Money management tips are something that everyone should have easy access to, said Greg Newsom, branch manager of United Credit Union.
The first "$avvy! Money-Wise Workshop" took place Tuesday morning at the John C. Harris Community Center. Newsom said there will be monthly meetings to give life tips that can apply to anyone. He co-organized the events with the help of Misty Dothage, executive director of Our House.
"This information isn't taught enough to people and then we see people struggle all of the time," Newsom said.
The 90-minute informational session covered a variety of helpful topics. Budgeting was one of the most useful areas explored. When making a budget, Newsom emphasized it is important to always "think ahead" and to honestly weigh your needs versus your wants.
Newsom also focused on explaining and comparing various types of loans. Newsom warned to be wary of high-interest payday and title loans as he compared them to the loans typically available at banks and credit unions.
One example showed how an individual can save up to $200 on a $1,000 loan when going through a bank or a credit union rather than a title loan.
The workshop also went over the process of buying a car and how to avoid trickery by car salespersons. Newsom passed around hypothetical bills of sale to show how salesmen will emphasize a monthly car payment, while ignoring the other things included in the purchase that ultimately end up costing the buyer more long-term.
Newsom said his inspiration to educate people stemmed from his own past financial struggles and experience switching from working at a bank to a credit union in 2007.
"(Dothage and I) just wanted to educate people and give back to the community," Newsom said.
On the second Tuesday of each month, the community center will host a workshop about money management or jobs. The two topics will alternate.
The next jobs seminar will be in August while the next money management one will fall in September. Each workshop is free and open to anyone. Newsom expressed the desire to have better attendance to the workshops as well.
"I want people to feel like they can come and I would love to have a room full of people," Newsom said.