumenfeld. “I encourage all Wisconsinites to get involved in these initiatives and tune in for Governor Evers’ Badger Bounceback Live Session on What’s Best for Our Kids on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 6 p.m.”
The Badger Bounceback Live Session on What’s Best for Our Kids will cover topics such as ensuring every kid has access to a high-quality, public education, providing mental health supports for students at schools, special education reimbursement rates, expanding access to early childhood education and childcare, and investing in our higher education institutions. Learn more and register to attend here.