Learn the Secret Code of Personal Finance During Money Smart Week

In some areas of life, it seems that one group of people has the gift - they know what to do or how to behave so that they are successful and accepted. They know the Secret Code.

In 1922, Emily Post published her book on etiquette. It was groundbreaking, because for the first time it revealed the secret code known only by the wealthy elite about how to behave and talk in high society.

For many of us, personal finance feels like a secret code that only certain people have access to. Financial education can change that.

April 23 to 30 is Money Smart Week, a national financial education campaign led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It's the best time of year to learn anything you want about managing your finances - to learn the secret code. Why is it the best time?

It's all free.

There will likely be workshops near you. Over a thousand programs will take place across Illinois. There are also programs in almost every state. And some events are offered online, so they're accessible anywhere.

No sales spiels.This is a project of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, with events carried out by partner organizations who register with the Fed and promise that there will be no sales pitches at any of these events.

Find programs near you by going on the Money Smart Week website. Select your state, and then search by zip code or by county. If you're looking for a particular topic, pick one from the Topic drop-down menu. Click "reset" to start a new search.

Partner organizations work together to present events on everything from couponing to retirement planning, and credit cards to investing.

The first Money Smart Week was in Chicago in 2002, with just 30 events. Illinois is still has the largest campaign, involving over 900 different partners including U of I Extension, banks, non-profits, credit unions, libraries, governmental agencies, and many other groups.

It has grown into a nationwide effort, with national partners such as the USDA's Cooperative Extension Service (that's us,University of Illinois Extension), the American Library Association, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Financial Planning Association, and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

University of Illinois Extension has been an active Money Smart Week partner since the first Week was organized in 2002, and we're pleased to be offering numerous programs during Money Smart Week 2016. You'll find our Money Smart Week events on the MSW calendar, but we do financial education year-round; find all our events on Extension's own calendar of events.