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Vermont Veterans Outreach Personal Financial Counselor provides financial services to Vermont’s Veterans, Service Members and their families. These services include budgeting, debt reduction, retirement planning, and much more. Our Family Program Personal Financial Counselor can assist you in your efforts to become financially stable and independent. The Personal Financial Services integrates within the military life-cycle; from pre-deployment financial preparation activities through transitioning from the military to civilian life. These services are free, confidential and available to Veterans and families residing in Vermont.

Personal Financial Counselor

Contact: Megan J. Sather
Office: (802) 338-3446

Calculators & Comparison Tools 

NOTE: By clicking any of the links below you will be leaving VTNG Family Programs website  
Calculate how quickly you can pay off debt. https://powerpay.org
Information about credit cards, bank accounts, digital savings apps. mortgages and insurance. https://www.nerdwallet.com
Comparison of best rates available for high yield savings accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), and mortgages. https://www.bankrate.com
Learn about the Military's Savings Deposit Program. https:www.saveandinvest.org
A wealth of financial calculators for loans, taxes, investments and more. Provided by Military OneSource https://www.timevaluecalculators.com

Financial Education

Games and information for teaching children, teens and young adults about money; quick and simple tips about budgeting, saving and spending. https://www.mymoney.gov
Offers a host of consumer tools, many created specifically for Service Members and Veterans. https://www.consumerfinance.gov
Information on consumer protection and fraud prevention. Tools and tips for military service members and their families.

https://www.saveandinvest.org

Free online tutorials on personal finance and economics. https://www.khanacademy.org

 

March 6, 2024

2023 Tax Changes w/ Megan J. Sather

We asked Personal Financial Counselor, Megan J. Sather, to come in and talk with us about changes to the tax law that you need to know about before filing this year. View Megan's 2023 Tax Changes PDF:
NEWS | March 29, 2021

What to do with your Tax Refund?

So, you got a tax refund, what’s the best thing to do with the money.  Let’s talk about 4 ideas of what to do with your tax refund. 

How about starting or increasing an emergency fund.  This is the best time to start saving for emergencies that will eventually happen.  If you don’t have an emergency fund this is a great time to start saving, experts say you should have at least 6 – 8 months of living expenses in an emergency fund, but that can be an intimidating number to save all at once, so let’s just start with saving $500 and consistently putting money into the account to build it up.  The key is consistently, once you get into the habit of saving monthly you will see the money start to grow.  I have found that having the money taken out of my paycheck and put in an account for me, keeps me on track to saving monthly.  I also have my emergency fund in a different bank from my checking account, as long as I don’t see the money, I don’t spend it.

Once you have started an emergency fund, your second priority should be to pay off debt, whether you choose to pay off the highest interest rate, or the smallest balance, any extra money you can put to paying off debt will pay it off faster and eventually put more money in your pocket.

Now let’s talk about spending some of that money.  Is there something you have put off doing or buying because of the expense?  Do you need new snow tires, or need to have some expensive dental work done, maybe some home improvement projects you’ve been putting off?  This is a great time to do some of the things you have put off because of the expense.

Last but not least have a little fun.  I always tell my clients to use some of a tax refund to go do something, maybe a weekend away, a nice dinner, just don’t go crazy.  Getting money back in a refund isn’t like found money, this is money that you worked hard for, so make sure what you do with it will work just as hard for you.