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Money Smart News – Winter 2021

News and Information About Working Together with Money Smart

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Money Smart News is the FDIC’s quarterly newsletter featuring tips, updates, and success stories for financial educators. We welcome submissions.

In This Issue

Message from the FDIC

Elizabeth Ortiz

Many Money Smart Alliance members are using innovative ways to stay connected to their audiences during the pandemic. In this edition of Money Smart News, we highlight an organization that uses technology to lead a financial education series at a correctional facility.

The Money Smart curriculum has been used to teach financial education at various correctional facilities over the years.  In our winter 2020 edition, we awarded the First Commonwealth Bank of Indiana, Pennsylvania, the Impactful Money Smart for Adults Partnership of the Year award for their work with the Community Reintegration program. Read more about their partnership here.  Similar opportunities may exist in your community to provide financial education to either adults or young adults involved with the justice system.  You could start by contacting a community corrections department in your area or non-profit organizations committed to helping individuals in the justice system more effectively transition back into society.

In addition, consider planning for annual opportunities to engage your audiences on financial education.  For example, America Saves Week, February 22 – 26, is an opportunity to encourage people to set a goal, and make a plan to achieve better financial stability.  Also, National Consumer Protection Week, February 28 – March 6, can create possibilities to teach consumers about their financial rights.

As always, whether you are offering suggestions or looking for assistance from FDIC staff, email us at moneysmartnews@fdic.gov.


Elizabeth Ortiz
Deputy Director, Consumer and Community Affairs
FDIC Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection

CFPB Offers Tips on Mortgage and Housing Assistance

The CFPB has produced new tools and resources for people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. To learn more, start at the CFPB’s Mortgage and Housing Assistance page (consumerfinance.gov). On their new page, you can find information on items such as housing counselors, coronavirus-related scams, and housing discrimination.

America Saves Week

America Saves Week, an annual, national campaign, offers opportunities for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to review their own goals. This year, America Saves Week will be held February 22–26.  Each day of the week will focus attention on a particular savings theme. The themes will be save automatically, save for the unexpected, save to retire, save by reducing debt, and save as a family.  We encourage you to learn more about the FDIC’s Savings-Related Resources and make plans to inspire people to develop or refresh savings plans during America Saves Week (americasavesweek.org).

National Consumer Protection Week

National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) (consumer.ftc.gov) is a time to help people and businesses understand their consumer rights in order to make well-informed financial decisions. Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to find ways to get involved during the week of February 28-March 6. Whether it is planning a community event, or just obtaining free resources from the NCPW and their partners to stay informed and vigilant against scams, there is something on the site for everyone.

Money Smart Alliance Membership

The Alliance consists of a network of financial institutions, nonprofits, educational and governmental organizations that use the Money Smart financial education curriculum to provide training to people of all ages and small businesses. Members benefit from periodic webinars, idea sharing and collaboration with other Alliance members, and the option to be listed in an online searchable directory.  To join, learn more about the program, or view the list of members, visit our Money Smart Alliance page.  Note: Members can also request to not be listed on the page.

FDIC Consumer News Offers Tips on Lost Bank Accounts or Safe Deposit Boxes

The December 2020 edition of FDIC’s Consumer News provides tips and advice on how to handle lost bank accounts or safe deposit boxes.  It also answers a few questions, such as:  Where do I start? and  What if details about the account are lost? See this issue and get subscription information for this free newsletter.

Upcoming Webinars and Town halls

The Money Smart Train-the-Trainer Webinar will be held on March 17, 2021.  This event is designed for people planning to train or otherwise engage Money Smart users, as the training helps participants discover how to select and begin using Money Smart products. 

Financial educators that use the Money Smart for Small Business product are invited to join us for the quarterly town hall on March 9, 2021.  During this call, we will share recent training strategies and other updates.

Please view Money Smart Training & Events for more information on how to register for the upcoming events.

Money Smart News Success Story: Money Smart for Adults Goes Online with Mount Pleasant Corrections

In this edition, we share the story of how a Money Smart Alliance member in Iowa maintained their collaboration with a local corrections facility by converting to virtual financial education classes. We hope this story provides inspiration for what may be possible in your community.Read more on Money Smart for Adults Goes Online with Mount Pleasant Corrections.

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FDIC staff is available to provide technical assistance and to help facilitate partnerships among interested parties. Contact us at communityaffairs@fdic.gov.