GARY │ Money Smart Week in Northwest Indiana was capped off Saturday with a financial literacy event at Indiana University Northwest.
The Money Smart Resource Fair was aimed at teaching people strategies for better money management through sessions on budgeting, building credit, borrowing, avoiding scams and eating healthy on a budget.
Dotti Clifford, of Valparaiso, said she learned much at the fair.
“The presenters have given me back hope and that’s the bottom line on making any progress in financial health,” she said.
Benita Blanford-Jones, of Gary, attended the fair last year with her daughter. They returned Saturday along with several cousins.
“I really thought it was educational,” she said. “Sometimes you just need a refresher on how to stay on track with your financial goals.”
A session on how to eat healthy on a budget was taught by Maria Turpin, family nutrition adviser for Purdue University Cooperative Extension. She instructed attendees on meal planning and how to stretch food dollars to last the entire month by using money saving tips and local community resources.
“If they can change one or two things, that’s good because then, in time, they can change more,” she said.
Programs were also available for children. Denise Wright, associate director for the northwest region of Junior Achievement, taught kids how to create a monthly budget through hands-on activities and role-playing.
“It’s been pretty fun,” she said. “There’s been a lot of smiles and learning at the same time.
Kaitlyn Graham, 12, said she learned how hard it can be for adults to budget.
“I learned stuff about money I didn’t know about, and how to spend and save,” she said.