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Dollars and Sense: A Common Sense Approach to Financial Management

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11/24 UPDATE:  ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSED.  Register in person starting at 8:00 a.m.

Consumer debt enslaves most Americans with chains that seem to grow tighter every month as bills increase and income decreases.  The crazy thing is that, unlike the slavery of previous centuries, this slavery is self-imposed and self-perpetuated!  Today we are held captive, not by slave masters with whips, but by our poor choices, impulse purchases and constant attempts to keep up with the mythical “Joneses”.  We remain shackled by high interest rates and low monthly payments.  Although invisible to the naked eye, heavy chains of debt are causing pain in the lives of millions of Americans every day.

There is hope!  We can break every chain of consumer debt through education and discipline.  Metropolitan invites you to: Dollars and Sense:  A Common Sense Approach to Financial Management.  Dollars and Sense is a series of financial seminars that will set you free and put you on the road to controlling your finances, instead of having them control you.  You’ll learn budgeting techniques, get the latest updates on Social Security, become familiar with the process involved in buying your own home, and finally understand credit scores and lending practices.  We’ll teach you about saving, investing, retirement planning and more!  

Everyone – seniors, baby boomers, young adults and teenagers – is welcome to attend this program.  Although teenagers can attend any of the sessions, we have a series of seminars in the morning that are geared specifically to their age group:  money management and saving, interviewing skills and preparation for college.  

Dollars and Sense takes place on Sunday, November 24.  Check out the schedule below and start to plan  your schedule. REGISTRATION IS FREE.  A snack lunch will be provided for all attendees.  You have the option to purchase a hot lunch for $15; you may pay for this online when you register, or give your funds to Ed Billingy, Rhonda Billingy, or Melissa Andrews.

Dollars and Sense Program Outline

8:00 – 8:40



8:45 – 9:15

Introduction – Total Life Stewardship


9:30 – 10:20

Money Management for Teens

An introduction to budgets, savings accounts, debit and credit cards, and more

First-Time Home Buying Strategies

Do you need a down payment?  What should your credit look like?  Where should you buy?  Condo, townhouse or single family? How do you get a mortgage?  If you’re thinking about buying your first home – this class is for you!

How to Live Debt Free

Learn to save, budget, invest, eliminate credit card debt, develop a 3- to 6-month emergency fund, start retirement planning before you’re 30 and more!

10:30 – 11:20

Job Interviewing for Teens

Interviewing skills designed specifically for teens.  Learn how to research jobs, prepare for an interview, dress appropriately, etc.

Cash Flow Planning & Budgeting

The only way you can control your money is to know where it goes each month.  Budgeting is not a chore; it’s an essential tool for anyone who wants to build wealth!

Wills and Estate Planning

It’s never too soon to prepare a will.  Do you know if you die without one, the state can take your children and your assets? Learn the importance of preparing a power of attorney, healthcare directive and living will.

11:30 – 12:20

Preparing for College: What You Should Know About Academics and Finances

Learn what college life will be like, get study skills, know what activities you should get involve in, etc.  Understand student loans, grant and aid programs

Resume Writing and Interviewing

Interview tips and techniques and resumes do’s and don’ts for anyone looking for a job


 12 Steps to A Happy Retirement

Think you’re ready to retire? Do you have the appropriate things set up as far as healthcare, asset management, etc.? How will you use your 401k?  Learn the steps you must follow to ensure a happy retirement.  Evaluate your pension and social security benefits as well as the adequacy of personal savings.

12:30 – 1:30


1:30 – 2:20

Real Estate Investing 101

Real estate is one of the most popular and financially lucrative investment methodologies.  Learn the basics and understand whether this type of investing is for you.  Understand the power of leverage and appreciation in creating real estate wealth and financial independence.

Family Budgeting

A family budget is key to financial independence.  Don’t let your money dictate your priorities.  Get the entire family on the same page about where the money goes, and life will be much easier!

The Ins and Outs of Mortgages

What exactly is your credit score used for?  Is that the only thing that lenders look at when you apply for a loan?  This session will show you how to improve your credit score, get a preapproval letter, understand loan fees, understand the difference between FHA and conventional loans, lock in interest rates and get a full loan commitment.

2:30 – 3:20

Good Credit:   Get It and Keep It

Do you need a 700 credit score to get loans?  What’s considered a bad credit score?  If you have a bad score, how can you improve it?  Learn how to manage your credit!

Pay Less Taxes! Legally!!

The rich do it!  Don’t give Uncle Sam more than is due him.  Learn the ins and outs of tax preparation and how to take advantage of credits and other legal tax saving strategies.

Of Stocks and Bonds and Mutual Funds

Should you buy, sell, hold? Should you buy tech stocks, blue chips, or head to emerging markets? This session will introduce you to stocks, ETFs and mutual funds.  You’ll understand market trends and asset allocation, learn how to invest for growth vs income, balance your portfolio and protect against inflation.

3:30 – 4:20

Investing - It's for ALL of Us!

Got savings?  Understand how to save consistently and maximize your returns from money market funds, ETFs, certificates of deposit and mutual funds.  Learn the risks and rewards of various investments, and how to develop a personal investment strategy.  Investing isn't just for the rich - it's for all of us!

The Truth About Social Security

Will social security be around when you’re ready to retire?  How much money will you get? Learn how to navigate the social security waters. We encourage young adults to attend this session so you can start planning appropriately

Real Estate Investing 101

Real estate is one of the most popular and financially lucrative investment methodologies.  Learn the basics and understand whether this type of investing is for you.  Understand the power of leverage and appreciation in creating real estate wealth and financial independence.

4:30 – 5:00


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Ed Billingy is an experienced real estate investor.  He is also a successful entreprenuer who has started and owned several businesses over the past three decades.  His passion throughout his life has been teaching financial literacy and investment strategies to all age groups, but primarily to young people.  His goal is to get them started early on the road to financial freedom.