Ashley's Update 03.22.21

Thank you for opening my newsletter!! If you are reading this, stop by the first aid room at main campus on Monday from 11 AM -1 PM or Friday from 2-4 PM, and grab a snack!! (While supplies last)
Agency Showcase: Gifts with Grace
One of our new partners in 2021 is Gifts with Grace. This new ministry is located in Union Station, and strives to help women overcoming trauma. They do this through mentoring in the spiritual and educational realm, as well as in life skills. Jewelry making is a big part of Gifts with Grace; sales help to support the ministry, as well as help the women to create something beautiful. You can check out their jewelry catalog, look into volunteer opportunities, or learn more about the ministry here:
Program Page: My Free Taxes
We are less than a month away from Tax Day! Have you started filing yet? Getting your taxes completed FOR FREE through My Free Taxes. United Way partnered with Tax Slayer to be able to support a completely free way to file your state and federal taxes. Not sure about taxes but want to file for free? MFT offers both online chat support and a hotline open from 10 AM-10 PM EST if you would rather talk to someone. This year, a much wider variety of returns can be filed for free, not just simple returns like last year. Just follow the link for FREE filing:

Please note, the FEDERAL tax deadline has been moved back to May 17th, but Ohio taxes are still due on April 15th as of the writing of this newsletter. It is always better to get them filed early, don't delay!
Ways to Help: Transportation
One thing I run into at times is people who have issues with transportation. Whether it is not having a vehicle at all or needing help with gas money, there are times when it is hard to get to work. For Logan County residents, we have RTC Transportation and Tam Blakely, the Logan County Mobility Manager, to help find ways to work. There are also some organizations that can help with gas cards depending on your situation. If you have questions about any of these services, let me know!
Mental Health: Surround Yourself with Positive People
People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group. I know during these times getting together with family or social groups has been harder, but if you get the chance, take it!! We all need social interactions sometimes, and having a good group to help lift you up is so important.
Use Your Tax Refund Wisely
When we think of taxes, we always hope for a refund. We also tend to dream of things like vacations, new electronics, things to treat ourselves. While spending money on yourself is okay sometimes, setting yourself up for financial success is the best thing you can do. Here are some ways to help use your tax return wisely:
  1. Pay Down Existing Debt -- The fastest way to financial freedom is to be debt free. Tax refunds are a great way to take a chunk out of your debt.
  2. Build Up That Emergency Fund! -- Start with a $500-$1000 emergency fund. If you make it there and then get out of debt, start a large fund to cover 3-6 months of expense.
  3. Start or Add to a Retirement Account -- The best day to start saving for retirement is when you started working. The second best day is today. Many employers offer retirement plans; check with your HR rep on how to get started. Don't think you can afford a retirement plan? You can start with what you can afford.
  4. Invest! -- Investing can be tough to start on your own, so be sure to do some research before you begin. Not sure where to start? Check into our local financial advisors for some help to get going.
  5. Start Saving for Something Big -- Maybe your car is starting to gain tons of miles and you're thinking about upgrading. Maybe you're hoping to buy a house. Maybe you've been dreaming about a vacation to someplace warm and sunny. Your refund can be the seeds to start that goal!! Don't forget, you could use a Quest United Money Market account to start and grow your funds a little faster.
  6. Home Improvements -- If your roof is a little leaky or you're tired of the orange carpet in your spare room, your refund can be the way to get these improvements completed.
  7. Invest in Yourself -- Whether it's taking a college course or joining a gym, use the money to improve yourself. Working out your mind or working out your body, one of the smartest investments you can make is into yourself!
Just a reminder, Ashley is at NEX main campus on Mondays from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM, and Fridays from 2 PM-4 PM. Live United @ Work is open to all NEX employees, including those at MAP, ELP, and Bellefontaine locations.
CALL OR TEXT ME AT (937) 935-9509