Weather Updates

Events this week can make you MoneySmart

Updated: May 3, 2013 12:14PM

Originally published: May 23, 2005

There’s a giant $100 bill traveling around Chicago’s neighborhoods this week offering you a chance to get your head into money! Literally.

Would you like a snapshot of your face in the place that usually belongs to Ben Franklin? If you miss the bill, you’ll certainly notice that the lights on major buildings around the city will glow green this week: the Sears Tower, Water Tower Place, 900 N. Michigan, LaSalle Bank and Marshall Field & Co.

Those green lights are another reminder that this is MoneySmart week in the Chicago area. More than 220 events will take place around the city focused on making Chicago residents smarter about managing their money.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is the coordinator of this community outreach program for the fourth consecutive year.

Financial help for everyone

The financial information is designed to reach our oldest citizens and our youngest students. The programs will be held not only in English, but in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and other languages.

The events will target those with good jobs and people who are unemployed, those with substantial bank accounts and many who never use a financial institution.

In other words, there’s a money lesson for everyone, in every neighborhood, at a convenient time.

Says the Federal Reserve’s Alejo Torres, “It’s especially important to reach out to communities where there are first-generation immigrants who don’t necessarily have a banking relationship or a cultural tradition of relationships with financial institutions.

“These free events around the city will teach everything from managing credit to getting the best mortgage rates to how to handle finances if you’re unemployed. There are several programs to explain the importance of savings, and to help people open a bank account.”

You can find a full listing of all events taking place at the scores of banks, libraries, schools, museums and community centers online. Just point your browser to

You also can discover what’s happening by listening to radio spots promoting MoneySmart week, a clever campaign donated by the Leo Burnett advertising agency that will air on radio stations across the city.

Or you can call the Chicago Fed MoneySmart hotline at (800) 345-4104.

To spark your interest, here are a few events happening today, along with phone numbers for details or pre-registration:

11 a.m. to noon. “Credit Smart in Espanol Workshop,” Federal Reserve Bank, 230 S. LaSalle (312) 427-8683.

Noon to 1 p.m. “Understanding Your Credit Report,” Chicago Public Library 9525 S. Halsted, (312) 747-4252

5 to 7 p.m. “To Your Credit”” Fifth Third Bank, 4840 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee, (847) 623-5704.

6 to 7 p.m. “Be Money Smart: It’s a Family Affair” for children ages 4-to-7, sponsored by HSBC North America and Money Management International, at Southside YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island, (847) 564-6667.

6 to 7 p.m. “To Your Credit” in Chinese, sponsored by the Chinese American Service League and American Metro Bank. At CASL Grand Hall, 2141 S. Tan Court in Chinatown, (312) 791-0418, ext. 3329.

6 to 7 p.m. “Budgeting Workshop,” sponsored by North Side Community Federal Credit Union, 1011 W. Lawrence, (773) 769-5800, ext. 224.

6 to 7 p.m. “Give Your Credit an Increase,” sponsored by Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, 930 E. 50th St., (773) 256-2781.

6:30 to 8 p.m. Bethel New Life’s “Smart Savers Class on Thrifty Living,” sponsored by Thrivent Financial, 1143 N. Lavergne, (773) 473-7870, ext. 102.

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. “EFFAK: Emergency Financial First Aid Kit Seminar,” sponsored by Operation Hope, Chicago Public Library branches around the city (312) 747-4252

Dozens of programs

There are literally dozens of different activities taking place around the city today, and each day this week. Take advantage of them.

America is facing an epidemic of bankruptcies, and consumers are buried in debt. This is your opportunity to learn how to make your money work as hard for you as you work for it.

As the MoneySmart week slogan says: “Be money smart: It’s time well spent!” And that’s The Savage Truth.

Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser. Distributed by Creators Syndicate.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.