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Financial Flash Newsletter

May 2017 Edition

BIG NEWS: OnTrack WNC receives Parsec Prize!

Parsec Financial

On April 25th Parsec Financial, a fee-only wealth management firm, announced that OnTrack Financial Education & Counseling (OnTrack WNC) has been awarded a Parsec Prize for 2017 and will receive $100,000 over the next four years which is the largest commitment that Parsec Financial has ever made to one organization.

"It just made perfect sense for us to support OnTrack WNC," says Harli Palme, COO, Parsec Financial. "We wanted our gift to make a long-lasting impact and we are really excited to choose OnTrack WNC to receive a four-year long Parsec Prize towards building financial literacy in our community."

Thank you Parsec Financial for the incredible honor of receiving this significant multi-year funding! Learn about the other 2017 recipients.

In The News

OnTrack WNC Financial Education & Counseling to receive expanded Parsec Prize of $100,000
Mountain Xpress, April 8, 2017

OnTrack WNC's VITA Site Celebrates Its 10th Season!

Tax Volunteers

We launched our free tax prep VITA Site in 2007 and by April 15th our volunteers had completed 67 returns.

Compare those results to this year! Our 13 amazing volunteer tax preparers helped 773 low-income taxpayers receive refunds and credits of $971,733.00 and save an estimated $232,000 in tax prep fees. In addition our VITA Site's share of returns completed through MyFreeTaxes was 188 total returns with refunds of $219,450 including EITC of $61,880.

We celebrate that over the last 10 tax seasons, OnTrack WNC's VITA volunteers have helped over 6500 people receive more than $8 million in refunds and save an estimated $200- $400 per return in tax prep fees.

We could not offer these important services without funding from The City of Asheville Strategic Partnership Fund, United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County, Dixon Hughes Goodman, and NC Association of CPAs! 

Our VITA Site Receives IRS Recognition

IRS RecognitionOn April 27th the IRS held a national virtual recognition webinar "Recognizing Remarkable Relationships" hosted by IRS Commissioner, John A. Koskinen.

The first-ever virtual recognition highlighted Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites from across the country in five categories of awards: Partner Innovation, Community Involvement, Overcoming Adversity, VITA/TCE Best Practices, and Longest Serving Partners.

OnTrack WNC's VITA Site was recognized in the Community Involvement category with VITA Sites at Duke Law and Catholic Community Services. Here's a link to the entire webinar.

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the May program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am.  Podcasts are available here. 

May 6th - Jamie Beasley, Executive Director of Working Wheels (formerly Wheels4Hope) shares how this local nonprofit can take a donation of your old car and help a needy family! Plus you can get you a tax deduction. Learn more at www.WorkingWheelsWNC.org.

May 13th - To spotlight May as Older Americans Month, Rebecca Chaplin, Associate State Director of Community Outreach & Advocacy, AARP North Carolina, Mountain Region, explains resources available through AARP, its national initiatives, and advocacy areas important to seniors.

May 20th - Enjoy reflections from OnTrack WNC's 2017 Financial Literacy Awards Luncheon including the stories of Clients of the Year, Life Works the Financial Literacy Community Partner Award, the launch of the Keystone Society and the 30 Day Match Challenge Grant from the Chaddick Foundation.

May 27th - Abdul Rasheed, Executive Director of the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations explains the organization's 20 year history and the two-year program that equips leaders to collaborate to solve problems, engage differences with civility, speak truth, lead with courage and embrace equity and justice.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  

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April 2017 Edition

Financial Literacy Month - knowledge, skills, action, access

Ladies at Women and MoneyIf your New Year's Resolutions are getting a little dusty, check out the resources available below to build your Financial Capability during Financial Literacy Month!
- Money Smart Week - April 24-29 check out OnTrack
  WNC Classes
- National Money Smart Week Resources 

- Retire on Your Terms  

 

2017 National Financial Literacy Survey

Financial Literacy MonthAs part of Financial Literacy Month, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) released the results of the 2017 Financial Literacy survey which shows an increase in Americans' credit card debt, fewer people with non-retirement savings and higher levels of concern about long-term financial stability, including retirement savings.


Click here to learn more 

 

OnTrack WNC's Free Tax Prep Goes On The Road

Tax HelpWhen the IRS asks for a favor that'll get your attention! The IRS asked us to provide free tax preparation at Industries for the Blind (IFB), so our staff and volunteers made it happen! On February 24, five volunteer tax preparers and two OnTrack WNC staffers were onsite assisting sight-impaired clients and IFB staff members with completing and filing their tax returns. Pictured left is Volunteer Carl "Boots" McGowan and two people who were able to file their taxes thanks to him. Learn more about our tax program here.

For more information about volunteering in 2018, contact our Tax Project Coordinator, Pete Wrublewski.

Spring Shred Day: Saturday April 22nd from 9AM - 12 NOON

Shred EventDid you know that over half of identity theft victims can trace the theft to something that was taken from their own possession? Since many of us are busy prepping our tax documents, now is a good time take steps to prevent personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

To help you eliminate that risk, OnTrack WNC is partnering with the Better Business Bureau and American Security Shredding for free document shredding. Limit up to 50 pounds, 3 medium boxes or bags; 112 Executive Park, Asheville, NC 28801 (College St. parking lot).

In The News

Learning to save gives lower-income workers peace of mind
Mountain Xpress, April 8, 2017

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Here is the April program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am.  Podcasts are available here. 

April 1st - Julie Goodwin, Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau shares the latest frauds, scams and ways to protect yourself. Shred Day is Saturday April 22nd 9:00 - 1:00 at the Asheville BBB.

April 8th - Financial Literacy Month is full of hot topics. Celeste Collins highlights Equal Pay Day, National Retirement Week, Money Smart Week and warnings about why budgets fail.

April 15th - Own your healthcare. Own your wellness. Karen Olsen, VP, Chief Nursing Officer with Mission Health offers helpful healthcare tips that not only keep you healthy but can save you money too!

April 22nd - Marsha Davis, Deputy Director of the YWCA provides an overview of the Stand Against Racism initiative and local opportunities to be involved. In addition, she highlights the YWCA's Getting Ahead program.

April 29th - The State Farm team announces the results of OnTrack WNC's grant application and provides insights and wisdom about the world of insurance.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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February & March 2017 Edition

Tax Tips and Tax Assistance

Pete and Tax SupervisorsIt's February so you should have all the documents you need to file your taxes. Click here for Top Ten Tax-Time Tips straight from the IRS.

The OnTrack WNC Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site kicked off free tax services with a team of 16 dedicated, kind, professional, IRS-trained volunteers led by Pete Wrublewski, OnTrack WNC's Tax Project Coordinator (pictured here with volunteers Katherine Early and Cathy Brown). Since 2007 our VITA site has helped more than 6,000 taxpayers complete and file taxes to receive nearly $8 million in refunds and credits.

Our tax site would not be possible without the amazing our sponsors Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLP and NC Association of CPAs, plus grant support from The City of Asheville Strategic Partnership Fund, and the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Thank you!

Love and Money: Intentional Conversations

Heart MoneyIt's true 'opposites attract' and most people have a different approach to money management than their spouse or partner. No matter the differences or challenges, the best approach is communication.

Interested in avoiding the relationship land mines and speaking your financial truth? Here are TEN TIPS for managing those hard but important money conversations!

Save The Date! 2017 Financial Literacy Luncheon
Friday, May 19th ~ Crest Center & Pavilion

Financial Literacy Luncheon 2016At this special annual event we will recognize individuals, businesses, organizations, and community partners who have worked to promote financial literacy in Western NC.

A highlight will be the celebration of our Clients of the Year who have worked to achieve their money and housing goals. Mark the date on your calendar and watch your mailbox in April for our invitation.

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR 

Money Matters radio show features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

State Farm logo 

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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Special Edition: Tax Refund Save To Win Winners! 

We are excited to announce the Grand Prize Winners of the 2016 Tax Refund Save To Win program which is designed to encourage our tax clients to deposit all or part of their tax refund into a savings accounts AND maintain the balance for at least six months.  Fifty-six (56) tax clients participated and saved a total of $38,821.69! Half of the participants made additional deposits to their savings - which averaged $550.57 -- beyond their initial tax refund deposit. By adding to their savings and/or participating in OnTrack WNC education and counseling, participants earned additional prize drawing entries and improved their financial skills.    

Kelvin Anderson: Grand Prize $500 Winner

Pictured above: Grand Prize Winner, Kelvin Anderson; Executive Director Celeste Collins, and Emily Matthews, Tax Save To Win Coordinator

Kelvin works for Asheville Transit and lives in Asheville Housing Authority's Garden Apartments. His Family Self-Sufficiency advisor recommended he come to OnTrack WNC. Kelvin said the Tax Program has helped him recognize assets in the community, like OnTrack WNC and Self-Help Credit Union.

When he found out he won, he could hardly believe it. "For some people $500 is like nothing, but for me it's a LOT! I plan to help out my church, keep the rest in savings and keep adding to it."

Nancy Walton: $250 Prize Winner


 

Pictured above: Nancy Walton and OnTrack WNC's Educator & Counselor, Anna Smith.

This prize could not have come at a better time for Nancy who is enrolled in an accounting class at AB Tech this semester.

Nancy said, "I've been figuring out over the last couple of weeks how to pay for the books for this coming term at ABTech. I start school this January after 20 years. I have been very surprised as to how expensive textbooks are. This money is a blessing that allows me to cover some of this cost without using any more of my savings at the moment. Thank you so much!"

 

Sue Fruchey: $250 Prize Winner

Pictured above: Celeste Collins, Sue Fruchey and OnTrack WNC Counselor, Kathryn Beach.

Sue works for the US Forest Service and since 2015 has participated in a wide range of OnTrack WNC's education and counseling services.

What did Sue learn from Tax Save To Win? She said, "I became more intentional about saving and there's a reward in not only knowing that money is there, but feeling good about myself for making the additional deposits happen."

Sue plans to keep her savings account in place and add to it, because, as she says "It has become my 'emergency' fund."

Great News for 2017:
OnTrack WNC's Free Tax Preparation and
The Tax Refund Save To Win Program
will continue, thanks to sponsorship support from
Dixon Hughes Goodman, LLC and the NC Association of CPAs
and grant support from
the City of Asheville's Strategic Partnership Grant,
United Way of Asheville/Buncombe County and Action Pathways
and program partnership from Self Help Credit Union.

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January 2017 Edition

Annual Giving 2016 Total

Let Us Help YOU Take Action in 2017!

Get 2017 off to the right start by deciding what are of your finances you'd like to improve, then sign up for one of OnTrack WNC's targeted programs that combine education classes (to gain knowledge) with individual counseling (to build skills and create action steps):


Credit CardPay Down Debt ~ Begin with our FREE Budget & Debt class followed by a confidential, individualized appointment with a financial counselor. Together you'll create a plan to pay down your debt.

Credit ModelImprove Credit ~ Attend our FREE Credit Class, get your credit report/score at OnTrack WNC's monthly Credit Awareness Day, and schedule a Credit Builder counseling session to create an action plan for credit improvement.

Stick houseBuy a Home ~ Start the journey toward Homeownership with OnTrack WNC's Homebuyer Program. This comprehensive program includes Homebuyer Education to gain knowledge about the process, and individual counseling to create a personal Homebuying Action Plan.

 

Click here for our Education Schedule.

Want to Know More About Identity Theft?

Identity TheftAttendees who pre-register are entered into a drawing to win one of three $25 cash prizes!
FREE Financial Education Class - Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. In this class, we'll discuss how it happens, identify popular fraud and scam techniques, learn how to prevent identity theft, and explain what to do if you're a victim of identity theft.

These classes are offered in partnership with the Buncombe County Library system and will be delivered at the following branches:
 
Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 6:00 - 7:30 pm - Pack Memorial Library
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 from 5:30 - 7:00 pm - South Buncombe Library
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm - North Asheville Library

Buncombe County
Call 828.255.5166 to register today!

In-The-News

How to recover from holiday debt- Asheville Citizen-Times, January 1, 2017
How to cash in on tax benefits before the end of the year
- WLOS, December 29, 2016
Starting and keeping your financial resolutions in the New Year
- WLOS, December 29, 2016

Money Matters - ON-THE-AIR

Here is the January program lineup for our Money Matters radio show which features local guest experts with financial tips and insights. Listen to WWNC 570AM on Saturday mornings from 8:30 to 9:00 am. Podcasts are available here. 

January 7th: OnTrack WNC Certified Counselor & Education, Anthony Jimenez, announces the 2017 partnership with the Buncombe County Library system  and highlights education and counseling programs designed to help you reach your financial goals.

January 14th: Rachel Tanksley, AAMS®, Associate Financial Planner, previews Starks Financial Group's 2017 Savvy Women education seminars, the special prize drawing available to attendees and shares tips for attaining goals in 2017.

January 21st: It's time to think about how to Plan, Apply, and Pay for college with the help of Laura Misner, College Foundation of NC. Learn about this wonderful FREE resource available to all North Carolinians.

January 28th: State Farm Agent, Bill Russell, gives us Top Ten lists he sees with people's insurance, things we miss and Top Ten areas to cover in your annual insurance review.

Thanks to generous grant support from State Farm®, Money Matters is broadcast  on WWNC 570AM every Saturday morning from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   

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2016 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2015 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

2014 Financial Flash E-Newsletter Archives

 

United Way NFCC Council on Accreditation