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Keeping up with your money: Financial training workshop upcoming
Jan 22, 2013 3:00 pm
If the Great Recession has taught us anything, it's that people need to be more cautious with their money.
"We knew we needed to host on this topic, but it took us several years for it to all come together," said Beth Petty of Lebanon Special School District's Family Resource Center.
After getting the necessary components in place, the FRC's Basic Financial Training Workshop was born. The first workshop was in January 2011, following the cash splurges of the holiday season.
Due to the popularity of the workshop, the FRC and College Hills Church of Christ are again offering the workshop.
"We know that families are struggling, and from great attendance at every workshop, we know that families need financial guidance," Petty said.
Part of the free parenting workshops offered every month, Petty said the workshop isn't only for those who are in trouble financially.
"Most of us are a little short on money after the Christmas holidays. After we pay our taxes, we find ourselves wishing that the dollar would stretch a little further," Petty said. “Higher electric bills also contribute to our money woes. The cost of groceries and gas is up, but our salaries are not. We all feel the pinch.”
The workshop is designed to give people ideas of how to improve their financial health.
"There are several things we could do better when dealing with our finances. We can all benefit from strengthening our credit score," she said. "Most of us need more in our savings accounts. We also forget to write down each time we swipe our debit card." she said.
The workshop will also give participants tips on how to prepare for a rainy day.
"Emergencies do happen, and we need to be as financially sound as possible, so that we don't have to add money worries to an already stressful time," Petty said.
When College Hills leaders offered to bring in a financial expert at no cost to the school system, Petty said it was the opportunity they'd been waiting for, allowing the FRC to tackle the topic.
"It was so great being able to ask specific questions without being in a bank setting. It felt so much less formal. Sometimes we don't even know what questions to ask when it comes to our finances," Petty said of her own experience. "I walked away from the workshop feeling much more confident about what my family needed to do to make our future more financially sound."
The Basic Financial Training workshop will begin Monday and run through Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. at the Castle Heights Elementary School library. Because so much information is presented, the workshop has expanded to four nights.
Each session will offer free childcare and refreshments and lasts until 8:30 p.m. Those who attend all four nights of the workshop will receive a $10 gift card to encourage them to try their hand at clipping coupons to help save money.
As a graduate of the workshop, Petty said each participant will receive one-on-one attention from Nathan Harris, a financial advisor with Pinnacle Financial Partners in Lebanon.
"Nathan Harris does a superb job of providing us with information. Pinnacle Bank not only supports his efforts in offering this free information, but also encourages their employees to give back to the community," Petty added. "That is really great, because many of our families do not have extra money to consult a financial expert. The material that Harris covers takes two nights to present. His part of the program will be Monday and Tuesday night."
On Jan. 30, Diantha McLeod, a career coach at the Nashville Career Advancement Center, will present information on basic interview and resume skills.
“At the last workshop, we role played a pretend job interview. We took turns being the interviewer and the potential job candidate. We laughed and we learned," Petty said. "Seeing yourself in a negative fashion is not so hard when we role-play, and it helped us all learn how to dress, and proper interview etiquette. Many of our attendees needed to create or update resumes, and Ms. McLeod was available to work with them individually."
As part of the Jan. 31 workshop, Amy Adsmond, of the LSSDs "WeeCare," will share information about how to stretch food dollars by using coupons.
"She will tell us how to combine offers, and get items for pennies on the dollar, or even free. Sunday papers have a wealth of coupons, as do coupon websites," Petty said. "Shelly Barnes, UT Extension Agent for Wilson County, will be on hand to talk about nutrition, grocery store marketing techniques and how to save money by preparing food at home."
Over the course of the workshop, information will be provided on understanding how to use and save money, the difference between a bank vs. check cashing/title loans, and budget basics such as monthly cash flow.
The workshop will also include a one-on-one time to help everyone learn how to improve, repair and maintain your credit score, and finally, a future plan of action, especially for those interested in becoming homeowners.
To get the free $10 gift card, participants must attend all four nights of the workshop. However, the session has been split into three workshops – Monday and Tuesday night for those who want to learn better finance techniques, Wednesday night will be for those who want to update their resume and learn to utilize coupons. Thursday night everyone will learn how to stretch their food dollars and eat healthy.
Those interested in attending the workshop are asked to RSVP to Petty at 615-453-2693 or at email@example.com. Castle Heights Elementary is at 1007 Castle Heights Ave. N. in Lebanon.