April is “Spring into Action Month” that highlights five national campaigns; Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Alcohol Awareness Month, Month of the Military Child, Volunteer Month, and Financial Literacy Month. Throughout the month of April, we will highlight how even the smallest action can make a big impact to those around you. Follow this series here on All Hands to learn about all of these national campaigns.
Written by Sarah Geesaman, CG SUPRT promotions specialist
Tax day has come and gone. How did it go? Are you expecting a big return or will you owe the IRS? Will you just break even? Some people completely dread filing because it leaves them with even more financial stress. Others rely on a big return this time of the year to get ahead, recover from financial difficulties of the year before or to pay off their holiday spending. But is this the way you want to live?
Rather than expecting tax season to help you recover or being worried if it will cause you even more financial stress and problems, why not think proactively about your finances all year so that whatever comes in April, you are ready and more resilient? Whether it’s the holidays, a financial emergency, or owed taxes, save for it and be ahead of the game. April is not just the end of tax season, it’s Financial Literacy Month, and CG SUPRT can help you feel better about what you are doing with your money.
There is always a way to save, even on the tightest budget. For instance, your coffee shop run, a candy bar, lunches out—no matter what your vice is, cutting back on such discretionary spending will help. An occasional impulse buy is no big deal. But, over time, you can accumulate debt, which will come back like a boomerang to ruin your budget and your long-term financial goals. Understanding the difference between your wants and needs is a vital part of saving money.
CG SUPRT can help you identify problem spending habits and teach you defense strategies to combat overspending. A money coach can look at your budget and spending and help you develop a plan to save. They can also help you tackle debt from credit cards, loans, mortgages, and more. If your financial difficulties come from a habit that is hard to kick, consider talking with a health and wellness coach for support on breaking bad habits and getting on track to overall wellness.
CG SUPRT can also guide you in making the best decision on how to invest or spend that big return if you have saving in the bag and you feel good about your future. If you’re considering buying a house or a car, becoming a landlord, setting up life insurance, or investing your money to have more for retirement, a money coach can get you the information you need to help you make the best decision and give you access to online tools and calculators.
If you’re feeling stressed by your financial situation and you feel you need additional support, you can request to speak with a counselor who can assist you in dealing with the life’s challenges. Simply call CG SUPRT to set up your first consultation with a money coach, health and wellness coach, or a counselor. These services are free and confidential for you and your family members.
You can also visit www.cgsuprt.com which offers a wide variety of articles and tools including:
- H&R Block free online tax filing service
- Personal financial wellness webinars
- Money management: A planner
- Jump-start your savings
- Health and wellness coaching online consultations
Get started on building your financial literacy today. Call 855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778). For additional information on the Coast Guard Personal Financial Management Program, contact your Personal Financial Management Coordinator in your Work-Life Office.