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Celebrating & learning during Money Smart Week

Posted on March 31, 2021 at 7:00 am

BY CRYSTAL MILLER

April is a month that brings the hope of warmer weather and a time to take stock of our surroundings to see how they’ve weathered through the winter. Lots of us are inspired to spring clean our homes, clear out the garage, and look with fresh eyes at our finances.

April is Financial Literacy Month, established in 2004 to raise public awareness about the importance of financial education in the U.S. With this in mind, the library has resources and events to help you review and revive your personal finances.

MONEY SMART WEEK

Money Smart Week is April 10–17, a national public education program coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and delivered by a network of supporters. The 2021 Money Smart Week educational component will be 100% virtual with topics focused on aiding communities affected by the pandemic.

Topics include: Understanding the Basics of Federal Financial Aid, Tax-Related Fraud and Identity Theft, Managing Personal Finances during COVID-19, Housing Protections and Resources, and others. Each program is free of charge and about 15 minutes long, making it easy to squeeze into a busy schedule. You can register for one or all of the programs with a single sign up at the Money Smart Week Registration page.

TAX DAY

April 15 is usually Tax Day. This year, the IRS has extended Tax Day for individuals to May 17. This extension applies to federal taxes only. Regarding state tax returns, the IRS provides the following information in a recent news release:

“The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax…. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.”

If you’re looking for help with preparing your taxes, I encourage you to read the blog by Librarian Stacey on tax aide and ways to find free tax help online.

ONLINE LIBRARY PROGRAMS

The whole family can get in on the learning during the Piggy Bank Painting program for all ages (Note: program may have a waitlist or be full). Kids can decorate a piggy bank to make it uniquely theirs, and the whole family can learn about deciding when to spend, give away, and save your hard-earned money during the “Spend or Save” activity! Supplies will be available for curbside pickup for registered participants. We are offering two sessions on Saturday, April 10, and Saturday, April 17, both at 2pm.

On Tuesday, April 13, at 6pm, you can learn about Medicare & COVID-19 Scams & Fraud in the presentation led by SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisor) and SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol). This program is sponsored by Aging & Long-Term Care of Eastern Washington (ALTCEW). SHIBA and SMP provide free, unbiased, and confidential help with Medicare and health care choices.

For small business owners, we offer Small Business Resiliency Tools & Ideas: Guiding Through the Pandemic taught by SCORE Spokane on Thursday, April 22, at noon. The pandemic has fundamentally changed the market that small businesses once knew. Because our past experiences and assumptions about customers, finances, and sales cycles no longer hold true, it is critical for small businesses to revisit their business models and make adjustments. SCORE mentor Ben Cabildo provides you with the guidance to adjust your business model and the community resources available to you to boost the resiliency of your business.

All of these programs require registration with your email address, so you can get the online login information for each event.

ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES

There’s plenty to do and learn to celebrate Financial Literacy Month. I hope that you take a little time to spring clean your financial education with the library!

Librarian Crystal Miller

Crystal Miller is a Business and Career Development Librarian and has been working in libraries for 15 years. She has a master’s in library science from Simmons College and has worked at the Harvard Development Office Library, MIT Libraries, and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. When she’s not at the library, she can be found at the dog park with her three fur babies or with a cookbook in hand, flipping through the pages, looking for the next recipe to try out.

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