There are many programs out there for families who are struggling with their finances or who just want to be smarter when handling their money.

The options are virtually endless, but Ahwatukee Foothills residents do have a few local options.

Erik Kelly, who is part of a nine-week financial literacy course called Financial Peace University, said that in classes that he has taught previously, one of the questions he asks is how much non-mortgage debt do people have. He said that about 80 people who were enrolled, together they had $1.1 million in debt, which is about $13,750 per person on average. The class, designed by Dave Ramsey and recently taught at Mountain Park Community Church, teaches about being smart with money, including only spending cash and creating a budget.

“It teaches a lot of basic things that people are not aware of,” Kelly said.

To find out more, visit

There is an in-depth program called EmpowerU run by Catholic Charities that covers components of smart finances — getting ahead, circles of support, financial literacy and volunteer income tax assistance.

“The people we work with are less likely to be tech savvy,” said Diana Stickney of Catholic Charities. “The program is volunteer run and we teach it in both English and Spanish.”

To find out more, visit

Another local program has served more than 50,000 people and helped them learn about the importance of monitoring cash flow. Ted Taylor of Family Promise said his program is there to teach families about how to manage their cash and prepare for the future.

“We teach them to look 15 weeks ahead,” Taylor said. “The power of it is creating a skill and using it as an advantage.”

To find out more about what Family Promise has to offer, visit

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