Money Smart Week

on Thursday, 23 April 2015.


Olympia – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is pleased to be one of the Jump$tart Washington Coalition’s many partners celebrating April as Financial Capability Month ( and Money Smart Week® April 18-25.

Money Smart Week® ( is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This is achieved through the collaboration and coordinated effort of organizations including businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media. These groups come together once a year to stress the importance of financial literacy, inform consumers about where they can get help and provide free educational seminars and activities throughout the week. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning. Money Smart Week® began in 2002 as a coordinated effort of more than 40 Chicago-area organizations working together to promote personal financial literacy. Washington was the first West Coast state to participate, with its first Money Smart Week® in 2010.

“Washington has long known the value of providing financial education for all of our citizens - and has done so for many years - but more is needed,” Jump$tart Washington Coalition President Amy O’Donnell said. “Jump$tart partners are working together to provide Washington residents more opportunities to access financial education and information they need to be more Money Smart.”

Statistics from the “2014 Making the Case for Financial Literacy,” a compilation of financial literacy surveys conducted in the U.S. created by the national Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy; continue to illustrate the need for personal finance education both in and outside of the home:

Results from the FINRA Foundation’s 2012 State-by-State Financial Capability Survey reveal that:

              Fewer than half (41%) of Americans surveyed reported spending less than their income.

              Over a quarter (26%) reported having unpaid medical bills.

              More than half (56%) do not have rainy-day savings to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies.

              Over a third (34%) reported paying only the minimum credit card payment during the past year.

              On a test of five basic financial literacy questions, the national average was 2.88 correct answers.

(FINRA Investor Education Foundation, FINRA Foundation Releases Nation's State-by-State Financial Capability Survey, May 29, 2013,,

Understanding the need for financial education, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed April 18-25 Money Smart Week® in Washington (

With a strong commitment to financial education for all Washington residents, DFI also is a strong supporter of Money Smart Week Washington efforts.

“As a state agency with a mission to protect and educate the public and provide financial education to all Washington residents, we have a keen understanding of the need for families to know how to prepare budgets, have emergency savings and to plan for retirement,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “Washington’s Money Smart Week events are designed to help residents obtain the tools they need to reach those goals.”

Jump$tart Washington is coordinating with partners like DFI and community leaders throughout the state to promote financial education during Money Smart Week®. Representatives from local community groups, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, libraries, government agencies and media outlets will conduct classes, seminars and other activities. In addition to educating consumers about money management and generating awareness of financial education available on a wide range of topics, Washington elementary students will receive financial education lessons during the Sixth Annual Financial Literacy Reading Days. Details on Washington activities can be found by clicking on Washington State at

Washington’s community leaders also are stepping up once more to show their support for financial education for youth by participating in Reading Days. These events provide community leaders in Washington a chance to step out of their offices and into one of their city’s elementary schools to read a story to children about using money wisely, and encourage saving for the future. It’s a one-hour commitment, to let children know it’s important for Washington families to make wise financial decisions. The book selected for the 2015 Money Smart Week Reading Days is The Berenstain Bears' "Dolars and Sense"  by Stan & Jan Berenstain. Details on specific Reading Days throughout Washington can be found at

*NOTE: Members of the media, please contact Katrina Roy at 360-902-8761 for information on how to contact a school in your area regarding sending reporters/photographers/camera staff on campus grounds and photo permissions PRIOR to the days’ event(s).

JumpStart Washington is a nonprofit coalition created to promote the need for financial education in Washington State. Members include individuals, public and private organizations, educators, and non-profit associations – each passionate about making change and:

•Raising awareness for the need and importance of personal financial literacy

•Increasing the use of financial education programs in school and homes

For more information about Jump$tart Washington’s 2015 Money Smart Week Reading Days, contact Katrina Roy at 360-902-8761 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information about events slated for Money Smart Week® Washington or to take part, please visit or contact Jump$tart Washington Coalition President Amy O’Donnell at Amy O’Donnell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 425-586-1140 or VP Lyn Peters at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 360-902-8731.


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