Sunday, January 25, 2009

Money Talk: A Financial Course for Women

If you are a woman and live in the Arlington, Virginia area, here's some great news for you: the next Money Talk course is open for registration. (If you don't live in this area, check with your local Cooperative Extension to find out if they will be offering Money Talk near you.)

Several years ago I took this class, and I highly recommend it. I had friends who took it with me. They aren't personal-finance nerds like me, but they got a lot out of it too. Afterwards, I recommended it to another friend who gathered some friends and coworkers and drove in from Fairfax to take the class. (You don't have to be an Arlington resident to take it.) They felt they benefited from it too.

So, here's the scoop:

Money Talk: A Financial Course for Women
Women have unique financial needs. Most will at some time be on their own financially. Some will never marry, some will see their marriages end in divorce, and others will outlive their husbands. This course will provide you with information that you need to take charge of your financial future. The course includes five classes:

February 4 Financial Basics
February 11 Insurance Basics
February 18 Investing Basics
February 25 Investing for Retirement
March 4 Planning for Future Life Events

All classes will be held 7:00-8:45 p.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N Quincy Street). Cost: $20 (for the accompanying textbook). Access the registration brochure at: or contact: or (703) 228-6417. This is a program of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Arlington Public Libraries.

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Here I Am!

Oh wow! I haven't blogged in so long. It's almost been two months. What in the world have I been doing?!

Well...December got really crazy. It mostly had to do with the fact that it was serious gift buying season. I have it noted to blog about it in the future -- now that we are married gift-giving has taken on a new form.

We had to (wanted to) get Christmas gifts for our immediate families -- that includes two sets of parents, two sisters, two brothers, two sisters-in-law, two nephews, and a niece. We also had to (wanted to) give birthday gifts to the niece and nephews at Christmas to avoid shipping charges. (Their birthdays are in November, January, and February.) We also had to give a gift to a sister for her December birthday.

So, we had to think of things to give to all of these people for all of these occasions. And then we -- okay, let's get really -- I had to wrap them all (except for the one Michael was giving to me).

We were also hosting an early Christmas celebration at our house for my parents and sister since we wouldn't see them on Christmas this year. As part of our marriage compromise, we are visiting one family for Thanksgiving and then the opposite one for Christmas. The plan for next year is to swap holidays. We were with my family for Thanksgiving this year, so we had to make other arrangements for celebrating Christmas with them.

It suddenly occurred to me that we -- okay -- I had to do the gift shopping much earlier. So, I had a bit of a last minute scramble, which normally doesn't happen to me. (I tell you in a later post about why I was the primary gift-shopper.)

We left very early on the morning of Christmas Eve for Atlanta to spend the holiday with Michael's family. When we make that long trip (about 11-12 hour drive), we usually stay a few days to make the visit worth the effort and expense. However, Michael wanted to run the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS on January 3. So, we extended this trip -- by a lot.

It was a pretty good idea to combine trips. After all, we were already in the South for Christmas. It made sense to head deeper south from there than from all the way up here in DC. We added in some sight-seeing and family-visiting in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. And that made a 13 day trip!

It took a while to prepare for that big excursion. It also took a while to recover...and unpack all of those gifts. Not only did we receive Christmas gifts, but birthday gifts too because Michael is a December baby, and my birthday is in January.

All that, plus we have still been trying to get our house settled since we got married 5 and a half months ago. It's just been hard to keep up with daily life and all of the longer term projects. So, I started cutting things out of my life, including my dearly-beloved blog.

Last week we had a 4-day weekend thanks to MLK, Jr. Day on Monday and Inauguration Day on Tuesday. (Being in DC, January 20th is a holiday for both of our companies every 4 years.) Ever since (a few months ago) I discovered that the calendar was creating this generous holiday weekend, I had been longing for it. Two-day weekends just don't cut it. I always have more things to do than I have time. But with 4 consecutive days off, I got tons -- TONS -- done. And it was great!

Now, I'm not exactly were I'd like to be in terms of my projects. Currently, I have a list of 21 things to work on that don't include daily living (i.e. grocery shopping, meal planning, laundry, cleaning). But I'm going to try a very conservative goal for Save 4 Fun -- writing at least once a week. Eventually, I hope to get back up to speed.

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