Before the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of Iowans reported feeling anxious when thinking about their personal finances and just under half reported feeling stressed when discussing their finances. The anxiety and stress of some Iowans is greater as a result of COVID-19, particularly those who found themselves unemployed or with reduced household income for a period of time.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host “Money Smart: When Money is Short” virtually beginning Monday, Nov. 29, from 10 to 11 a.m. The three-session series continues at 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and Wednesday Dec. 1. Participation in the workshop is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required by Nov. 28, at https://bit.ly/smart19675.
“Have you struggled to pay bills or know someone dealing with reduced income?” asked Barb Wollan, human sciences specialist in family wellbeing with ISU Extension and Outreach, who will be one of the program leaders. “It can be tough to decide which bills and monthly expenses to pay first, especially if you’re on a tight budget, and although it is important to try to make all of your monthly payments, it may not always be possible.”
Topics of the three sessions are prioritizing bills, protecting credit and managing debt. “After completing the workshop series, you’ll have the strategies and tools to get control of your day-to-day, month-to-month finances,” Wollan said.
The “Money Smart: When Money Is Short” series provides tools to help manage money effectively, make better financial decisions and live according to your priorities. Participants will improve their financial wellbeing by developing an emergency spending plan, creating a prioritized bill paying strategy based on future consequences, developing skills to improve their own credit and learning strategies to manage debt.
“When you have sound information and strong skills, you can make your money work for you and for your future even when money is short. These ‘Money Smart’ tools and ideas will help participants take control of their financial situation,” Wollan said.
Sessions are free to participants, but they must pre-register by Nov. 28 at https://bit.ly/smart19675. Once an individual has registered, they will receive an email confirmation with the Zoom link and class information. Questions can be directed to Carol Ehlers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jeannette Mukayisire at email@example.com.