Save and learn

A weeklong series of events and activities focusing on finance education is soon coming to Webster City.

Several organizers met on Tuesday to discuss Money Smart Week in Webster City. Representatives from local businesses and organizations discussed several free events they are planning to host between March 31 and April 10. National Money Smart Week will be held April 5 through 12. Barb Wollan, family finance specialist with Iowa State Extension in Hamilton County, said she hopes the week will benefit the community.

“It’s simply a week where we hope there will be a lot of public attention on the need to make smart decisions about your money,” Wollan said.

Money Smart Week first began in 2002. Beginning in Chicago, other large cities soon began to host Money Smart Week as well. Eventually, Wollan said it took root in Des Moines and she heard her co-workers in big cities talking about it.

“Then, I started hearing about it in Harlan and Creston and those are not big cities. If they can do it in Harlan and Creston, we can,” Wollan said.

Last year, Money Smart Week kicked off in Fort Dodge. Wollan said that nearby city is joining in the campaign to host the week of events in Webster City for the first time.

The events hosted during the week are related to many kinds of financial issues. All of the events are free to attend.

Several service organizations in Webster City are opening their meetings to the public as they host financial programs for Smart Money Week. Presentations will discuss topics including raising money smart kids, investing strategies, a community shred event that invites the public to get rid of documents in a safe way and much more.

Local scouts in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to a scout night on April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Extension Office. Organizers plan to have several tables with information for the scouts to learn about money specific to their age group. Participating scouts can earn a merit badge.

A weeklong event is also being hosted in Webster City and Eagle Grove during Money Smart Week. Kendall Young Library Director Angie Martin-Schwarze said the Dash for the Stash event is an interactive game where participants go to different locations with posters, scan a code on the poster and answer questions about finance. When participants answer the questions, they’re entered into a statewide drawing to win a $1,000 contribution toward an IRA. Those who answer a question correctly will have an additional entry in the drawing.Even if local participants don’t win, Wollan said the event provides useful information.

“No matter what, you’re a winner because you played and you learn something,” Wollan said.

Local banks, Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce member businesses and Kendall Young Library will have posters on display for Dash for the Stash, among other places. A full listing will be publicized at a later date.

“That’s going to be fun, and we hope it’s something that a lot of people will participate in because they’ll learn something in the process,” Wollan said.

More information about National Money Smart Week can be found online at MoneySmartWeek.org