To encourage women to take steps toward financial independence, a free money management forum is slated for next month.

"Money Sense for Women" will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 17 at the Christian County Extension Office, 2850 Pembroke Road. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

A committee of organizers determined the topics of discussion based on feedback from the community and current trends. The event theme is "My Habitudes." Local guest speakers will discuss financial, organizational and hometown habitudes.

"This is the 13th year (for the forum). Each year we've done a different theme," said Laura Faulkner, Inner City Residential Enterprise Zone coordinator. "This year, it's 'My Habitudes,' which is kind of a play on words. It's (addressing) your attitudes and your habits about finances, so you can fix it from within."

Organizational Habitudes will be led by Kayla McGregor, of Kay's Kleaners.

"Women nowadays, we work full-time jobs, we're full-time moms and full-time wives. We play many roles. We wear many hats," Faulkner said. "When your office is together, you're a little better prepared for meetings. When your home is together, you're better prepared for work and life as a mom. Sometimes we have to look at it from more of a comprehensive and cohesive approach."

Tiffany Bolinger, Christian County family and consumer sciences Extension agent, will discuss Financial Habitudes during the seminar.

"Tiffany is going to talk about an internal look at yourself," Faulkner said. "How do you view money? What is the primary goal for you when you spend money? Are you a charitable giver? Do you make decisions on how you can help someone? Are you strictly a budgeteer? Do you have a budget, stick by it and very rarely spend outside of your list? Are you a saver? (The session) talks about the positives and negatives that come with the attitude of that person."

Holly Boggess, Downtown Renaissance director for Community and Development Services, will lead a session on Hometown Habitudes.

"Everybody always says there's nothing to do in Hopkinsville. That just isn't the case. Holly is going to go through all of the upcoming festivities through the end of the year. Our calendars sure are busy, we want everyone else's to be too," Faulkner said. "We're all about if you're going to spend money, how about you spend locally. If you're going to do something for entertainment, spend locally. Shop small -- that is the message that we talk about. Not just shopping small on your budget, but shopping small in your community. These are the individuals that own those businesses that sponsor your kids' sports team. You're putting money in their pocket, while they put money in your's."

Faulkner said the financial skills women need to apply at different stages in their lifetimes can vary from the time they are young women, through middle age to their senior years.

"We're trying to reach any woman who feels like she can learn something about finances," she said. "There's always room to learn."

Faulkner said there are potentially positive, long-term effects for participants who attend this seminar as well as the community.

"What we're seeing long-term is individuals come back and say 'I started my budget and I've paid off this much debt because you guys encouraged me to do it and gave me the resources,'" Faulkner said. "I definitely think there's a long-term effect on those who choose to implement the education that is being provided. For the community as a whole, the wiser financial decisions we make individually, the better off our community will be. Our community will benefit in the quality of life. Our community will benefit in its fiscal health."

Each "Money Sense for Women" participant receives at no cost a goody bag, lunch and a ticket to win door prizes that include gift cards, home d├ęcor items, lunch coolers, different size tote bags, reusable shopping bags and many more fun and trendy items. A grand prize will be given away, but the winner must be in attendance to win. Tables will be set up by women-owned businesses as well as information tables for sponsors.

"Money Sense for Women" is designed by women for women. This year's organizers include Bolinger and Faulkner, as well as Linda Wood of Inner City REZ; Katherine Latham of Bank of Cadiz and Trust Company; Debbie Leavell of Christian County Jail; the Rev. Lisa Lewis-Balboa of Freeman Chapel CME; Dr. Vernelle Larkin of Hopkinsville Community College Minority Student Union; Karen Corbett-Wallace of Pennyrile Allied Development District and Pam Quitter and Jennifer Maddux of Planters Bank.

The "Money Sense for Women" registration deadline is Aug. 9. For a registration form or more information, call 270-886-6328 or email tiffany.bolinger@uky.edu.

Reach Michele Vowell at 270-887-3242 or mvowell@kentuckynewera.com.

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MORE INFORMATION

What: Money Sense for Women -- A money management forum.

When: 9 a.m. Aug. 17. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

Where: Christian County Extension Office, 2850 Pembroke Road.

Cost: Free.

Registration deadline: Aug. 9.

To register or for more information: Call 270-886-6328 or email tiffany.bolinger@uky.edu.

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