Debt Management

Financial Companies Who Are Working With Employees Affected by the Shutdown

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Wealth Building Tip of the Day:

If you yourself are a Federal employee - or know someone that is - who is getting hard hit financially as a result of this government shutdown, you - or they - may find this information helpful.

Many financial institutions are working with people to help them navigate this difficult situation. Check out the list and/or pass it on to someone else who may appreciate it: How Banks and Lenders Are Helping Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown.

The Heavy Burden of Financial Stress & Hope for Relief

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Financial Tip of the Day

Financial stress is a very real and big part of life for most of us. I’ve often commented to others that I think the top 2 things that compete for our focus and concentration each day are love and money. But I believe that it is even more safe to say that for the huge majority of us, money is the number # 1 thing on our minds most of the time. Would you agree?

It seems that the further away we are from where we want to be financially, the greater our stress level tends to be. As this article explains, 1 In 4 Americans Have PTSD-Like Symptoms From Financial Stress, some of us struggling so much with our finances that we are exhibiting symptoms similar to those with PTSD.

This is very heartbreaking to me. However, I agree with the author’s statement that it’s surprising that the number of those identified as suffering from this type of stress isn’t higher. I’ve seen firsthand the bone crushing stress that debt and ongoing financial problems has had upon clients.

What I find hopeful about the article is that it illuminates the problem, providing an opportunity to seek a solution. Shame over money is one of the biggest things that causes us to hide from others and ourselves. But it doesn’t work. And it’s not necessary.

There are MANY resources, tools and types of help available for dealing with financial stress. Therapy, counseling and coaching are valuable options. There is no formula that will work for each person, so figuring out your best combination of helpful resources will be a very personal, yet worthwhile, journey.

Even if you’re not feeling stress at the level described in this piece, financial stress of ANY type steals happiness and kills dreams. Be sure to take care of you.

Take the steps you need to get the emotional, spiritual and financial help you need and deserve. You and your dreams are so worth it. 💜

Are You Choosing Progress or Settling for Failure?

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Financial Tip of the Day

Well, we’re in the beginning of a new month – and the second quarter of the year. This is a very important time of year because it holds so much opportunity. Typically, by this point, many people have started petering out on their New Year’s resolutions or goals.

On that note, I’d like to ask how’s it going for you: if you continue what you’re currently doing, where will you be financially by the end of 2018?

If your actions are resulting in steady progress towards your goals, good for you. Keep it up!

But if your actions are resulting in more credit card debt, no savings, or poor finances in general, it’s time to seek out help. Isn’t it?

I’ll be the first to admit that change is NOT easy. And the longer a bad habit has existed, the more challenging it can be to change it.

Especially when it comes to money, we may have “inherited” poor habits and beliefs from our families. But the good news is that no matter WHERE or what we have come from, we can reclaim ownership of our money and financial futures.

I want to encourage and remind you to seek out the help you need to make the changes you desire.

Seeking help DOES NOT make you weak. It actually shows you strong you REALLY are. It shows strength to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. And to be open to receiving help from others with more experience and/or new ideas.

So, if you’re struggling to keep your 2018 goals – or have stopped trying altogether – there is STILL plenty of time to make 2018 YOUR year of progress. Find a trusted financial resource or professional and seek out all the help you can.

I get coaching help myself, and it’s made all the difference for me on my own journey. Help is there. Have the determination and willingness to seek it out.

*Ladies, by the way - because I want to offer you ALL the support that I can, I’m delighted to say that I will be opening up individual and group coaching again soon! I’m creating some exciting programs aimed at helping you ladies uniquely master your money. Email me at yolanda@yolandaransom.com if you’d like to be personally notified when I open up my schedule for coaching.

How to Stop Being “Too Scared” to Look at Your Student Loan Debt

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Financial Tip of the Day

Student loans are a BIG issue for many of us (including yours truly) and can feel like a big boulder that we’re forever dragging around. Am I right? Don’t get me wrong. I’m the first to acknowledge that we’ve acquired an infinitely invaluable education as a result of these student loans. However, it doesn’t take much to improperly manage these loans. This can happen because we’re too scared to look at the amount we owe. Or we already KNOW that we’ve fallen behind with repayment. And this can wreak havoc on our finances.

To make sure that these loans impact our futures in only POSITIVE ways, proper repayment is critical. Whether private or federal, don’t neglect to pay your loans. That would be one of the worst financial mistakes that you could make. But even if you HAVE fallen behind, it’s still not too late to get back on track. This excellent piece explains how to successfully manage your loans and the resources you need to use in each situation: How to Manage Student Loan Debt.

By the way, if you found this tip helpful, sign up here to have my value-packed daily tips delivered directly to your inbox.

Improve Your Cash Flow Instantly...

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Financial Tip of the Day

Better Budget Management: if a large chunk of your bills hit at the same time each month, one idea is to move some of your due dates around. Most credit cards – both personal AND business – allow you the option of moving around your statement posting date. Doing this can stagger out bill payment dates and make it easier to manage your monthly cash flow. Check your card issuer’s website or give them a call to inquire about this. And check out this piece: How to Change Your Credit Card Due Date. (You may be able to do this with other bills too – check with your service providers).

My Very Bumpy Road to Getting Debt-Free

This past week, I did my first ever series on savings. It was a 3-part live stream that I did on Facebook. Amidst all my nervousness and confusion about how Facebook Live worked, I ended up feeling very exhilarated by the end of each show.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment in my efforts to reach women like myself and inspire them to save for their dreams. But doing the series also brought back memories of years ago when I was in financial distress.

Many, many years ago, I was overwhelmed with credit card debt. I owed a few thousand. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you owe it and have to pay it all back that’s when it becomes clear how much it really is. It ALWAYS feels like too much. Am I right? Especially when you’re not earning that much (which was the case at the time).

I vividly remember being able to pay only the minimum on my cards. At the time, I had so many cards that that was all I could manage. And because I had so many cards, trying to make multiple payments on time for all of them felt really challenging. I always did pay on time. But what I owed NEVER seemed to go down.

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Since then, I’ve made a couple of vital mind shifts which have helped me to remain free of credit card debt to this day. They have made all the difference for me since those days.

Back then, every retail store I shopped in or major credit card company offered me credit (I‘m always disturbed at how credit issuers do this with apparently no forethought for the card holder incurring lots of debt. But then again, maybe that’s the plan). For a while, I signed up for all those cards. I was giddy about having so many credit options. But I hadn’t taken the time to understand how to use credit to my advantage and avoid the choke-hold of debt.

One year, I spent around $1,300 on Christmas gifts for my family and friends with my Spiegel (remember them?) credit line. I wanted to “show” my loved ones how much I appreciated them. Imagine my surprise when some of my friends gave me gifts that didn’t cost nearly as much as what I'd spent. And never mind that the Spiegel items were all overpriced to begin with (but I bought them because I had credit there). And on top of all that, I now had lots of credit card debt to pay off.

All of these behaviors now seem like foreign concepts to me.

Today, I can count the number of credit cards I have on one hand. 

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I make sure to pay the balance in full each month. Before even charging, I make sure I have/will have the money available to cover the charge.

Needless to say, I no longer own any store credit cards. Nope. Not one. I realize that I don’t have any need for those. Plus, the interest rate is crazy!

And I certainly don’t charge $1,300 in gifts anymore. My family has come up with alternate ways to celebrate the holidays – ways that don’t require excessive spending for any of us. Anything I DO buy is purchased well in advance and paid off right away.

Looking back, I realize how far I’ve come. Sometimes I forget this because my daily habits have changed so much.  I’m now focused and on top of my finances. I forget the HUGE learning curves that I’ve had along the way to owning my own finances.

Remembering this helps me to better serve my clients based on where they’re at. But most of all, I hope that it shows what is truly possible for any of us.

About Yolanda Ransom

Yolanda Ransom is a certified Financial Coach who empowers her clients to confidently master new money management skills, resulting in improved finances and financial stability. She is the CEO of Yolanda Ransom Consulting and provides personal coaching and financial literacy training to individuals and groups. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at her website yolandaransom.com.

More Tips On Managing Student Loan Debt

Financial Tip of the Day:

To achieve maximum earning potential today many of us come to realize that it’s necessary to get our degrees. After many years of successfully being in the workforce, I too came to this same conclusion several years ago. Along with the pursuit of a degree also comes the need to take out student loans (for so many of us). The undeniable jubilance of finally completing a degree is followed by a hefty repayment bill about 6 months later. And depending upon how much was borrowed, this debt can feel like a ton of weight on our shoulders. I’ve witnessed the tremendous stress and strain that clients experience regarding repayment. But no matter how stressful it feels, the one thing NOT to do is to bury your head in the sand. There are many options available. If your loan paperwork looks like a foreign language, get some help to understand it. This piece also offers some useful tips on how to manage student loans: 6 Unconventional Ways to Manage and Repay Student Loans.