Mayor Urges Citizens to Become ‘DollarWi$e’
Tuesday September 25, 2007
Free festival Saturday blends fun with financial education
Mayor Jerry Abramson is encouraging Louisville residents to spend, save and invest money wisely during "DollarWise Week," which culminates Saturday with a free family festival at the Belvedere.
"Financially stable families make for a more stable community," Abramson said. "Everyone can learn to be dollar-wise and chart a course for financial self-sufficiency."
The DollarWise Festival on Saturday, Sept. 29, will blend family fun with useful educational information such as building a budget, buying a home and getting children started with saving. The free festival runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Belvedere and will feature games and children’s activities, food, and Radio Disney music and eXtreme Team entertainment.
This is the city’s third-annual DollarWise program, which also included an Asset Building Summit on Monday and several educational workshops throughout the week. DollarWise is coordinated by the Louisville Asset Building Coalition (LABC), a collaboration of more than 90 financial institutions, companies, nonprofit organizations and Metro Government.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is supporting similar DollarWise events across the country, as cities nationally are seeing rising citizen debt and increases in bankruptcy. Nationally, personal bankruptcy filings increased more than five-fold in the past two decades, and credit card debt tripled between 1990 and 2000. In Louisville, the number of home foreclosures has quadrupled, from 768 foreclosures in 1999 to roughly 3,100 expected this year.
This year’s DollarWise programs are funded through a $25,000 U.S. Conference of Mayors grant to LABC, with support from media partner Main Line Broadcasting. For more information about DollarWise Week, visit http://www.LouisvilleKy.gov, or call MetroCall 311.
DollarWi$e Family Festival Saturday at the Belvedere
On Saturday, Sept. 29, the DollarWi$e Festival will blend family fun with useful educational information, such as building a budget, buying a home and getting children started with saving. The free festival runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Belvedere and will feature games and children’s activities, food, and Radio Disney music and eXtreme Team entertainment.
Other activities that are part of DollarWi$e Week include:
- Money Monday- Monday, Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m. at Portland Promise Center, 1831 Baird St. A fun, engaging program that helps individuals learn about improving money skills and understand the needs and opportunities for their personal success.
- Teach Children to Save Day- Wednesday, Sept. 26. The Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will sponsor lessons on savings and goal-setting for 1,500 first grade students. Working with Jefferson County Public Schools, the Kentucky Bankers Association, and local banks, the Branch is offering this program for a second year. Students receive piggy banks, coloring books and are eligible for a drawing for a savings bond or savings account. A parent guide is provided for activities to be conducted at home.
- Louisville Saves/Money Smart- Thursday, Sept. 27, 4 p.m. at Metro United Way, 334 E. Broadway. A motivational workshop on how to build wealth and not debt, and helping participants get started developing and achieving personal financial goals. Special financial products will be offered that may have lower or no fees than traditional products.
This year’s DollarWi$e programs are funded through a $25,000 U.S. Conference of Mayors grant to the Louisville Asset Building Coalition, with support from media partner Main Line Broadcasting.
Tips on How to Reduce Your Debts:
- Budget, budget, budget…don’t spend more than you earn
- Cut out any unnecessary expenses
- Destroy unnecessary credit cards; pay off cards with highest interest rates first; another option is to tackle the smaller loans first.
- Break debt-reducing goals into achievable parts
- Once debts are paid off, say goodbye to temptation spending and save instead – put aside a portion of your income each pay day before using for anything else!
Ways to Obtain Healthy Credit:
- Shop around when applying for credit cards
- Understand terms of credit card agreement before accepting the card
- Set a monthly limit to charges and stick to it
- Pay bills promptly and on time
- Keep files of all receipts/documents and compare charges when statements arrive
Understand Your Credit and Borrowing Money:
- Create a plan – know your limits and how much you can spend
- Check your credit score and be aware of what others are seeing
- Shop around – different in interest rates can save you thousands
- Remember the three C’s of credit: 1.) Client history (responsibility of payments), 2.) Capacity (ability to pay back loans), 3.) Collateral (lender security)
- Beware of “no credit…no problem” offers; hidden fees may be a factor
Finding Money to Save:
- Start with the insides of your pockets – American typically save over $100 yearly in loose change
- Save portions of tax refunds or earned income tax credit to begin or increase savings
- Cut back on unnecessary expenses; instead, pack lunches, carpool, make coffee in the morning, etc.
- Automatically deposit funds from paycheck into a savings account; what you don’t ever see, you may not miss!
Saving On a Tight Budget:
- Cut back on unnecessary expenses (daily coffee, lunches out, etc.)
- Comparison shop on necessary expenses
- Restrain spending for birthdays and holidays
- Build an emergency fund
- Direct deposit certain amounts from paycheck into a savings account
- Loose change adds up!