All across the nation, communities are in the midst of Money Smart Week, April 20-27.
Right here in Iowa, more than 100 free events are offering people tips on managing finances, and it's never too early in life to start learning these skills.
On Tuesday afternoon, students in Ms. Wohler's second-grade class at Dubuque's Audubon Elementary School heard from Lynne Hager, marketing officer for American Trust and Savings Bank.
She and some 20 other financial experts visited classrooms in elementary schools throughout Dubuque, Farley and Dyersville on Tuesday for Teach Children to Save Day, in conjunction with Money Smart Week.
The speakers taught a total of more than 800 students about the value of counting, earning and saving money.
"It's great at this age because we see so many high schoolers that don't know how to save their money," Hager said. "So if we can catch them at a young age, we show them ways of why it's important to take your money to a bank and save it versus just keeping it at home."
The money management curriculum gets a little more complex with the older kids.
"We do a little bit of ID theft as they get into the older grades to keep their identification safe when they have ATM cards and things like that," Hager said.
While teaching kids the importance of saving is crucial, Susan Taylor, a family finance specialist with the Iowa State University Extension Office in Dubuque County, said adults need to worry about their credit reports.
"If there's information that's inaccurate there, that could cost you, make a loan be far more expensive, and it impacts your insurance because both of those are tied together with the credit score," Taylor said.
She also encourages people to have an emergency savings fund, saying the average American isn't big on saving.
"You get the Baby Boomers and the ones that come after that, those generations are the ones that they spend every dime to the end," she said. "If you have children, start teaching them early about money."
There are still dozens of free financial literacy classes open throughout eastern Iowa this week. To browse classes near you, click here.
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