Don’t fumble your finances — tackle them Oct. 23

If you feel like your financial goals are beyond your reach, you’re not alone.

About half of Americans don’t have anything saved for retirement, and more than 67 percent of us don’t budget for household expenses. Almost one in 10 of us don’t even have a bank account.

For the second year in a row, Mon Valley Initiative wants to help people stop fumbling their finances, and instead learn how to come up with a winning financial strategy.

“Tackle Your Financial Goals II” is free and open to the public, and will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 23 at MVI’s office, 305 E. 8th Ave. in Homestead.

Pre-registration is suggested, but not required. Call Sherman Jones at MVI at (412) 464-4000 or email sjones@monvalleyinitiative.com.

“Tackle Your Financial Goals II” will include games, refreshments, door prizes and the chance to ask questions of experts.

It will coincide with “Financial Sense Week,” a series of financial literacy events being held across Pennsylvania as part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s Consumer Financial Protection Initiative.

“We want people to have fun, but it’s fun with a purpose,” says Tracey Reaves, workforce development director for Mon Valley Initiative.

“A lot of us know the scores of the last Steeler game, or last weekend’s college football games,” she says. “But do we know how our credit score can affect our ability to get a job? Do we know how to get a mortgage and buy a house? Those kinds of things are a lot more important to our everyday lives.”

MVI is one of three Financial Opportunity Centers, or FOCs, in Allegheny County that are supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corp. through Pittsburgh-based Neighborhood Allies. The FOCs offer employment assistance, financial education and coaching.

At the Oct. 23 event, experts available to provide advice and answer questions will include Gary Lee Jones and Janice Muto of First National Bank; and MVI’s Bobby James Smith, a financial coach and workforce development specialist. Jonathan Weaver, a federally certified housing counselor, also will be available to provide information.

The MVI office is located near the intersection of Eighth and Ann streets and is accessible by many bus routes, including 53F, 56E, 59A, 59U, 61C and 61F. A parking lot is available behind the MVI office.

For more information about Mon Valley Initiative, visit www.monvalleyinitiative.com. For more information about the three Pittsburgh FOC’s, visit www.neighborhoodallies.com.