Summer 2019 Newsletter
Jul 09, 2019
Table of Contents
Join us Thursday, August 1 at a private home on Lake Little Carnelian for tastings of beer and wine, light appetizers, live music, and socializing. Help us to raise funds for school-based mental health in Stillwater Area Schools. This fundraiser is free to attend. Registration is required.
We have been out and about, spreading the word about FamilyMeans services with the community! FamilyMeans Board and Next Gen Council Members greeted patrons of Nelson's Ice Cream on June 9. Patrons learned more about programs while enjoying heaping piles of delicious ice cream! As an LGBT+ ally, FamilyMeans was excited for the opportunity to be present at Twin Cities Pride Festival on June 22nd and 23rd. Our volunteers spoke with many people over the weekend, sharing ways we can support through life's challenges.
Follow us on social media to stay up to date on FamilyMeans events!
Teens in our Cimarron and Landfall Youth Development program have been hitting the trails all over Minnesota as part of their cycling program. Participants go on weekly rides and spend time in the two bike shops learning about bike mechanics. One participant said, “Biking is fun, and it helps us learn to solve problems. Like this time we were on a ride and my tire popped! We had to fix it on the trail.”
Participants have the opportunity to earn points for each mile ridden and repair shop time performed. These points are tallied up at the end of the year for prizes such as parts, gear, and even bikes! Last year, 17 youth earned their very own bike. We hope that even more youth are outfitted with bikes at the end of this summer!
The bike program is completely funded through in-kind and monetary donations from individual donors. Ride snacks, bikes and bike parts, staff time, and destination fees are completely covered by FamilyMeans so that any youth interested in cycling can participate. If you want to learn more about the bike program or would like to donate in-kind items or a monetary gift, please click the links below or contact the Youth Development team at 651-439-4840.
For people living with an Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia diagnosis, simple outings to the grocery store, a walk in the park, or gathering for coffee with friends can be challenging. FamilyMeans aims to reduce isolation, build and maintain social and community networks, while reducing stigma for people with memory loss by hosting memory cafes in four different locations:
- Cottage Grove HyVee – First Tuesday 10:00am – 11:30am
- Lake Elmo Inn – Second Monday 9:00am – 10:30am R.H Stafford Library
- Woodbury – Second Tuesday 1:00pm – 2:30pm
- Rice Lake Centre (WALKING CAFÉ) – Fourth Wednesday 1:30pm-3:00pm
A welcoming, safe, and understanding environment for those with memory loss and their caregivers to gather, memory cafes give individuals time out of the house to socialize. One participant said “The memory café gives us a chance to have conversations about dementia (with others who are experiencing similar challenges), but also allows us to have conversations NOT about dementia.”
The walking memory café hosted at the Rice Lake Centre allows participants to get up and move while getting to know others. A specialized café, this is a great way to stay fit while getting the benefits that the memory cafes offer. These are free gatherings that occur monthly. To learn more about memory cafes please contact a Caregiving & Aging team member at 651-439-4840.
Creating and sticking with a financial budget is hard. Without a budget set, many find themselves in debt and stressed about making payments. FamilyMeans Financial Counselors have created a four step basic budgeting guide to help you begin to take control of your finances!
Step 1: Assess & Adjust
Determine goals: What do you want to accomplish financially? Make a plan to implement these goals into everyday life.
Complete a monthly income / expense assessment to compare your current household income to your current financial obligations & living expenses.(This can be done with a Familymeans Financial Counselor).
How do they compare?
What can you do to:
Increase Income (earn more) and/or Reduce Expenses (spend less)
Consider adjusted/planned spending to ‘balance the budget’.
Structure each paycheck to assign dollar amounts for bills & daily living needs, as well as savings and debt payments!
Step 2: Track Spending
If you do not know how much you spend on gas, food, miscellaneous household and personal items, you need to find out. Knowledge is power and financial control starts here!
For 2-4 weeks, write down (track) all out-of-pocket cash, debit card, credit card or check purchases for gas, food, miscellaneous household, personal needs & fun!
Set a weekly spending allowance or limit, based on the budget assessment findings. Subtract daily spending & stop when it is $0!
Implement tracking and monitoring techniques, such as:
- List-subtraction process
- Chalk-board or eraser-board
- Envelope system
- Cash ‘kiss’ method
*Set-up an appointment with a Financial Solutions Counselor to learn about the methods listed above.
Make spending choices that work within your budgetary limits. There are costs to living and supporting a household. Tracking will help you make better choices and eliminate over-spending so you maintain control & can pay everyone, every month.
Step 3: Plan for the Inevitable (Save)
Plan-for expenses that occur periodically with structured savings instead of using credit to cover the expenses. Expect to have car repairs, home maintenance, doctor or dental co-pays, holidays, property taxes or vacation expenses, etc…and plan-for them on a monthly basis or with each paycheck.
Estimate annual, average costs for each periodic expense and break it down monthly – to begin saving for these inevitable expenses, bit by bit, in your Periodic Savings account.
Structure the savings for consistency:
- Payroll deposit or auto-transfer
- Open a second free checking account
- Auto-deposit to another bank
- A jar, shoebox or coffee can works for hands-on savings
- Enlist the help of family & friends
Step 4: Accelerate the Process using Debt Repayment
Determine the minimum payments needed monthly for debt obligations. Set the total amount (+ any extra you can afford) to be paid each month as the constant minimum monthly payment, never decreasing the ongoing amount.
Pay the constant minimum to all debts each month. When a debt is paid-off, add that monthly payment to the remaining debts, increasing the payments as the balances decrease. It is a simple strategy, but effective!
Apply extra funds by applying the:
▪ Power Pay method (DMP standard)
= proportionate distribution to all debts
▪ debt stacking method
= focus on highest interest rate debts first
▪ debt snowball method
= focus on smallest balance debts first
Apply extra funds to the base payments whenever possible, if savings and tracking structures are in place.
Do you need help to accelerate repayment? Enroll in the Debt Management Program (DMP) through FamilyMeans Financial Solutions. Call 651-789-4014 or 1-800-780-2890.
Feeling overwhelmed? FamilyMeans Financial Solutions Counselors are here to help. Contact us today and let us help you create a budgeting or debt repayment plan. Take control of your finances today.
Children in Transition
Support group for 3rd - 5th grade children with parents who are separated/divorced.
Mondays from 5:00pm - 6:00pm 5 week session beginning July 22 at FamilyMeans in Stillwater
A specialized therapist will work with the group to help each individual find coping strategies and discuss thoughts and feelings. This great summer program can help to prepare your child for a successful school year. No Fee. Registration Required.
The Memorial Walk for Hope and Healing is an opportunity for people to gather who have lost a loved one. Join us for a group walk around Como Lake at Como Park in St. Paul while we listen to a drum circle and reflect. Followed by a short ceremony of remembrance.
As part of the ceremony, guests are invited to bring a photo of their lost loved one. In closing, all names of those being remembered will be read aloud. This is a special event and provides serenity and healing to family and friends. For more information about this event please contact staff at FamilyMeans Center for Grief & Loss at 651-641-0177.