Financial Awareness Calendar: 12 Campaigns for Families and Educators
Written by: Kristy Welsh
Last Updated: September 8, 2017
It’s not easy keeping ourselves or our kids motivated to get smarter about money. Financial awareness campaigns are a great way to learn, and stay inspired, all year long. Mark your calendar for these important dates when thousands of organizations rally to raise awareness, share resources, and host activities and events nationwide.
EITC Awareness Day — January 26, 2018
So many Americans miss out on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that the IRS has a day dedicated to raising awareness. If you made $53,267 or less last year, you might qualify. Use the EITC Assistant interactive tool to find out.
America Saves Week — February 26 - March 3, 2018
Sixty-two percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. Needless to say, we need at least a week devoted to raising awareness about this shortcoming. Since 2007, America Saves Week has been doing just that — a campaign involving more than 1,000 non-profit, government, and corporate organizations encouraging consumers to save up! Learn more at AmericaSavesWeek.org.
National Consumer Protection Week — During the first full week of March 2018
Do you know how to protect yourself from identity thieves? Do you know what to do if you suspect you have been a victim of fraud? Do you know what debt collectors can and can’t do when trying to collect a debt from you? Do you know how to dispute errors on your credit reports?
Everyone needs these consumer rights basics under their belts, thus the organization of National Consumer Protection Week. Thousands of organizations participate, including AARP, BBB, FTC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the National Cyber Security Alliance. Learn more at NCPW.gov.
World Consumer Rights Day — March 15 Every Year
On March 15, 1962, John F. Kennedy outlined his vision of consumer rights in an address to Congress:
“Consumers by definition, include us all. They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group…whose views are often not heard.”
Since 1983, consumer organizations worldwide have observed March 15 as World Consumer Rights Day, working to further the development of eight basic consumer rights that grew from President Kennedy’s vision - 1) the right to satisfaction of basic needs, 2) the right to safety, 3) the right to be informed, 4) the right to choose, 5) the right to be heard, 6) the right to redress, 7) the right to consumer education, and 8) the right to a healthy environment. Learn more at ConsumersInternational.org.
Global Money Week — March 12-18, 2018
According to an OECD proficiency test of 15-year-olds in 18 countries, U.S. students rank 9th in financial literacy. Global Money Week presents U.S. educators and parents with an opportunity to join the international community in the financial education of our kids.
Financial Literacy Month
Do you have a budget that works? Do you know how to improve your credit score? Do you know how much you need to save for retirement? Do you know the smartest investments to get you there? Wherever there’s a hole in your financial education, April is the time to fill it -- Financial Literacy Month, designated as such by the Senate Resolution 316 in 2004. Learn more at FinancialLiteracyMonth.com.
Money Smart Week — April 21-28, 2018
In 2002, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago created Money Smart Week — a campaign aimed at helping consumers learn how to better manage their finances. You’ll find all sorts of great resources at MoneySmartWeek.org, including an interactive map that lets you check for events by state.
Teach Children to Save Day — April 20, 2018
If we want our kids to be better savers than us, we need to start teaching them early. You don’t save what’s left over. You save first, then spend the rest. Teach Children to Save Day — sponsored by the American Bankers Association (ABA) — is aimed at spreading messages like these to our kids. Try one or more of these four fun saving ideas.
National 529 College Savings Day — May 29 Every Year
Student loans should be a last resort, not a given. And one of the best ways of staving them off is through a 529 college savings plan, thus the day dedicated to its benefits. For instance, while you do have to pay income tax on contributions, all earnings are tax-free. Learn more about 529 college savings plans.
Get Smart About Credit Day — October 19, 2017 & October 18, 2018
Learning about credit shouldn’t start when we get our first credit cards. That’s a sure way to mismanage them. Unfortunately, we tend to underestimate our kids and how soon the concept of credit can and should be understood. On Get Smart About Credit Day — sponsored by the American Bankers Association — volunteer bankers visit local classrooms to help get them credit-educated early.
National Save for Retirement Week — 3rd Week of October Every Year
One in four workers don’t make the most of their 401(k) match. It’s oversights like this that inspire National Save for Retirement Week, established in 2006 to encourage Americans to participate as fully as possible in their employer-sponsored retirement plans. Are you making the most of your 401k?
National Scholarship Month
Many students and their families wait too long to start looking for scholarship money. Or they don’t look in the right places. Or, worse, they don’t look at all because they assume you need straight A’s to qualify. National Scholarship Month is aimed at getting the facts straight.