Archive for the Financial Counseling Services Category

Free Financial Workshop Series Starts Jan 31st

Free Financial Workshop Series Starts Jan 31st

MONEY POWER SUCCESS: Tools to get YOU there!

Financial workshop series for families with REAL practical information around budgeting, savings, credit, and financial institutions.

FREE Dinner & Childcare provided for all families who register. Workshop series offered in English & Spanish each day.

Dates: Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 14, Feb. 21
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Location: Holy Trinity Church 300 E. Rosemary St. Chapel Hill, NC 27514
To register: For English or Spanish, please call Compass Center, 919-968-4610, ask to speak with Gayle Cruz . Space is limited so early registration is required. For more information, please visit:

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Compass Center for Women and Families is once again offering FREE income tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. This year our VITA program will be held at the Chapel Hill Public Library, located at 100 Library Drive. Click here for eligibility and appointment information, or call our office at 919-968-4610. Please do not call the library.

The VITA program is staffed by IRS trained and certified volunteers to help low to moderate income individuals and families avoid preparation fees and maximize their tax credits. For more information on this year’s VITA program, click here.

Click here for information from the North Carolina Department of Revenue on the filing status of same-sex partners.

For the 2013 VITA assistance period Compass Center helped nearly 300 taxpayers with tax preparation and filing. Clients came from 14 different states and 16 different countries.  With this service Compass Center staff and VITA volunteers helped return approximately $350K back to the Orange County community.


Post-Divorce Financial Tips for Women and Men

Post-Divorce Financial Tips for Women and Men

Going through a divorce is a major life change. Despite dealing with emotions, women and men both have to be prepared to make lifestyle changes. Income, expenses and debt may not have seemed like a daunting task during marriage, but as a single woman or man, paying bills, saving and investing for retirement, planning for your child’s college expenses, and other long-term goals will require savings, investments and financial planning. Below is a post-divorce financial checklist to help you become financially independent and stable following your divorce:

– Close any joint credit accounts.

– Remove your spouse’s name and/or change your name/address on all remaining accounts including:

  • Bank, brokerage and investment accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Driver’s license, automobile title, registration and insurance policies
  • Employer’s records
  • IRS records
  • Life, health, homeowner’s and disability insurance policies
  • Post office (Remember to have your mail forwarded, too.)
  • Professional licenses
  • Social security card
  • Title to real property
  • Utility bills

– Research your health insurance options.

– Open a new bank account. Consider establishing direct deposit or income witholding for child support, spousal support and/or alimony payments.

– Request a copy of your credit report.

– Disinherit your spouse. Write and execute a new will, trusts, medical directive and/or living wills and power of attorney.

– Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401k, pension and IRA accounts

Following your divorce, analyse your finances during marriage to understand your spending habits. Establishing and sticking to a financial plan will be critical in having financial stability. Compass Center for Women and Families’ financial education programs help individuals become self-sufficient and financially stable. Click here to learn more about our individual financial counseling and financial coaching/support program.

* Checklist from Jeff Landers on

Making Changes. Setting an Example.

Making Changes. Setting an Example.

Maria had always dreamed of buying her first home, but was burdened by debt. Her Disability income was not enough to pay the bills for herself and her nine children. Referred by a local housing organization to Compass Center for Women and Families, Maria soon joined the Financial Coaching and Support program. With other participants she attended weekly financial workshops for two months then each met individually each quarter for a year to chart their progress with a financial counselor. Each participant was invited to place an empty frame on the wall at home and envision their completed picture. Maria was inspired by this challenge, and learned and developed new financial skills, and, perhaps more importantly, identified her own beliefs about money, changed her behavior patterns and was able to share her journey with the eight other women participating.

Fifteen months later, Maria has established an emergency fund, is putting two kids through college and has commendable savings for a down-payment on her first home. Even better, her children are learning from her grit and determination to make smart choices around money for themselves as well. “I wish I was using Compass Center a long time ago,” Maria told us recently. “It really, really helps. If I didn’t have Compass Center, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have that belief in myself.”

Click to learn more about our Financial Counseling Services.

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