Money Smart Week helps develop better spending and saving habits

Five national organizations committed to promoting financial education are taking part April 20–27, 2013, in Money Smart Week, a national effort to help consumers make informed decisions about their personal finances.

The organizations are the American Library Association, the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Financial Planning Association and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Cooperative Extension.

All will be promoting and hosting free financial education classes and activities across the country during Money Smart Week.  A complete list of activities is on the website. Below is an overview of each organization's efforts:

American Library Association (ALA) – The ALA is encouraging libraries across the country to host classes on a wide variety of topics. "Providing resources and education to the public is what we do," said Maureen Sullivan, ALA President.

Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (CFP Board) – CFP professionals are joining local libraries and other partners to offer their financial planning knowledge and expertise to the public. "Our research has shown that those who plan do better financially and feel better about their finances," said Kevin R. Keller, CEO of the CFP Board. "We are proud to support this effort and help more people learn the value of financial planning."

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – The CFPB's Office of Financial Education is participating in Money Smart week by bringing attention to its "AskCFPB" database, which features answers to more than 930 questions about financial products and services such as mortgages, credit cards, and student loans.  CFPB's "Consumer Response" also can assist consumers with complaints about financial products and services via a toll free number (855-411-CFPB) or via its website at

Financial Planning Association (FPA) – FPA's members will provide trusted guidance and education to the many participants who are striving to enhance their financial well-being. "FPA and its unparalleled national chapter network are pleased to support this effort in multiple locations throughout the U.S.," said Lauren M. Schadle, CEO of the FPA.

USDA Cooperative Extension – With offices and financial educators in every state, the USDA Cooperative Extension has invited its affiliates to participate in areas with a high concentration of events and activities. Priority issues include dealing with financial instability throughout one's life, helping rural and urban individuals and families maintain economic stability in a changing economy, and supporting community development in an increasingly complex and diverse environments.

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and designed to promote financial education across all ages. More than 2,500 free educational programs are offered nationwide during the week on topics ranging from budgeting to saving for college and retirement to using credit wisely.  Launched in 2002, the program is now active in more than 41 states through these national partnerships.  Events are also coordinated and hosted by hundreds of local partner organizations including banks, universities, government agencies, community groups and libraries. For the most-up-to date calendar of events, please visit