Deb Morris: Fru-Gal

Fru-Gal Column January 13

Take control of your financial future. Why don’t we all compare being financially secured to being physically in shape- fiscally fit and physically fit. Most of us want to be physically fit, but very few of us are. The same holds true with financial security. Start off 2011 by taking our first class in Financial Fitness; take a quiz to find out what kind of financial management you practice.

·         January assignment- Financial Fitness Quiz- http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/ffquiz/                                                                                         Order your 2011 Calendar http://www.financialfitnessservices.com/index.php                                                  Want to put your debt on a diet, join Red Racers. This organization is determined to focus on “racing” to pay back your debt. You calculate how much you owe, down to the penny. You then will share your plan with other members on a message board. You have to keep an account of your money on the message board and show how much you pay down each month. You also have to acknowledge any setbacks. This can all be done using a pseudonymous screen name but being accountable to others may help you. http://moneycentral.msn.com/community/message/default.aspx

·         February assignment- 2010 W-2 and 1099 tax forms are sent to you by January 31. Start a file to compile them, along with all other records and receipts for your state and federal tax returns.                               Sign up for America Saves Week during February 20-27. It will help anyone to design a savings plan encouraging them to save for desired goals.                            http://www.americasavesweek.org/

·         March assignment- Got financial questions? Get answers for free from licensed CPAs through the “Ask a CPA” email program. Email your question to financialfitness@vscpa.com  If you want to talk to someone personally about financial issues from basic money management or pre-filing bankruptcy call Financial Fitness Services for telephone counseling or face-to-face counseling located in Bowling Green, Ky. http://www.financialfitnessservices.com/index.php

·         April assignment-Your federal income tax return is due to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Visit www.irs.gov for forms and online filing information. Also, it’s the last day to establish or contribute to an Individual Retirement Account in 2010.                                                                      Let trained and IRS certified volunteers file your taxes for free at one of nearly 200 sites around Kentucky. http://www.assistance.ky.gov/

·         May assignment- Obtain the free application for federal student aid for 2011 from your high school guidance counselor, or visit www.fafsa.ed.gov. Deadline to submit is June 30, 2011.Download a 32 page manual to help high school students entering the world manage their finances. http://hsfpp.nefe.org/network/company1/content/686/40MMT.pdf                                                                     Don’t forget to teach your child the simple tasks of managing their finances. Start with making sure they know how to balance their checkbook.

·         June assignment-Order a copy of your credit report and look closely to make sure it contains accurate information. If errors are found, you are entitled to have them corrected. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to access yours now.

·         July assignment-As of July 21, 2011 consumers who experience any adverse impact due to credit score will be eligible to access their score for free. www.annualcreditreport.com

·         August assignment- Take the 5% challenge. CPAs provide an online calculator to help you figure out how much you’ll need to set aside based on your current income and debt.  http://feedthepig.org/fivepercent

·         September assignment-Labor Day was established to honor American workers. Reward your hard work by planning for your retirement. When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn Social Security benefits, based on your earnings averaged over most of your working career. Calculate what you’ll need to retire then figure out what you need to do to get there. http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/retirementplanner/retirementplanner.jsp

·         October assignment- Even though the tax incentive for energy efficient home improvements is less than 2010 they are still available. The incentives are now capped at $500. Find out what products are eligible for a federal tax credit. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index

·         November assignment- Thanksgiving Day was established so Americans could give thanks for all their blessings. Give thanks by making tax deductable contributions to your favorite charities. These donations can reduce your taxable income and lower your tax bill. Get tips on tax deductions for charitable contributions from lectlaw.com. http://www.lectlaw.com/files/tax13.htm

·         December assignment- Ring in the New Year by knowing you’ve achieved financial fitness all year long!

Order your own Martin Luther King Day poster, stickers, and more. http://mlkday.gov/plan/library/communications/posters.php

Beginning at 9am people will line up near Lexington Center for the annual Freedom March, which begins at 10am. At 11am a holiday celebration will be held at Lexington Center with Daniel Beaty, an award-winning actor, singer, writer and composer. From 12:30 to 3:30pm the Carnegie Center will host a celebration with free workshops about art, dance and music. The city’s community centers, except Winburn, will host open gym activities from noon to 5pm. For more information on the March call (859) 257-8927 and Carnegie Center information (859) 254-4175.

Attend a free screening downtown at the Kentucky Theatre of “Soundtrack for A Revolution” on January 17 at 2:30pm.

Want your child to take a free practice ACT test to see how they will score. The test dates are on January 15, January 22, February 19, March 5, and March 19 arrive at 9:45am testing will start at 10am. The testing site is Kaplan Center, 1050 Chinoe Rd. Suite 200. If you have any questions you can email Steve.Bartley@kaplan.com.

Enjoy Winter Family Days at Newport Aquarium and save when 2 kids get in free with each adult paying full price. Winter Family Days end on February 28. The aquarium is located at One Aquarium Way, Newport, KY. http://www.newportaquarium.com/guestinfo.cfm

PETCO is offering free potty training to new pet parents during the month of January. These classes are held on at 1pm every Saturday and Sunday to help pet parents get on the right track to house training their dog. www.petco.com

Adopt a dog or cat during January 15-16 and receive special offers including $12 off any size bag of Blue Buffalo dry dog or cat food. Adopt a cat during the same weekend and receive 1 free 16lb. jug of PETCO cat litter. http://www.petco.com/petco_Page_PC_storeadoptions_Nav_114.aspx

Free Proven Winners Gardener’s Idea Book.                                           http://www.provenwinners.com/gardeners-idea-book/signup.cfm

Send a free pack of Kleenex tissue to a friend.                                        http://kleenex.com/SoftnessWorthSharing/

Today only get free 50 Mommy Cards and 2 sets of 10 free Birth Announcement from Kodak Gallery. http://www.kodakgallery.com/special-offers

Save 50% on tickets to Disney on Ice when you bring a KRAFT singles package wrapper to the box office. You can save 50% on two tickets per wrapper from KRAFT singles. You also can redeem your discount through mail with promotional code located on specialty marked KRAFT cheese packages. Disney on Ice is showing at Rupp arena from March 24 through March 27. Tickets go on sale in January. http://www.disneyoniceoffer.com/

 

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