Written by Lisa Assenmacher, Communications and Training Specialist

Whether you have disposable income or or are living paycheck-to-paycheck, there are many legitimate resources available to help you lower debt and increase savings. Below we have detailed three FREE ways to improve your financial situation in 2015.

1. Participate in a local Show Me the Money Day event

MoneyDay2015LoctionsHeld in 15 communities across Michigan in January and February, these are free community events that connect Michigan residents with free financial education and community resources to help people keep more of their hard earned money in their pockets. Event activities can include free tax preparation, Affordable Health Care enrollment, homeownership workshops, budgeting, financial coaching, food, prizes and more!

Visit ShowMetheMoneyDay.org for a full list of event locations.

2. Get Your Taxes Done for Free

VITA or TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) sites provide free tax preparation by IRS-trained and certified volunteers. The free internet-based tool myfreetaxes.com allows tax payers to prepare their own taxes and includes the ability to access assistance over the phone. To locate a tax assistance site in Michigan, or connect with volunteer assisted self-preparation tools, visit MichiganFreeTaxHelp.org or dial 2-1-1. When scheduling an appointment, please be sure to take note of all required documentation that you will need to bring with you.

FinancialEmpowermentLoctions3. Make an Appointment at a Financial Empowerment Center

Michigan has four Financial Empowerment Centers that offer one-on-one professional financial counseling free of charge. Services include budgeting, debt reduction, understanding credit and more. Visit the Michigan Communities for Financial Empowerment website to discover more about each location.

We can all use a little help, advice or some tips to get ahead. With so many obstacles or unforeseen expenses, it can feel overwhelming, but it is possible to get out of debt, feel more financially secure and maybe even go on a vacation! These simple tools can help you plan for that future. Make 2015 your year to get ahead.

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