Free publications offer financial advice in a struggling economy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — At a time when finances and the economy are on the minds of most, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is offering a free financial management curriculum to the public.

“Focus on Financial Management” is an eight-part curriculum that includes financial planning advice and worksheets that help people organize financial goals, understand the ways they spend money, prepare and use net worth statements, manage risk, understand savings and investment options, use credit cards more wisely, deal with financial challenges, and plan for retirement.

“This program is a great resource for people who want a better understanding of their finances – what they have and don’t have, what they need and what might need tweaking,” said Cindy Barnett, Purdue Extension family resource management specialist. “It’s important to realize that it’s difficult to make the best financial decisions without first understanding all of the assets you have, so these publications help individuals take stock of those assets.”

In addition to offering the course publications on the Web, some Purdue Extension offices around the state present the program in their communities.

“When county offices host the program, they bring in a speaker to each session to talk about the topic at hand, then participants spend time working in small groups,” Barnett said.

Those interested in participating in a live course should contact their local Purdue Extension office for more information about if and when “Focus on Financial Management” is being presented.

“The key to financial management is understanding that getting finances in order takes time and effort. It’s not something that can happen in one evening,” Barnett said. “But, you have to start somewhere, and that means doing a little bit at a time and setting goals for yourself.”

The “Focus on Financial Management” curriculum is available for download through Purdue Extension’s Education Store at

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