People can position themselves and their families to get out of poverty if they use their income tax return wisely, said Sharon Kelly, owner of Sharon's Senior Services.
Instead of spending money at the mall, consider ways to invest in your future, she said.
Purchase life insurance for yourself and your children, consider investing money to start a business, get a long-term care insurance policy so your family won't have to sell your home to pay for your care, look at legal services and get a will, even if you have to hand-write it.
Kelly is among six local business owners and ministers sponsored by the Eastdale Community Cultural Development Corporation, who say they want to help people become more financially self-sufficient.
The corporation has enlisted Atlanta-based author and financial motivator Clyde Anderson, who recently hosted an Economic Impact Development Conference to help consumers get out of debt and poverty.
A life insurance policy for a child can be $1 a day, but yield a $50,000 return, said Donna Roseberry, a New York Life Insurance Company agent. It can be used to bury a child if she dies, but it can also be used to advance her education when she becomes an adult.
The family breadwinner should always have a life insurance policy, preferably one that can help family members maintain their living standard when the breadwinner is deceased, said Roseberry.
John Taylor of Taylor Funeral Home talked about planning for death and burial so there will be no need to ask others for money or take out an expensive loan for a burial when a person dies.
Anderson also advises workers to consider starting a business to make extra money. It doesn't have to be expensive. He gave an example of a woman who worked in a cafeteria but wanted to have her own business. He advised her to get five people willing to buy a sandwich from her for $10. She found the people to order the sandwiches. She served them with drinks and chips. She took pictures of the sandwiches, put the photos on her computer and found more customers. It started out as a business bringing in about $50 a day, but that's $1,000 a month and it grew from there, said Anderson.
"Don't throw your money away on expensive shoes that your children grow out of in less than a month," said Kelly. "Think of ways to bring wealth to your children and your grandchildren."
Too many people with low incomes plan only for tomorrow, while more stable money makers take action to financially establish their family for the next century.
Getting out of debt is a matter of planning and setting priorities, Kelly said.
Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-757-6431.