Friday, February 26, 2010

Home Heating Help Program Deadline Extended to March 31

CHEYENNE – The deadline for applying for a home heating help program has been extended for this season only, according to the Wyoming Department of Family Services.

LIEAP, pronounced lee-ap, helps income-eligible households cover the costs of heating their home. State residents now have until March 31 to apply for LIEAP.

“We’ve extended the deadline this year to March 31 to encourage more people to apply,” says LIEAP manager Brenda Ilg. “The program helps thousands of households, and we know many are struggling this winter with the economic downturn.”

To get a LIEAP application, visit and print one, go to your local DFS field office or senior center or call 800-246-4221 and ask that an application be mailed to you.

Applications must be postmarked on or before March 31.

“We want to encourage people to apply, especially those folks on fixed and low incomes, such as retirees, people with disabilities and families with young children,” Ilg says. “It’s cold out there, and we want to help keep more Wyoming families safe and warm this winter.”

Money Management in Tough Times

The gloomy forecast for the economy has many people asking questions about what actions they might take to help improve their personal or family situations. Money Management in Tough Times is a new focus for eXtension which can help. At you will find resources are organized into five categories: business, families, farms & ranches, individuals, and youth. The articles and reports found in these categories are the "best of the best" resources available on finances today.

Another great resource is the Wyoming Saves program. Accept the challenge to increase your savings and/or decrease your debt by REGISTERING for Wyoming Saves now. You can also follow Wyoming Saves on facebook at

Wyoming Saves is a program of the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Turn Your Dreams into Reality!

Do you dream of vacationing in the Caribbean? Or retiring in a warm location and spending your days golfing? What about dreams of sending your kids to college or driving the sweet ride you’ve seen advertised recently? By turning your dreams into SMART Goals you can turn your dreams into reality.

The SMART in “SMART Goals” is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. People who make their goals SMART are more likely to achieve them.

A specific goal is one that is clear and easy to describe. “I want a nice house” is not very specific; however, “I want a house with three bedrooms, 2 baths, and a 2 car garage” is specific.

A measurable goal can be quantified. Being able to quantify your goal ensures that you can track your progress and will know when you have achieved it. A common way of making your goal measurable is to specify a dollar amount, such as “saving $5,000 toward a car down payment.”

An attainable goal is one that you can achieve. It may not be an easy goal to reach but it should be doable. For most of us “riding the space shuttle” would not be very attainable, however, “spending a week in Mexico” is probably doable with a bit of work and planning.

A relevant goal is one that has meaning for you and your life. It reflects who you are and what you value. A goal to remodel the kitchen would not be very relevant for someone who neither cooks nor entertains but it would be relevant for someone who values these activities.

A time-based goal is one that has a specific end date. Without a specific end date, it can be too easy to delay making progress toward achieving your goal. By setting a definite end date you can determine if you are on track to achieve your goal. If not you can make the appropriate changes to your actions or even to the goal itself.

Having turned your dream into a SMART Goal, you can now determine what steps are needed to accomplish your goal. If your goal involves having a set amount of money you will need to divide the amount of money you will need by the number of months until you will need the money to determine how much you will need to save each month. For example, if you will need $2,400 in 2 years for your goal, you will need to save $100 a month.

To help you achieve your goals, be sure and sign up for Wyoming Saves. Wyoming Saves is an educational program that is open to anyone interested in building wealth and reducing debt. The program runs from March 1st to May 31st. Register here for Wyoming Saves.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Registration open for Wyoming Saves

Register now for Wyoming Saves. Educational articles will begin arriving on March 1st. Be sure to fan the Wyoming Saves facebook page to get all the latest updates and participate in the online discussions.