More than 200 free classes and events to help people learn about personal finance management will be offered during Money Smart Week, which takes place April 5-12, 2014. Money Smart Week is sponsored by United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Greater St. Louis Financial Education Collaborative and more than 100 other partner organizations dedicated to improving financial literacy in the St. Louis metro region.

Classes, seminars and activities are available for all ages and will cover topics such as: budgeting, saving for college, buying your first home, getting out of debt, managing credit, protecting against identity theft, and planning for retirement. Several children’s activities have also been added to this year’s list of events, like the Money Smart Kids Safari at the Zoo on Saturday, April 5, which kicks off the week’s activities and includes prizes and story time from 9 a.m.-noon.

Other highlighted events in both Missouri and Illinois include:

·         “Understanding Credit & Credit Scores” – Monday, April 7, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at St. Louis County Library—Florissant Valley, 195 S. New Florissant Rd., Florissant, MO

·         “Get Money Smart for College” – Tuesday, April 8, 3:30-7:00 p.m. at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 1 Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO

·         “Money MATTERS—How to keep track of your money” – Wednesday, April 9, from 11 a.m.-noon at PNC Bank – O’Fallon, 1385 North Green Mount, O’Fallon, IL

·         “ID Theft, Scams, Fraud” – Thursday, April 10, from 1-2 p.m. at IMPACT, The East Room, 2751 E. Broadway, Alton, IL

·         “Money Fest in St. Charles” – Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-noon at Spencer Road Branch Library, 427 Spencer Rd., St. Peters, MO

“We are pleased to see so many partners come together once again this year to help thousands in the St. Louis metro area become money smart,” said Debbie Irwin, Money Smart Week co-chair, United Way of Greater St. Louis. “There is such a huge variety of free financial classes and activities offered that everyone is sure to find something of interest.”

Originally started by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week now takes place in 45 states throughout the country. For more information and a complete list of the week’s activities throughout the St. Louis metro area, visit moneysmartstouis.org. Information on classes offered year-round by nonprofit partners, aimed at promoting successful personal finance management throughout the entire year, is also available on the site.