Ashley's Update 03.30.21

Agency Showcase: LifeCare Alliance
During the pandemic, food assistance has risen dramatically. One of our partners fighting to make sure no one goes hungry is LifeCare Alliance. They are providing the Meals on Wheels program to those who are not able to get out and get their own food. LifeCare Alliance can even send food boxes directly to those in need, not just the premade meals. Have a pet? LifeCare Alliance can help meet their needs as well. You can call 614-278-3130 or visit their website: https://www.lifecarealliance.org/ for more information!
Don't Let Your Bills Slide!
We have been traveling through our new way of life for a year now. This past year has been filled with ups and downs, financial hardships, lost loved ones, and time spent trying to just make it through. Bills have never stopped coming, but have you or did you at any point stop paying them? We get calls all the time in the United Way office of people who have gotten behind on their bills, and are struggling to catch up. If you have been letting your rent or utilities slide, STOP!!! The CDC's eviction moratorium on renters is set to expire at the end of the month, and many of the utility companies are back to shut offs as normal. But many places are willing to work with you. Utility companies are working with those who are struggling and helping to put payment plans in place. Talk to your landlord if you have fallen behind. If you don't, they don't know what is going on and all they see is you not paying your rent. It may feel embarrassing, it may be uncomfortable, but having a place to live and your utilities on is worth a little discomfort. And honestly, you are not the first person to ask them for help. One good thing about being in a pandemic is everyone sees the struggles, they just affect us all in different ways. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help
Ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away, it makes it worse and worse. Facing the issue and talking through a plan will help you more in the long run. If you have fallen behind and need to develop a plan to catch up on bills, get ahold of me. There are a lot of assistance plans out there to help specifically with COVID related issues, let's get you back on better financial footing.
Ways to Help: Housing
Housing, whether it is finding it, keeping it, or financing it, is hard right now. I frequently get asked about finding affordable housing. While there is a very limited supply locally, I have a landlord list and am connected with some of the property management companies. I can help pass this along if needed. Also, if you are or know a private landlord, please let me know!! I am always looking for more contacts when it comes to renting, so I can pass them along to others. If you have questions about local options to rent, please let me know!
Mental Health: Volunteering
This week is about giving yourself. Volunteering is a great way to boost your mental health. You can meet new people, learn about local organizations, and of course do something good for your community. For a list of local volunteer opportunities, check out our website: https://www.uwlogan.org/volunteer
The 7 Baby Steps
Financial guru Dave Ramsey recommends 7 Baby Steps to Help organize and get out of debt. Here are his 7 Baby Steps:
  1. Start a $1000 emergency fund -- while I obviously support having an emergency fund, $1000 seems astronomical to some. You can always start with $500 and work your way up. Most Americans can't withstand a $400 financial crisis, which is why having a little more in that emergency fund is so important.
  2. List all your debts, smallest to largest, and start paying them off!! -- Dave calls this the "debt snowball." By starting with the smallest debts, you can roll your existing payments over onto new debts, and watch them melt away. This should include all of your debts except your house.
  3. Start an emergency fund for 3-6 months of expenses -- now that you're debt free, it's time to really be prepared for an emergency. Calculate all of your monthly bills, and multiple that total by 3, 4, 5 or 6. Then you have your number and can start saving.
(The next three steps can be worked simultaneously).
4. Invest 15% of your income into your retirement -- Get that nest egg growing, so your retirement date can come faster!
5. Save for college -- starting investing in your children's future. Remember, you're out of debt except for your house, start throwing some money towards college funds!
6. Pay off your house -- Here's the last chunk of debt. Wouldn't it feel fabulous not to have a single debt payment in the world?
7. Build wealth and give -- Another of Dave's famous phrases is "Live like no one else so you can live and give like no one else." At this stage, you are completely debt free, are investing in your and (if you have them) your children's futures, and are working on building your wealth. Imagine being able to go on that dream vacation or buy that vacation home. Or make a donation to your favorite charity. Whatever you choose, you have the financial freedom to make those choices.

If this sounds like a dream, let's make it your reality. This isn't a one year or two year plan, this is a life changing road map. If you are interested in getting started, let's chat.
While Ashley is currently not on site for the Board of DD and its partners (including RTC and CRSI), you can still utilize Live United @ Work! You can call or text Ashley at 937-935-9509 or email at ashley@uwlogan.org.
CALL OR TEXT ME AT (937) 935-9509