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Maryland CASH (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign 

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Montgomery County’s Earned Income Credit

Montgomery County, MD is one of only three jurisdictions in the entire United States to offer a local Earned Income Tax Credit. The credit has now been raised back to 100% of the state’s EIC (replaced at pre-recession levels). Great work, Montgomery County! A special thank you to Councilman Hans Reimer for his leadership in securing its passage. Click here to read the press release:  Councilmember Hans Riemer – Press Release on VITA  MD CASH Campaign thanks the  the Montgomery County Council for providing county resources to fund free tax preparation and outreach on the Earned Income Tax Credit.

 

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MD CASH Director of Financial Education Sue Rogan with Montgomery County Officials at Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day

 

 

 

Governor Signs EIC Increase Bill

This just in, Governor Martin O’Malley has signed into law an increase to the state’s Earned Income Credit, which MD CASH helped to advocate for this session! More information coming shortly at our Legislative Wrap-up on May 20th from 10 AM to 1:30 PM. Interested? Go here for more information and to RSVP.

 

 

MD CASH to Host Webinar with Asset Funders Network May 8

MD CASH is teaming up with the Asset Funders Network and the University of Maryland School of Social Work to present a webinar, “Linking Service Delivery and Resources: How a Baltimore Network is Building Pathways to Financial Stability,” on Thursday May 8th at 2 PM EST. Register to attend here. 

In uncertain times, linked service delivery and resource-sharing among organizations can create a more supportive, local safety net that empowers clients to access services to meet their financial goals and build assets. There is an even greater need for this type of coordination in majority low-income cities like Baltimore, where one of every four residents lives below the poverty line and many teeter on the edge of self-sufficiency.

Please join the Asset Funders Network, Maryland CASH Campaign (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope), and the University of Maryland School of Social Work for a webinar on May 8th from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST to learn how a network of financial stability organizations in Baltimore is collaboratively improving the financial lives of residents by connecting through smart referrals and evidence-based training in the basics of financial social work.  The project was accompanied by an innovative client study for evaluation.  The study captured the financial needs, behaviors, and preferences of low-income Baltimore City residents over a 9 month period.  Learn more, register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/692766737

 

Spring Clean Your Finances!

Spring is sprung and April is Financial Education Month! It’s a great time of the year to examine your financial position, to scrub the habits that aren’t working for you, and to set a financial goal for summer. It can be difficult to get started with a budget or long-term investing, so start simply.

Community Garden

Spring is sprung!

 What’s going well financially? Maybe you started bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out, or upped your contribution to a rainy day or retirement fund. Celebrate those successes by acknowledging the hard work you’ve already done and turning your focus on the months to come. You clean your house or apartment, so why not take a look at cleaning your finances? Here are a few tips to get started.

Check Automatic Bill Pay and Cancel Anything You’re Not Using

Automatic bill pay can be convenient and reduce missed payments. Sometimes we can forget what those deductions are for! Take a look through your last two month’s bank statements and see what withdrawals were made. If you have any for a magazine you’re not reading, a gym you’re not using, or an accidental death policy that you really didn’t want, call and cancel them! Ask yourself: Would I buy this today? What else could I be doing with this money?
Read more at the Prince George’s Sentinel: http://www.thesentinel.com/pgs/Spring-Clean-Your-Finances

 

MD CASH Kicks Off MyBudgetCoach Program

Would you like professional help to create and maintain a budget?  The nonprofit Maryland CASH Campaign is bringing MyBudgetCoach™, a new online financial coaching program, to Maryland as part of a national evaluation study through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The MyBudgetCoach™ program helps low-to-moderate income working families and individuals improve their ability to budget and make well-informed financial decisions…and it’s FREE!

Understanding the importance of budgeting is generally recognized as the first step in successful financial planning.  But sometimes people don’t know how to create a budget that works for them or may have created a budget they have trouble sticking with over time.

The MyBudgetCoach™ program matches a trained budget coach with a member. The coach helps the member set financial goals, create a budget and supports the member in maintaining the budget and reaching their financial goal. The coach and member will meet once a month, starting in May 2014 for 12 monthly sessions.  All members will be using the online tools on a regular basis.  Each session will cover budgeting techniques, financial management and goal attainment strategies.

Read more about the program in our latest Common Cents article or contact Sue Rogan, Director of Financial Education, at sue@mdcash.org.

 

Read MD CASH’s Newest White Paper

Are you at a non-profit or social service organization considering the use of incentives to encourage service completion or behavior change among clients or customers? MD CASH Campaign has released our newest white paper today, on the subject of the use of incentives. This short, information-packed paper can help to inform program design related to incentives structure and messaging. Read the paper here: Incentives White Paperincentives focus group word cloud