When I saw the flier for the Women & Money workshop at my local library my first thought was "What's the catch?". Many financial presentations and "workshops" are nothing more than thinly veiled sales pitches for financial services. To separate the financial hype from helpful seminars and workshops you need to be a bit of a detective and ask a the important questions.
The first question I ask is how long is the event? I once attended an free financial workshop that lasted over 4 hours and where the speaker loved to tell personal anecdotes that offered nothing in the way of useful advice. After the event I estimated that if the speaker had eliminated all those lengthy personal stories the event could easily have been cut down to 2 hours! Ever since that endless financial presentation I refuse to attend any financial workshop over 2 hours.
Another good question to ask before attending any type of financial workshop or class is does the workshop take a realistic approach to addressing financial issues or are they promising some sort of instant solution to financial challenges such as magically growing your money overnight or instantly make debt disappear? The only way I know to dramatically grow my money overnight and eliminate major debt is to win the lottery. A workshop focused on realistic and actionable advice is sure to pay off better than workshops filled with over hyped promises of instant solutions every time.
What specific topics are included in the workshop? If you are not interested in taking out a loan any time soon then a presentation on mortgages and borrowing is a waist of your valuable time. On the other hand if you are determined to solve the mystery of why all your money magically disappears between paychecks in spite of frugal spending habits, the workshop on budgeting and financial goals may be for you.
Is the workshop or presentation associated with an organization you trust and respect? The Women & Money workshop is being held at my local library. I love my local library and I trust that they host events like this as a public service and would not want to be associated with questionable financial gurus offering miracle cures for financial ills.
I visited the Women & Money web site with these tough questions in mind and was so impressed by what I saw I decided to attend one of their workshops. The Women & Money event is sponsored by Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. so obviously they know a thing or two about money. There are different workshops focusing on different topics ranging from credit reports to budgeting, investing and life planning. This gives you the option of attending only the free workshops that address your specific financial needs. For financial workshops in your area check out your local library, local business magazines or organizations that you know and trust.