Financial Fitness

Did you have little or no financial education in high school or college? How did you learn? For many it’s trial and error. That’s another way to say I learned from my mistakes. We didn’t know, we didn’t understand. If only we’d had some sort of financial literacy training maybe we could have avoided these common financial mistakes.

Our Financial Fitness Program offers group workshops, as well as, one-on-one counseling sessions with a NCHEC Certified Financial Coach. Just click here to learn more about the program or here to register for a workshop. You can also call 630.260.2500 ext. 2501 to schedule a workshop or coaching session.

Financial Fitness Workshops Cover

Banking

We didn’t understand financial institutions and how they work so we turned to costly currency exchanges and payday lenders to cash checks and help make ends meet.

WORKSHOP 1:  Bank on It – Understanding Financial Institutions

The first part of the workshop focuses on the different types of financial services available to the unbanked or unaware. It provides a rundown of available options – including advantages and disadvantages of each – and an easy-to-use method for evaluating and choosing a financial service provider by using The 3 “C’s” evaluation method. The second part focuses on non-traditional, and oftentimes predatory, financial services and their consequences.

Budgeting

We lived paycheck to paycheck – unable to get ahead – never seeing the value in creating a family spending plan to target money leaks and find a way to save for the future.

WORKSHOP 2: Personal Budget – Avoid the Fiscal Cliff

The main focus of this workshop is to instruct each client on the process of creating, evaluating and utilizing their monthly family budget to better manage their personal financial resources. Budgeting tools and games are used to demonstrate smart budget strategies that lead to better decision-making skills.

The Smart Shopper

We didn’t see the value of being an educated consumer and how, when and where to buy to maximize our spending power.

WORKSHOP 3: Being a Smart Shopper

This workshop explores the art and science of smart shopping including finding a balance between Needs and Wants and builds on Workshop 2’s budget theme adding information on understanding value and how to recognize it. You will discover that getting a discount does not always add up to savings if the product and pricing are not advantageous to you. You will also learn how to avoid overspending for anything by planning ahead and knowing when the best time is to buy.

Understanding and Rebuilding Credit

We didn’t understand the importance of developing and maintaining good credit so when we applied for credit we were rejected or charged higher interest rates.

We didn’t review our credit prior to purchasing a car or home and were pushed into higher interest rate programs by predatory lenders who told us because of our poor credit we had to pay more – even though our credit was fine.

Because we didn’t understand the home financing process and were reticent to face rejection from a mainstream lender, we went to a local mortgage broker who promised approval but charged us more for less.

WORKSHOP 4: Demystifying the Credit Report – Making Credit Work for You

Outlines the importance of developing and maintaining your credit in today’s world. Exploring the elements of a credit score and how it is determined, as well as the different types of credit available and their impact on that score.

The workshop digs into an actual report and explains exactly what information is listed.

WORKSHOP 5: Avoiding Credit Mistakes – Managing and Rebuilding Your Credit

This workshop focuses more deeply on the individual details of a credit report and what the credit bureaus say about you. The workshop concludes with tips on avoiding mistakes before they impact you and strategies to systematically begin to rebuild your credit.

Protecting Your Assets

We didn’t understand the need to plan for the future and began contributions to our retirement accounts much too late to take advantage of compounding interest to maximize asset growth.

We didn’t take the time to plan for life cycle events like; the birth of a child, paying for college or elder care or didn’t understand the value of life and health insurance until it was too late and an unexpected life event wiped us out.

WORKSHOP 6: Protecting Your Assets – Planning for Life Events

The great cycle of life and what to expect are discussed in the final workshop. Details on saving and investing for expected and unexpected events range from retirement investment options, the range and importance of different insurance products, medical expenses or disability, special needs and estate planning.