Volume 2 Number 1
January 3, 2005




Having money smarts means knowing how to do things like stash your cash, watch your spending and shop for good deals.

It also means that teenagers know it is time to get going on submissions to our essay contest which is open to 14-18 year olds who want to win some money.  “Cash in on Your Money Smarts'' offers a top award of $750 for one student in each of five regions.

Friday, February 11, 2005, is the day that essays must be in to the Department of Financial Services to be eligible for up to $7,500 in cash prizes. The essay of at least 750 words, in English or Spanish, responds to the essay question “Why do you consider yourself money smart?”  Essays may be submitted electronically or by mail. 

"This is a chance for our teens to be rewarded for their knowledge of smart financial decisions,'' said Tom Gallagher, Florida's Chief Financial Officer.

The contest is part of a Gallagher initiative, Your Money, Your Life, to help Floridians avoid debt and build assets, including savings and home ownership. He started the program this summer after a state survey reported that many Floridians put themselves at financial risk by waiting too late to save.

The survey, performed by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., also found that interest runs high in providing Florida's youth with a solid education in personal finances. Nearly 90 percent of Floridians believe schools should teach financial management skills as a required part of the curriculum.

Three essays will be selected for each of five regions in Florida, and cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. For complete contest details, or to download an essay application or submit an essay electronically, log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com and click on "Cash in on Your Money Smarts.''