Are you smart about finances? Take the test!

Attend a free Money Smart Week program offered throughout Michigan April 18-25, 2015, to increase your financial knowledge and potential wealth.

Getting smart about money is not just for adults. Learning how to manage money at a young age can pay many positive dividends later in life. There is a growing body of evidence that financial literacy increases wealth accumulation. In 2001, Berhneim, Garrett and Maki showed that individuals who were exposed to financial education in high school had higher savings later in life. In addition, the National Bureau of Economic Research paper titled “Financial Literacy, Schooling and Wealth Accumulation” revealed financial literacy has a stronger and larger effect on wealth than even school attainment.

How do you compare to your peers around the world on financial knowledge? American students scored only average in financial literacy compared to their peers according to the first large scale international study conducted by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In this study, 29,000 15-year-olds in 18 participating countries took the financial literacy assessment. The research examined the extent to which 15-year-old students have the financial knowledge and skills needed for the demands of today’s world. According to the study, “Among the 18 countries and economies that participated in the assessment, the United States ranks somewhere between 8 and 12.”

Increasing your financial knowledge does not have to cost a cent. More than 3,500 free Money Smart Week events will be hosted throughout the country on topics ranging from saving for college and managing student loan debt to budgeting and retirement. Money Smart Week events are hosted by hundreds of partner organizations including financial institutions, libraries, government agencies, media, nonprofits and educational organizations including Michigan State University Extension. By taking a quick glance at the Money Smart Week event calendar, you will find you can search for events by zip code, county, date and even topic. A few workshops for young people include Spartan Dollars and Cents, Money Management Tips Every College Student Should Know and Future Financial Freedom Fighters for Teens. And best of all, they are FREE.

As we enter the peak employment period (between April and July) for young people, attending a Money Smart Week event is the perfect time to get smart about your money!

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