Author Archives: Staci

Goodwill to Offer Free Financial Literacy Courses!


After the success of Good Dollars and Sense – Goodwill’s first free course in financial management, Goodwill will offer two free financial literacy courses to members of the Greater Rockford Area in February.

The 12 hour, six-session course supplies individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to make wise financial decisions while giving students opportunities to develop relationships with local financial organizations. The curriculum is informative, the instructors are approachable, and the small class size encourages student discussions. “I liked its [the course’s] down-to-earth approach to educating people about finances. I feel like if someone did not at least have a high-school diploma – they would not feel intimidated by the class or the financial jargon,” says one course graduate.

Goodwill’s first financial literacy course was incredibly successful and boasts a graduation rate of 100%. 83% of students increased their confidence in their financial management abilities and 92% of students reported that they have taken at least one positive step towards reaching their financial goals.

Goodwill would like to thank Family Credit Management, Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition, the Better Business Bureau, Members Alliance Credit Union, Generations Credit Union, Eckburg & Bates, Fifth Third Bank, and Savant Capital Management for their help in making Good Dollars and Sense a successful and sustainable program.

Good Dollars and Sense will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from February 8th to February 24th. Day classes will be from 10 a.m. until noon and night classes will be from 6 p.m. until 8p.m. at Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois, located at 315 N. Main Street in Rockford. If you are interested in signing up for the class or would like more information, contact Staci at or 815-987-6203. Classes are open to the public on a first-come first-served basis.



Goodwill and Pepsi Refresh

Goodwill of Northern Illinois and Stateline Wisconsin needs your help! Pepsi is giving away $1.3 million in grants each month helping communities across America. Last year Goodwill opened a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site in Rockford and was able to prepare 753 tax returns for free, returning $1.3 million to the community. Help Goodwill win a $50,000 grant to open three new VITA Sites and to introduce a free financial education program to the community.

Voting is quick and easy. Go to, sign up, search for Goodwill’s project “Put millions in the hands of those in need,” and vote! Or, text 102350 to 73774 (standard text messaging rates apply). You can vote once a day, every day during the month of September and help support your community.

Reach your Financial Goals in 4 Easy Steps

Setting goals is the first step to financial planning and can have a huge impact on your quality of life. It’s creating a road-map for handling everything you do with your money – spending, savings, using credit, and investing.

While reaching your financial goals may seem like a daunting task, these 4 steps will make the process easy, painless, and successful.

Step 1: Identity your values. What is really important to you? Values are not goals, but they help you define your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to save up for a house, then family or security would be your value.

Step 2: Define your goals and decide when you want to reach them. What do you want to achieve in 3 months? 2 years? 10 years?

Step 3: Create an Action Plan.  Now that you know what you want and when you want it, do some research and assign a dollar value to each goal.

  • For example, in 6 months I’d like to buy a laptop. Through my research I know a laptop costs around $600. By dividing the price($600) by the number of months(6) I have to save, I can see that I need to save around $100 each month. That’s only $25 a week!

Step 4: Keep your goals in front of you! Keep a picture of your goal in a visible spot so can remember what you are working towards when things get tough. Create a financial calendar to help you keep track of how much money you have saved. Setting financial goals is the easy part, in order to reach your goals you have to stay on track and stick with it!

Now that you know how to set and reach goals, go out and get started! You will be amazed by what you can accomplish.