Setting Financial Goals – Make this the year you SAVE!
Posted on January 15, 2015 by Whitney Bishop

If I had a nickel for every time I said “I don’t have enough money to save money!”, I’d have a few bucks saved! The truth of the matter is, if you really want to save money, you can do it. The hardest thing about savings is making the commitment and sticking to it during hard times or when you have emergency spending issues pop up.

Here are a few tips & resources for making your commitment to SAVE a little easier.

  1. The PERK Method. Review your expenses and decide what you can Postpone, what you can Eliminate, what you can Reduce and what you need to Keep. Using this method enabled me to save over $140 per month just in our cell phone and cable/internet package alone. What if you were able to save half of that savings each month and re-allocate the other half to help you get ahead in other bills or expenses?
  2. The 52-Week Savings Plan. This is a fun way to save. If the dollar amounts seem like they might be a little too high for you, adjust and create your own version of this plan. Even starting with a penny for the first week gets you on the path to savings and solidifies the HABIT of saving. Fun for the family too. What a great way to save for Christmas or a vacation or for a big event! Download this worksheet and have fun saving big! If you’re a facebook user, they’ve even created a group – check it out!
  3. Automate your savings. Many banks and employers allow you to automate a transfer into your savings account. How much could you safely allocate to go directly past your checking account and into your savings account? What if you get a raise? Could you take that amount and allocate it to savings? Be curious. Be creative. Automate your savings and you’ll never miss it!

And remember, with a PaySound account, you can stay on track with your savings even when unexpected things pop up!

Happy New Year and Happy Savings!

I’d love to hear some of your top tips and toughest challenges when it comes to saving money. Comment here in the blog or send us an email! Who knows, your question or tip may be featured here on our blog or on our website!

Happy Holiday Spending
Posted on December 09, 2014 by Whitney Bishop

Do you create a budget and stick to it? Do you make a list and work from it? Do you save all year so the money is there when you are ready?

There’s a rare breed of holiday shopper that is already done with their holiday shopping. They’ve used a list, created and stuck to a budget and managed to do it all with a happy heart. I aspire to be more like this mythical creature, how about you? Truth of the matter is I’m more of a last minute girl. Sure, I pick up things throughout the year for some of the regular gift getters in my life, but mostly, I’m getting out in the last couple of weeks before Christmas.

What’s your holiday spending style? The holidays can be much happier if you take a little time to plan and prepare. Here are a few tips to make your attitude about holiday spending a little happier.

  1. Create a budget and use cash or a separate account with that amount of money in it. This is a biggie! You can use your PaySound account card to move just the right amount of money over, shop online with confidence and not worry about spending money you have allocated for your regular living expenses.
  2. Make a list, check it twice, cut it in half. Your list can be long, but every single person on that list doesn’t need a gift. Consider shared experiences, drawing names and only getting gifts for the kids in the family as a way to trim the excess from your list. We started drawing names a few years ago and it has made a huge difference in everyone’s attitude towards the holidays.
  3. Use your resources. If you have a PaySound account, here’s a perfect way to leverage it! Keeping your cash flow as is during the holidays can be hard. Having a line of credit you can use to get your gifts AND still keep the bills paid on time provides relief during a time when you want to keep stress to a minimum.

Whitney Bishop, PaySound Financial Empowerment Coach has over 15 years experience helping people make better decisions and shift their mindsets about what’s possible in their lives.

What questions do you have for Whitney? Share them with us in the comments and Whitney will answer them for you in the new year!

Credit and Loans for Bad Credit or Low Credit Scores
Posted on June 03, 2013 by Whitney Bishop

About one-third of people today have credit scores under 650, which means bad credit to lenders. Bad credit prevents these people from getting the fairly priced loans they may need in order to better manage their households and financial lives. Loans and lines of credit, for as little as a few hundred dollars, can be a much needed safety net for families living paycheck-to-paycheck. Consumers with bad credit are trapped. They know they need to improve their credit score but they do not have access to fairly priced loans or lines of credit that would allow them to borrow money at an equitable rate to establish a solid repayment history. What are the best options for consumers with no credit or bad credit to get a fair loan or line of credit when they need it most?

Do you fall into this category? Do you have children who are getting started in their financial lives with no credit? Here are three ways you can access more equitable financial services and establish or rebuild the credit score you need to balance your budget, build assets and find financial stability during these difficult economic times.

Innovation is making fairly priced bank loans and lines of credit available to consumers with bad credit, low credit scores or no credit at all. Here are three ways you can access more equitable financial services.

  1. Check with a local financial institution. More and more loan solutions provide options that do not require your credit score. Lenders are beginning to realize that credit scores are just one part of a person’s financial history. Credit scores have faults and can be skewed due to medical debt or potential mistakes and issues related to identity theft. New methods now exist to evaluate your ability to repay based on cash flow in your bank account and consistent payment of key bills like utility bills and rent.
  2. A checking account can make it simple. Service and access to a loan can be directly linked to your checking account and online banking. This way, you can access the loan or line of credit whenever you need it through online, mobile banking or through telephone support.
  3. Check online. You can apply and be approved for a loan without ever having to step into a financial institution. Search the web to find loan options and compare to choose an option that is right for you. Buyer beware – be sure to do your homework and ensure you are dealing with a reputable company. Of course, your banker or credit union representative may also be able to help you evaluate different online options in the branch to quickly process a loan.
  4. Know What to Look For. These new loans, based on recommendations from organizations like the National Center for Consumer Law or Asset Building Coalitions, should have reasonable annual interest rates (APRs 15%-36%), which is much better than payday lenders and predatory financial services groups. You should have many months to repay the loan rather than a single payment due in two weeks to thirty days. A line of credit works best, where you only having to repay $25 to $50 in any given month, and can re-draw funds as you need them after making payments. Your positive payment history is reported to all the major credit bureaus and is one factor in improving your credit score.

Consider the benefit of a small loan or line of credit as a solution to paying late fees and dealing with the stress and disruption associated with juggling multiple financial priorities. Establish or re-establish a positive payment history with a bank or credit union that offers these types of services to assist you in achieving the financial stability you deserve!