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Senator Jeremy Cooney hosts a financial literacy workshop

New York State Senator Jeremey Cooney

For 12% of adults living in the U.S., an unexpected expense of $400 or more would be a financial hardship, according to a 2019 study by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.

Studies have shown that financial literacy — learning about budgeting, debt management, and banking — can prevent financial hardship. Those are some of the topics offered at Wednesday’s ROC Your Money financial literacy workshop, hosted by State Sen. Jeremy Cooney and the Financial Empowerment Center.

Cooney said that many of Rochester’s working poor are victims of what he calls “predatory” checking cashing services and those who attend the free workshop will be connected with information and resources to better access their money.

“We want people to learn about setting up a savings account or a bank account, so that they can get those services done for free,” Cooney said. “We want people to understand some of the basics about expense management and budgeting. We want people to be able to stay in their homes.”

Cooney adds that financial literacy is something that isn't taught in every home, and he's currently working on a bill that would require financial literacy to be taught in schools. Cooney said he wants the workshop to empower people to reach their financial goals.

“This is about remembering that one out of two children in the city of Rochester live below the federal poverty line. So every dollar counts,'' Conney said. “So if mom or dad or grandma is able to put an additional $45 to $65 per week into their home, that's going to make a lifetime of difference for their child that they're taking care of.”

The ROC Your Money in person workshop is Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the REOC building on Chestnut Street in Rochester. Participants can access the online workshop by clicking here.

April Franklin is an occasional local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition.