In the 1920s, J.M. Clark, a renowned economist, stated he would consider his class to be a success if the students gained an understanding of the meaning of cost in all its many aspects. Today, it is even more important because there are a larger variety and uses of cost in accounting, training, human resources, finance, economics, politics, environment, and government. For those of us in the training industry, we are often in meetings where cost numbers and financials are thrown around with expectations we understand. We may wonder where those numbers come from, what constitutes them, and even whether they are accurate. We want clarification but don't know what questions to ask. More importantly, decisions about programs and courses are often based solely on financial considerations. The more we can fluently talk about costs and other financials, the more likely we will be able to sell the value of our team and the services we provide. This session will lay a foundation for speaking "money" with those who can greatly affect what a training department can achieve. Because most training departments are cost centers, we will define "cost" comprehensively, use a tool called contribution analysis to make better business decisions, and supply several realistic mini cases that most training managers will recognize. No financial knowledge is required. The goal is to increase comfort among those who have traditionally not been financially aware.