Q: Are there any free budgeting or financial workshops on the Coast?
A: The Resource Centre’s Poverty Action team, together with the Sunshine Coast Credit Union, have teamed up to offer three upcoming workshops at the very end of May and at the beginning of June, about boosting financial health. The focus of these workshops is to learn about budgeting, and share ways to reduce or eliminate debt. All of the sessions are skill-building workshops, aimed at people who want to gain more confidence in managing finances.
The relationship between financial management and poverty reduction is an important one. This is why the Resource Centre’s Poverty Action Project is so keen to help promote these types of learning opportunities. While stable employment as well as securing other regular sources of income can help a person get above the poverty line, management of these resources is key to making sure people don’t slip back into poverty.
The financial sessions are open to everyone, no matter who you bank with, and no matter your financial situation, though you do need to register to be sure a spot is set aside for you.
I chatted with Miranda Beall, who is the impact specialist at Sunshine Coast Credit Union and one of the facilitators for these workshops. She says Sunshine Coast Credit Union has offered these workshops to all kinds of groups, including parent advisory groups, seniors, youth and newcomers to Canada.
“The Sunshine Coast Credit Union has supported well over 500 people in the past five years in building their financial skills through these workshops,” Beall told me. She says the three workshops are led by volunteer certified trainers, like herself. Beall really wants people to know that these workshops are in no way a sales pitch for credit union products and services. Free public education like this is part of the Credit Union’s role as a financial cooperative.
Introduction to basic banking and budgeting: Wednesday May 31, 9 to 10 a.m. This one goes over important basics about types of bank accounts, how interest works, what the term banking includes, as well as covering basics about budgeting.
Drop-in budgeting: Wednesday, May 31, 10:30 a.m. to noon. This is a deeper dive into budgeting that elaborates on things learned in the Introduction to basic banking and budgeting workshop. (It’s recommended to go to the first session to have the basics but it’s not necessary.) Topics covered include: What is a budget? How to know if you’re in debt and best practices to create savings. In this workshop, there will be an opportunity to have one-on-one time to talk in private about your specific situation and look at personalized budgeting options.
How to be debt smart: Thursday, June 1 from 6 to 7 p.m. This session is about how to manage debt. For example, if you have a lot of debt and can’t make all of the payments, there are strategies out there that may be helpful to know about. Or, if you are facing debts, you will go over options that exist that can help.
If you’ve already been to one of these workshops before, you are welcome to come back to relearn or go deeper into what you already know. If you want to go to one, some, or all of them, you are encouraged to!
For more information, any questions, and to register: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-885-4088. If you would like a session, but the timing doesn’t work, reach out to the Credit Union to stay in the loop about other sessions. If any community, neighbourhood or other groups at all want a financial literacy workshop tailored to their needs, they can contact Sunshine Coast Credit Union: email@example.com or 604-740-2662.
Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Note: on some days, we can book clients after 2 p.m. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-885-4088