By SHANNON WATKINS
The way you spend your money today will determine what you have in six months, a year from now and throughout your lifetime. The way you take care of your health today also determines how you will feel six months, a year from now and throughout your lifetime.
This is the viewpoint that led the Pulaski County branch of the Virginia Cooperative Extension to start their educational series, themed “Live Well with Less.” The series will be four two-hour sessions long.
The goal of participants is to improve money management skills and to encourage lifestyle changes that promote health. The program will encompass both financial and nutritional planning lessons and a taste test of a different recipe at each session. The first hour of each session is devoted to finance, the second to food.
“One of the things we look at in both finance and health is that problems can develop slowly and seem small, but if they’re not dealt with they can lead to big problems. It’s a quality of life issue,” said Senior Extension Agent Sarah Burkett.
This isn’t the first time VCE has held the “Live Well with Less” program. According to Burkett, the nutritional half of the program is especially a hit.
“People particularly enjoyed the taste test,” said Burkett. “They’ve said, ‘If you just gave us the recipe, we wouldn’t have made it. But since we’ve been able to taste it, we’ll make it at home.’”
The financial planning segment is also important, though.
“In fact, some of the people from the bank have said, ‘Everybody needs to take these classes.’ Every session is different. They change depending on the questions asked and people’s needs. They can share problems in a nonjudgmental group,” Burkett said.
Each program will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Pulaski, running April 8 – 29. The April 8 lesson will be “Basic Money Management and Setting Spending Priorities.” The April 15 lesson will be “Reducing Expenses and Bill Control.” The April 22 lesson will be “Credit Use.” The April 29 lesson will be “Getting Out of Debt.”
Please contact the Pulaski County Extension Office at 980-7761 or email HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com to register for this program. The cost to participate is $15 per person to cover food expenses. The last registration day is Friday, April 5 and space is limited to 35 participants.
If you are a person with a disability or desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact VCE Pulaski at 980-7765 or for TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.