A fundamental lack of education on personal economics brought about the Smart Women, Smart Money conference that will be coming to Nebraska on Nov. 1.
Nebraska State Treasurer John Murante has partnered with Derek Kreifels, president of State Financial Officers Foundation of Shawnee, Kansas, to offer the event in Omaha.
“Smart Women, Smart Money is a national conference for financial literacy that is sponsored by the State Financial Officers Foundation,” Murante said. “They are bringing the conference nationwide and we’re one of the first states to be selected outside the state of Idaho, which initiated these conferences.”
Murante said promoting financial education is a big part of what he has talked about as the state’s leading financial officer.
“I talked about making sure that every Nebraska kid, every Nebraskan across the board, has the information necessary to make the important financial decisions that are facing our lives,” Murante said. “As a person who came from a small business background, I employed quite a few millennials and I saw firsthand the inability to do basic things like write a budget, balance a checkbook or make change at a cash register.”
Murante said it’s just not skill sets that young people are being taught today.
“So as state treasurer being able to provide that sort of information free of charge to the public is something that’s a top priority of mine,” Murante said. “Partnering with the State Financial Officers Foundation was a no-brainer and bringing this to Nebraska, I think, is a good thing for our state.”
Kreifels said the SFOF began working with state treasurers on this effort because finances are an issue both in the government and for citizens in general.
“We all hear about the financial issues that state governments are having, the federal government is having,” Kreifels said. “Whether it’s red or blue, the financial issues are green, they’re not partisan.”
He said as a group of state treasurers, the foundation recognizes the problem.
“Fundamentally we have an education problem in America,” Kreifels said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Nebraska, California or Florida. The fact is that our kids are graduating from school — public, private, it doesn’t matter — and they don’t know the basic fundamentals of financial education.”
Kreifels said the education has been non-existent for decades.
“Because of that, we have members of Congress who don’t know what it means to live by a budget,” Kreifels said.
With the conference on Nov. 1 in Omaha, both Kreifels and Murante hope to bring that education directly to the public, in this case empowering women to take control of their finances.
There is no charge for the conference, but registration is necessary and can be done at smartwomensmartmoney.com/2019-omaha-nebraska-conference, where information about speakers and schedule can be found.
The conference has numerous sponsors, with title sponsors First National Bank, KETV-Omaha and Wells Fargo leading the way.