Extension News

Free, Independent Web Course: Take Control of Your Money

3/1/2010

AMES, Iowa -- Iowans who want more for their money, are tired of being in debt or want to accomplish something different financially, should try Iowa State University Extension's newly updated free course - Take Control of Your Money.

“The course is great for those whose finances are changing, who are just starting out on their own or who want to turn over a new leaf by truly being in control of their money,” said Barbara Wollan, an ISU Extension family resource management specialist. “It also can be helpful to those who are having financial difficulties, although it is not designed to solve serious financial crises.”

Take Control of Your Money is an online course with audio-visual lessons available to anyone who wants to make a change in his or her personal finances.  There is no cost for the course.  

“The course is designed to be worked at your own pace,” said Wollan. “Ideally, participants would take a month or more to actually practice using the money management tools that are provided, even if it only takes a few hours to actually review the course content.”

The course is interactive and breaks down money management into five key steps including goal setting, evaluating current spending, and making and following a spending plan.  Each step provides one or more tools for participants to use in completing that step for themselves. The five steps are logically connected and it is easy to advance from one to another. It is possible, however, to jump around in the material according to individual needs and interests. 

Special topics covered in the course include dealing with debt, building financial security and family communication about money. The special topics are still under construction; they will be building gradually and will be completed during the spring.

Different methods of applying participants’ knowledge include personalized worksheets, content boards and the ability to contact a learning coach with questions. Optional quizzes are also offered at the end of each lesson.

“The forum is a great way for participants to interact,” said Wollan. “We’re hoping participants will use them often, because they can gain ideas and encouragement from each other, and can learn from the questions others ask.

“Weekly e-mail money tips allow the course to remain up-to-date with current and seasonal issues,” said Wollan. The weekly tips allow the course to react to situations participants are currently facing.  Additionally, new content is added periodically, to assist participants in building the insight needed to be successful in taking control of their finances.

“Take Control of Your Money is meant to be very practical and adaptable,” said Wollan. “The information is not presented as a strict regimen, but as a set of strategies and an overall philosophy, encouraging participants to adapt and personalize.”

To enroll in Take Control of Your Money, a free Web course, please visit: www.extension.iastate.edu/finances/personal/take_control_course.htm

-30-

Contacts :

Barbara Wollan, Field Specialist, (515) 832-9597, bwollan@iastate.edu

Kassi Williams, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-9915, kassi8@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu