UW-Whitewater Money Smart Week Preview


Carli Pope, Assistant Biz & Tech Editor

Starting April 1, UW-Whitewater students will be encouraged to take part in Smart Money Week. Smart Money Week is a program designed by the Federal Reserve in Chicago to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances and promote financial literacy.

UW-W is not the only campus that participates in Smart Money Week.

Several other UW campuses host events, and many hundreds of universities, K-12 schools and libraries are hosting thousands of events in 41 states nationwide.

Naomi Schemm, the Business Reference Librarian, was able to talk about some of the benefits that come from Money Smart Week and some of what the students go through before attending these events.

“Money is a topic that a lot of students are embarrassed to talk about, or they never really got good education in it in their high school years. But the money decisions you make now, as a college student, can have a huge impact on you for years to come. So we’re trying to help you make smart decisions now,” said Schemm.

Although many of the UW-Whitewater events are student-focused, Financial Literacy Center Coordinator Katie Patterson mentioned that this week is not just for the students.

“We have scheduled a ‘Cooking on a Dime’ demonstration, a Homebuying 101 seminar and a Financial Crimes presentation, which have an added benefit of providing financial information for our staff and community.”

The team from Money Smart Week has put together prizes and food to help bring attention to students, and when something is accomplished they get a reward for it.

Some of the popular featured events are Cooking on a Dime and GeoCache for College Cash, which is a mobile-enabled scavenger hunt around campus.

“One of the best general education ones is the GeoCache for College Cash. It features some really informative posters on relevant topics with a brief quiz question attached to each,” Schemm said.

Several of the events will have a general budgeting angle.       The events will help students to think about wants versus needs, saving up for needed purchases rather than going in to debt.

“Students should become educated on their finances, and seek out assistance when needed. Budgeting money is an important step in obtaining the overall knowledge of their financial situation,” said Patterson.

Sarell Martin, Andersen Library PR & Outreach Coordinator, is the lead organizer and was very excited about this week.

“We have constructed a highly nuanced week for Money Smart Week in April that is hopefully as enjoyable as it is informative,” said Martin.

The Financial Literacy Center provides free resources and services to assist UW-W students throughout the year.