The Great Recession both humbled and handicapped millions of consumers who were overextended in the heydays a decade ago, but many of the lessons of that downturn appear not to have been learned.
Last year, American households racked up more than $57 billion of new credit card debt, according to a new survey from CardHub, and 19 percent of Americans report that they continue to spend more than they make. A Harris survey shows that 60 percent of Americans don't have a rainy day fund and only two in five have a budget. WalletHub recently ranked Tennessee among the bottom 10 states for financial planning.
How to participate
* When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 21
* Where: Chattanooga Convention Center
* Organizer: Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise
* Website: www.MoneySchoolCHA.org
* Cost: The event is free.
You may register and find out more at www.cneinc.org/money-school
Martina Guilfoil wants to change those dismal scores of financial literacy. As president of the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, Guilfoil is bringing area community groups together for a one-day Money School she hopes will help hundreds of area residents of all ages and income levels.
The free seminar, which is scheduled for March 21 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, will offer a variety of classes and counseling opportunities for individuals ranging from high school students trying to start a business or go to college to baby boomers trying to plan for retirement or make a will.
"Most people don't want to talk about money -- or they are afraid to take on their financial challenges head-on," Guilfoil said "But we know that money management skills and financial knowledge play an integral role in creating family stability and building communities."
CNE, which was organized by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., three decades ago, tries to build neighborhoods by making homes more affordable. But buying and maintaining a home, Guilfoil says, requires people to understand their finances and to act in fiscally responsible ways.
Other community organizations are bringing their financial assistance to the all-day school next week.
Junior Achievement and Launch will offer programs on entrepreneurship and college financial planning for teens and tweens. Consumer Credit Counseling and the Urban League will provide help with financial planning and tax preparation. Area attorneys and financial planners are volunteering for one-on-one counseling sessions for those who register in advance. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is sponsoring sessions on how to prepare living wills, trusts and life insurance, along with retirement planning. Others will help individuals avoid payday lenders or show how you can avoid getting overextended with credit card debt.
Throughout the Money School, panel discussions will feature discussions on everything from student loans and wealth building for entrepreneurs to home buying and maintenance.
"Research shows that three-fourths of American families say they live paycheck to paycheck while more than one-fourth of American families have no savings at all," said Jennifer Holder, the special projects manager for CNE. "We're trying to have programs for people at all stages of life to help them to better understand and manage their money."
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 423- 757-6340.
Money School Schedule
MAIN STAGE EVENTS
10 - 10:45 am - Boomers Panel Discussion: Medical/Estate Planning
* Martin Pierce, Pierce Law Firm
* Brett Billings, Senior Care Advisors
* Kevin Fuerst, Fuerst Financial
11 - 11:45 am Generation X Panel Discussion: The Real Cost of Aging
* Consumer Credit Counseling Service
* David Wattenbarger, DRW Financial
* Gary Hathaway, New York Life Insurance
* Martin Pierce, Pierce Law Firm
12 -12:45 pm Millennial Panel Discussion: Student Loan Debt
* Bill Parker, UTC Financial Wellness Center
* Eric Farmer, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
* Jennifer Harper, Common Cents Financial Literacy
2 - 2:45pm Entrepreneurship Panel Discussion: Wealth Building for Entrepreneurs
* Enoch Elwell, CO.LAB
* Kyle Bryant, Lamp Post Group
3 - 3:45pm - Protecting Your Investment Panel Discussion: Home Maintenance
* Michael Walton, Empower Chattanooga/green|spaces
* Carolyn Burke, CNE
* Roya Evans, Chattanooga Community Housing Development Organization
10 - 10:45 am: The Dream of Homeownership with Gloria Morris & Linda Sartain of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
11 - 11:45 am: Banking Basics: Let Us Help You Live the Life You Love with Tammy Zumbrun & Karen Hannifin of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
12 - 12:45 pm: Creating a Family Spending Plan with Tammy Zumbrun & Karen Hannifin of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
1 - 1:45 pm: Understanding Your Credit Score with Matt Bechtol of Equifax
2 - 2:45 pm: Car Buying: Put Yourself in the Driver's Seat with Donna Myers of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
3 - 3:45 pm: Breaking the Payday Lending Cycle with Heather Osteen of Consumer Credit Counseling Service and Fabiola Ortiz of Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
10 - 10:45 am: Investing 101 with David Wattenbarger of DRW Financial
11 - 11:45 am: Basic Wills & Trusts with David Elliott of Grant Konvalinka & Harrison
12 - 12:45 pm: Understanding Social Security with Kevin Fuerst, Fuerst Financial
1 - 1:45 pm: Long Term Care Planning with Brett Billings, Senior Care Advisors
2 -2:45 pm: Life Insurance 101 with Gary Hathaway of New York Life Insurance
3 -3:45pm: Retire Smart: A How-To Guide with LaTricia Schobert of Consumer Credit Counseling Service
MANAGING FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
10 -10:45 am: All Credit Cards are NOT Created Equal with Heather Osteen of Consumer Credit Counseling Service
11-11:45 am: Student Loan Repayment Workshop with Bill Parker of UTC's Financial Wellness Center
12-12:45 pm: Do Your Homebuying Homework with Cornerstone Community Bank
1 - 1:45 pm: Mortgage Fitness: How to Stay Current with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
2 -2:45 pm: Protecting Your Money & Identity with LaTricia Shobert of Consumer Credit Counseling Service
3 -3:45 pm: Planning for Your Child's Education with Bill Parker of UTC's Financial Wellness Center and Eric Farmer of Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
TEENS & TWEENS
10 am --12:45 pm: JA Personal Finance with Junior Achievement
1 - 1:45 pm: Entrepreneurship for Teens with LAUNCH
2 - 2:45 pm: Understanding Financial Aid with Bill Parker of UTC's Financial Wellness Center and Eric Farmer of Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
3 -3:45 pm: Career Planning with Hattie Stuben and Daniel Kadwell from the YES Program