April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Consumers are feeling squeezed each week with rapidly increasing gas and food prices and sluggish economic growth, with many living in a down economy for the first time. According to a recent survey by Career Builder, 77 percent of American consumers are living paycheck to paycheck.
The trend carries on in Anchorage, too. Since January of this year, Alaska 2-1-1 has made numerous referrals for money management support, including workshops, credit counseling, financial management classes and mortgage delinquency counseling.
Financial Literacy Month is the ideal opportunity for individuals and families to change their financial situation by learning about important financial matters like creating and managing a budget, paying down debt while saving for emergencies, and creating achievable financial goals. Here at United Way of Anchorage, we care about your financial future and are committed to bringing you the financial education and tools you need to succeed.
Resources are available at every turn. A popular consumer tool is a free 30-step roadmap to achieving financial freedom. Website can be found at: www.FinancialLiteracyMonth.com
The Better Business Bureau is sharing valuable tips, such as scam alerts, for spenders and savers alike. Visit facebook.com/BBBNews4u and “like” the page for daily updates.
The Alaska BBB is also sponsoring another Secure Your ID Day. On Saturday, April 20th from 10am to 2pm at the Mall at Sears, you can drop off up to 3 boxes of unwanted documents to be securely shredded on-the-spot for free.
And time is running out for Alaskans to get their 2012 Federal Income Taxes filed. There will be 9 free tax preparation sites open through April 15th to help. Just call Alaska 2-1-1 for a list of sites in your area, or log on to www.freetaxprepanc.com. Also, if your annual income was less than $57,000, you can use MyFreeTaxes.com/UWAnch to prepare and e-file your return.
Over the last several years, more than 6,000 Anchorage area residents have used free tax services, saving more than $600,000 in preparation costs. Many find out that they unknowingly qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For those living on the financial edge, the free tax preparation savings and financial information can lead to more financial stability and independence in the future.