AMES, Iowa – A little education can make a big difference in setting and reaching financial goals. That’s what Iowans are discovering in “Your Money, Your Future” workshops from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
“I recently saw a woman who had taken the course a year ago. She had student loan and credit card debt,” said Susan Taylor, one of the human sciences specialists who teach the ISU Extension and Outreach workshops.
“Her job covered her expenses, but she wanted to do more with her money. ‘Your Money, Your Future’ helped her learn how to manage her regular monthly expenses and also plan ahead for occasional costs like car repairs,” said Taylor said, who specializes in family finance.
Two other “Your Money, Your Future” participants wanted to learn more about budgeting and credit because they wanted to start their own business.
“I was able to share some local resources like SCORE and the Small Business Administration at the local community college to help them with their business plans,” Taylor said.
Another participant took a serious look at her finances and set a goal to buy a home.
“It took a little time for her to pay off some of her debt. But she was motivated and now has been in her new home for over a year,” Taylor said.
These are the kinds of success stories Taylor and her colleagues often hear from Iowans who complete “Your Money, Your Future.” In the workshop series, participants learn how to
- develop spending plans and SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound;
- access their credit history without having to pay a fee;
- select the financial institution that best meets their needs; and
- avoid becoming trapped by credit card debt.
Workshops are a blend of instruction and hands-on activities so participants can practice and master the concepts. The workshops include group activities, individual worksheets and time for self-reflection about finances.
“Life is not about money — but how you deal with money has a huge effect on quality of life for you and your family. ‘Your Money, Your Future’ can help you learn to manage your money effectively, make better financial decisions and live according to your priorities. With sound financial management, you can be more financially secure,” Taylor said.
To learn when and where the next “Your Money, Your Future” workshop series will be offered, contact any ISU Extension and Outreach county office to be connected with a human sciences specialist in family finance.