How do you feel about your personal financial management?

Starting in September, the Albany County Public Library will hold Dollars and $ense, a series of nine free evening classes on managing money and planning for life expenses.

Classes will emphasize personal finance basics, preparation for investing, retirement planning, debt management and financial scams. These classes can be a benefit to any participant, no matter what stage they are when it comes to handling money, Anne Alexander, a UW professor and instructor of the courses, said. The classes will take place on Wednesdays throughout at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be provided. Those interested are required to register for the series.

Participants will benefit from spending time with other residents with the same financial goals or challenges, Alexander said. The social experience and feedback from a wide range of financial experience coupled with instruction from financial experts will be an advantage to participants.

Alexander hopes participants will be able to outline their personal goals and learn to be more comfortable using the basic day-to-day tools of financial literacy.

“Money is a tool, not a goal,” she said. “Participants can learn to think of money as a tool to get them to those places or goals that are really important.”

This is the second time the library has hosted the Dollars and $ense classes. The 2012 series was highly successful.

All members of the public are welcome to register regardless of employment status, household income or age.

Laramie residents with a better understanding of their personal finances and tools to make optimal financial decisions. Instructors are Bill Schepeler, formerly of WyoTech and now at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Paul Heimer of the United Way of Albany County and UW professors Alexander (Finance and Economics) and Cole Ehmke (Agricultural and Applied Economics).

The classes were made possible through a prestigious grant that will help the library to provide effective, unbiased financial and investor education to the community. ACPL was one of 16 public libraries nationwide that was awarded a $29,700 grant from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation and the American Library Association.

“This generous grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation couldn't have come at a better time,” Kathy Marquis, public services librarian, said. “Smart investing@your library® allows us to meet a critical need for people to have information they can trust to help them arrive at a brighter financial future.”

For more information, contact Kathy Marquis at 721-2580 x5438 or kmarquis@albanycountylibrary.org or Miranda Webster at mwebster@albanycountylibrary.org.