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Cents of Community: Managing Your Personal Finances

This monthly column comes from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union as part of their mission to financially empower the community. Credit unions are not-for-profit member-owned cooperatives and anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, goes to school, or does business in Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, or Fairfax County is eligible to join ACFCU.*

The impacts of COVID-19 are creating financial uncertainty for people everywhere. Here are some tips to help you navigate your finances in a difficult time.

  • Contact your financial institution: Reach out proactively if you have concerns about paying bills on time. Institutions may offer payment deferrals, elimination of early withdrawal penalties for liquidating certificates (known as CDs at banks), hardship loans, or other options.
  • If possible, build up your emergency savings: If you still have an income stream, set aside savings for an emergency account that covers at least three to six months of expenses. If you need to tap into this later, you’ll be glad that you prepared.
  • Consider low interest debt options: Evaluate your options with your financial institution to see what works for your situation. If you need to borrow, using a Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit may be less expensive than higher-interest options like credit cards or unsecured personal loans. For those who don’t own homes, look no further than your car. Auto loan interest rates are very low right now, letting you take advantage of your car’s equity. Make sure to compare rates between institutions to find the best deal. It never hurts to ask for a rate match or lower rate.
  • Reach out for government assistance for urgent needs: If you are in a crisis, call Arlington Department of Human Services at 703-228-1300. They can refer you to resources for food assistance, emergency financial assistance and more. Visit the Virginia Employment Commission website to apply for unemployment insurance.

Arlington is full of people who are working hard to support our community. If you need help, make sure to look into the many resources being provided by government, non-profits, and local businesses.

Federally insured by NCUA. *Membership eligibility requirements apply.

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Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.

Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.

Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.

Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!

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Submit your own Announcement here.

The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!

This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.

100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.

For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at

Submit your own Announcement here.

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Sale Hours:

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Casey James Salengo is a NYC-based comedian who’s been featured on Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel Live, This Week at the Cellar,


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