Lots of ways ‘Money Matters’

Article written by Mary Metten, Health and Well-being Extension Educator. 
Originally published in the Kenosha News.

We are now in the thick of tax filing and return season.

This is a time some receive a lump sum of money with a return and some will owe at the end of it all.

With money on the brain, it can be an excellent time to consider, reconsider or reframe how to use all our hard-earned money and begin some new habits in the process.

You can always teach an old dog new tricks. Yet, finding the time to teach those tricks can be easier said than done. Modern 2020 allows us to so much on-demand, with education being no exception.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 6 million students enrolled in distance education courses at degree-granting postsecondary institutions.

Similarly, there are now a lot of options for web-based learning in general.

When we think about continuing education for lifelong learning, it does not always need to be attending a traditional class on someone else’s timetable.

‘Money Matters’ program

UW-Madison Division of Extension’s “Money Matters” — https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/moneymatters/ — is a web-based learning series that provides individualized and interactive financial education.

The online module setup can be a great option for people facing challenges around scheduling, distance to attend an in-person class and other obstacles that make physically attending a class or workshop unrealistic.

Self-guided learning
The best way to approach “Money Matters” is initially taking the Financial Strengths Survey in the first module. This will help you set the stage of identifying your existing skills related to finances.

After completing the survey, there are eight additional modules to choose from:

Explore Credit Scores and Credit Reports: This module helps explain concepts of credit history, scores, and reports and the importance they play for consumers.

When You Can’t Pay Your Bills: Here are options to consider when there is more month than money, consequences to be aware of, and having to make tough decisions regarding bill paying.
Making a Spending Plan: Guidance so you can create budgets that work for you and goals for your money.

Staying Organized: Having a good system in place for organizing finances can then help you later save time and money.

Retirement Planning Basics: Information to start considering and develop your long-term plan.

Health Insurance Options for Wisconsin Residents: Direction about different health insurance programs available in Wisconsin.

How Health Insurance Works: Material in this module has costs associated with health insurance.

How to Save Money Using Health Insurance: Different options that may be available and to be aware of when using health care.

The learner can choose any and all of the eight modules depending on specific interest and need.
They each have combinations of written information about the different topics, infographics, quizzes, helpful external links for more information and short videos to watch.

For more information and to begin the modules, visit https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/moneymatters/.

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