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Courses open for VSPNer registration

STAF159-0812: Introduction to Personal Finance-Basic Strategies for Spending and Budgeting

INSTRUCTOR(S): Julie Urban, BA, AAS, LVT and Barb Burri, MEd, MBA, CVT, LVT

COURSE OPEN: August 7-September 14, 2012

REAL TIME SESSIONS (RTS): Tuesdays, August 14, 21, 28 and September 4, 2012; 9:00pm-10:00pm ET (USA)
Course RTS Times in Your Area: World Clock Converter
Practice Sessions: In order to prepare you for a successful experience in your CE course, we request you attend a Practice Session prior to the first Real Time Session. Please arrive promptly at the start time; each Practice Session is up to 1 hour in length. For more information, please visit the CE Practice Area

Level and Prerequisites: This basic course is open for all members VSPN and VIN. It will entail in depth interactive looks at your personal finance and how to understand where your paycheck goes and why. This course will not include financial counseling, bankruptcy, retirement or benefit plans, but will provide methods to take an eye-opening look at what you spend vs. your income and provide you with valuable tools to help you understand your personal financial situation and how to begin improving it.
No personal or business financial information will be asked for or collected by VIN/VSPN. Participants should not post personal financial information in the message boards or in the course sessions.
VSPN CE Course. This course has been submitted for RACE approval for veterinary technicians only.

Course Description:
It's no secret that as veterinary professionals (whatever your title happens to be), our salaries are usually referred to as "modest." It is important for veterinary professionals to pay close attention to their personal finances in order to live comfortably and make the most of each of those modest dollars we earn. Constant worry and anxiety over the lack of money wears people down, negatively affects their concentration and job performance, is rough on relationships and probably contributes to mental and physical health issues. At the other end of the spectrum are people whose finances are in terrible condition, but either ignore or deny a problem exists and take no corrective action until the situation is beyond the ability to rectify. This course will allow each participant to take a solid, in-depth look at his/her own personal finances, identify problem areas, and learn steps to address and improve personal finance. Please review the level/prerequisites for this course before you enroll, this course will not be for the faint of heart!

This course consists of four (4) sixty (60) minute Real Time Sessions, supplemental library materials, interactive message board discussions, a mandatory end-of-course test, and may include online multiple choice quizzes (after each Real Time Session). Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to be considered for a course certificate of completion.

Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.

Required Texbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

About the Instructors: Julie Urban is a credentialed veterinary technician, retired from clinical practice, but remains professionally involved. Her previous career as an economist in the banking, finance and securities industry provides decades of knowledge to address the subject of personal finance from both the veterinary staff aspect and financial district aspect. Julie currently works as an office assistant to a best-selling author and works for her husband's company and as a pet sitter. Barb Burri is an adjunct faculty member in the veterinary technology program at Great Bay Community College. In addition to this course, Barb has been a long time member of VSPN and teaches several other VSPN CE courses.

Course Outline:
Week 1 (Real Time Session August 14): Wake Up Call
Content: We will jump right in to start analyzing how we spend money, discuss bad spending habits and spending triggers. During this session we will introduce the Monthly Expenditures Worksheet, The One-Week Miscellaneous Spending Worksheet and the Credit Card Debt Summary Worksheet. The homework for the week will be to complete these three worksheets.

Week 2 (Real Time Session August 21): Review Time
Content: Having completed the three Worksheets we will undergo an in-depth review of strategies and suggestions each participant can incorporate into the Monthly Expenditures Worksheet with a goal of eliminating deficit spending. The homework for the week will use the information learned in class to revise the Monthly Expenditures Worksheet, in every category possible. Each participant's goal will be to figure out ways to reduce their monthly expenditures to a point where they are actually spending less than what they earn each month.

Week 3 (Real Time Session August 28): Credit Cards
Content: In-Depth discussion of credit cards. We will focus on the appropriate use of credit cards and review methods to eliminate credit card debt. Be prepared to take a hard and serious look at the fact that the participant may have to stop using credit cards all together until the debt is paid in full.

Week 4 (Real Time Session September 4): Monthly Budget
Content: Creation of the monthly budget - spending virtually before actually. Review of how to reconcile and balance your checkbook register to the bank statement; and why that's important. Lastly, we will begin our discussion of beginning to save for your emergency fund and for retirement.


Tuition: $80 ($72 early bird if registered by July 24, 2012).
*Students currently enrolled in and taking at least 2 classes or 5 units at an AVMA accredited or CAAHT approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status).
** To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close when the maximum number of participants is reached or at 5pm ET the day of the first Real Time Session unless otherwise noted. If the first Real Time Session is on a weekend, course will close on the Friday before the first Real Time Session.

**For more on how online CE works see the Participant Resource Center

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from and addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. Each person is individually responsible for his/her own registration. To ensure that all information received is secure and correct, please do not enroll for a course on behalf of another individual.
  4. For further assistance call 1-800-700-INFO (4636) or email (VIN CE) or (VSPN CE) Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.
Note: "This course has been submitted for RACE approval for 4 continuing education credits in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education." Call VSPN CE at 1-800-700-4636 for further information. (Attendees are encouraged to check with their licensing jurisdiction(s) for information regarding recognition by their board).
Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN/VSPN office 1-800-700-INFO (4636) to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.
**Note: To ensure rapid handling of your request for withdrawal, we recommend that you call the VIN/VSPN office at 1-800-700-INFO (4636).
** For More Information on VSPN's upcoming CE Courses, check out

Nanette R. Walker Smith, M.Ed., RVT, CVT, LVT
VSPN Content Director & VSPN CE Director

VSPN CE Services:
1-800-846-0028 or 1-530-756-4881 or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01452226154
Charlotte Waack (, ext 193
Chris Upchurch (; ext 197
Darci Palmer (; ext 179
Debbie Bess (; ext 178
Jennifer Withrow (; ext 159
Barb Burri (; ext 764
Nanette Walker Smith (; ext 187


800.700.4636  |  |  530.756.4881  |  Fax: 530.756.6035
777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, CA 95616

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