If you are looking for sources of personal finance information, there are two shows on CNBC, The Suze Orman Show and Til Debt Do Us Part. The Suze Orman Show is on from 8:00-9:00 PM (CT) Saturday nights. Til Debt Do Us Part has two segments also on Saturday from 9:00-9:30 (CT) and 9:30-10:00.

On The Suze Orman Show, Suze usually has a guest on that has a financial problem, answers questions from callers and the “Can you Afford It” segment. During the “Can you Afford It” segment viewers call in with something they want to purchase, after looking at their finances, Suze either approves or denies them. Sometimes you may wonder why she approves them, but like she says with their finances they can afford to do it but many times she still tells them she doesn’t think they should make the purchase. Sometimes she has a follow-up call where she hast the person on the show again to see if they did make the purchase.

Til Debt Do Us Part is hosted by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. She meets with couples once a week for a month to work on getting their finances in order. In a lot of the cases, some couples are spending $3,000 – $5,000 more each month than they make. Some couples spend twice the amount of their income. She shows them where their money actually goes, how much debt they actually do have and how much debt they will be in 5 years from now if they stay on the track they are on. Each week she gives them an exercise to do to either make more money or to learn to work together better. If they follow her instructions and show they are willing to continue to work on getting out of debt, at the end of the show she rewards them with a check of up to $5,000 to go towards their debt.

Since this is the weekend of the Fargo marathon, I thought I would write about hot training for a marathon is similar to learning about your finances. Learning to manage and save your money can be compared to training for a marathon or other competition. Just as you need to train and take small steps to run a marathon you also need to take small steps and obtain knowledge on how to deal with your finances. If you would go out and try to run a marathon without any training, you probably wouldn’t get very far and would be in pain. The more you train the easier it will be to finish the race. The same is true with your finances, the longer you keep track of how you spend your money and watch your spending the easier it will get.

At first, it will seem like a lot of work but over time it will become a habit just like learning anything else.

A budget tells you where your money goes like your training schedule suggests how much to run each day and maybe what to eat and drink.

So just as you may need a trainer to get you in shape for a race, it may also be helpful to have someone assist you to get your financial life on track.

Congratulations to all of the runners, walkers and volunteers this weekend.

Nancy Kvamme