What does the Fiscal Cliff Mean?

This link is shared by one of our Bank On instructors:

What does the Fiscal Cliff Mean

This is a short video but very informative

Maximize your Tax Refund

Now is the time to begin pulling together all those records you need at tax time to maximize your refund.  The biggest reason that people don't get more refund than they do is because they do not maintain good records (or know which records to bring to the tax preparer).  To help you get started, here is a helpful checklist of records you may want to get:

   Mileage:  Keep a log of mileage driven for: (record beginning and ending odometer, date, destination and purpose).  Keep a notebook in your car for ready use.
o   Medical
o   Charitable volunteering
o   Business
   Childcare:  Records needed for Child and Dependent Care Credit
o   Name, Address and Tax ID for childcare provider
o   Receipts for childcare expenses paid
o   Keep receipts for education related expenses - several credits available - some are refundable.
o   Keep receipts for out of pocket medical expenses
o   Keep records for medical premiums paid
o   Obtain a report of prescription costs from pharmacy
o   Keep records for mortgage interest and points
o   Keep documentation of personal property tax paid
o   Real estate taxes
   Contribute to your Retirement:
o   Retirement Contributions through 401K reduce your taxable income
o   Contributions to IRA are reported on tax return to reduce your taxable income
Saver's Credit can return up to 1/2 of your retirement contribution to you at tax time.
   Evaluate your W-4:
o   If you received a large refund, you may want to reduce your exemptions
o   If you had to pay last year, you may want to increase your exemptions

Orientation Homework

Orientation Class
ð       Pull your CreditKarma.com score; update your starting position.
ð       Pull your credit report through annualcreditreport.com; update starting position.
ð       Join Virginia Saves and make a goal; update passport.
ð       What Does Your Future Look Like Worksheet –start a dream book what you and/or your family plan to do with the money you are saving.
ð       Visit the Bank On Virginia Beach (http://bankonvb.blogspot.com) blog and answer: What dates are all the Bank On Classes for the coming month scheduled? 
ð       Make contact with your Coach.

Financial Planning Days Videos

Many of our Bank On participants attended Financial Planning Day either graduating from Bank On classes or learning more about them for the first time.  These videos really did a great job of capturing the moment and since many of you may have been in the video as well, we thought you might like to see them. Two Videos:


2.           Another From ACCESS Virginia Beach - Financial Planning Day Segment starts at 19:21 minutes

Holiday Shopping on a Shoestring

Thank you to Virginia Saves and Virginia Cooperative Extension for pulling together a wonderful video series on Holiday Shopping on a Shoestring.  As we organize our financial plan we want to enjoy the holidays without busting the budget.  This video series will give you the tools you need.

Getting Started

Food Ideas


Holiday Budget

Gift Giving

Holidays with No Money

Below are some of the forms that were shared as part of this presentation:

Groceries for the Holidays

My Holiday Spending Plan

10 Tips to Bag a Bargain

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas

Gift Coupons

Matched Savings Requirements

Our partners the Interfaith Alliance at the Beach are so passionate about helping families establish emergency savings to keep them from relying on payday lending that they have been fundraising for our participants to encourage them to establish an emergency fund for the unexpected expenses. 

They have asked that only those people who are committed to going the extra mile for their financial makeover be considered.  This means that participants would need to go beyond the minimum requirements for Bank On Classes:

1. attend EVERY class.
2. Additionally, they need to meet at least 9 times during the the 10 months of classes with a coach to help them meet their goals. 
3. Participants need to establish $150 of their own savings
4. Live in the City of Virginia Beach
5. Only one match per household.

Your coach has the forms to complete for the matched savings when you have met the requirements they can forward the request on for processing. 

We believe that your investment will pay more dividends than this small match but this should be a nice incentive to get things started. 

Finding Your Coach

New to Bank On Virginia Beach and looking for your coach to work with you?

Look no farther than our list of participating banks and credit unions in the links on the right hand side of this blog.  These participating locations have offered staff to help you complete your financial makeover one step at a time. 

If your bank or credit union is not listed, here is an idea.  While we don't want to sever your relationship with your existing bank, we would encourage you to establish your emergency savings account with one of the financial institutions listed.  This allows you to have your money in a safe location where there is not so great a temptation to use it for monthly expenses. 

Additionally, some of the churches will be offering faith-based coaching and we will be listing the dates for those sessions in the future. 

If you are unable to locate a coach please contact the Financial Empowerment Office at bankonvb@vbgov.com.  We will help you find a coach to work with you.

Bank On Next Steps

To all our Bank On Virgnia Beach Graduates,

Congratulations on completing your financial knowledge portion of the Mayor's Action Challenge for 500 Families Financially Fit for the Future.  You have worked hard and done some great work.  Now the next challenge will be even greater:  finish the challenge.

Your Financial Empowerment Passport has action steps to help you:
1. Increase income opportunity
2. Increase savings
3. Decrease debt
4. Improve credit score
5. Build Assets for your future.

Each challenge has a list of community partners who can help you acheive your mission and your coach will become even more important in this next step.  Completing the action steps that are bold and asterisked are critical components of financial stability, so as you complete them please just date and initial. 

Some action steps may have been completed or not need to be completed.  In that case, you can mark NA or just a checkmark to indicate they are done and initial off in the verification column. 

Once you have completed your actions, then fill in the data for the Ending Position on pages 32 and 33 and submit the passport to our office or to your coach who will forward it to us.  The submission instructions can be found on  page 5 of your Passport.  The Mayor has asked to have an update on those that have completed the Challenge by the end of the year.  Of course no personal information will be shared, but in aggregate we will note the increases that have been achieved by the graduates.

Your passport will be returned to you after processing so that you can keep it as a souvenir for your hard work.

Thank you to our sponsoring partners, the Interfaith Alliance at the Beach.  Your fundraising has made matched savings available to establish emergency funds for our participants.  A $300 emergency fund can allow you to borrow from yourself if you are short in the event of an unexpected expense. 

If you are applying for Matched Savings, your coach can assist you with that application.  Requirements for matched savings are:

1. Attend ALL Bank On Virginia Beach classes
2. Work regularly with your coach on your financial goals
3. Live in the City of Virginia Beach
4. Save $150 of your own savings
5. Only one match per household

Even as you are graduating please know that the Financial Empowerment Office is here to serve you and to help you complete your journey in creating your financial plan for your future.  Reach out to us and let us know how you are doing.  You can find us at bankonvb@vbgov.com.

Bank On Video

If you want to know the benefits of getting involved with Bank On Virginia Beach, we encourage you to take a look at our video and see what our participants are saying.