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Keynote Speaker for VMBA

It was an honor and a privilege to be the Keynote Speaker for the VMBA Online Mortgage Summit. Incredibly grateful for the opportunity to help loan originators and management teams understand the four essential pillars of Building a Balanced Life and to provide the tools and tips necessary to maintain balance during these extremely unstable times.

For the last year, employees in every industry are experiencing a plethora of emotions that have led to burnout and instability. Understanding how each of the four pillars impacts one’s life and what it takes to balance your platform increases performance to thrive both personally and professionally.

Balance is an essential part of a wellness package for all industries. If your organization is committed to helping employees live a more balanced life, both personally and professionally, click the “speaking” tab above receive more details and to inquire about available speaking dates.

A company’s investment in employee wellness pays dividends in long-term organizational growth. When employees are thriving, your organization is thriving!

Financial Literacy Month – Tip #29

We have come full circle and are back to where we began Financial Literacy Month on April 1! Starting the month, the first two tips were to track expenses for 30 days and gather February bank and credit card statements. Now, it is time to compare the two months of expenses. This tip will help highlight unnecessary expenses to eliminate and reveal additional areas to trim expenses.

Start by creating two categories, essential expenses and optional expenses and itemize expenses for each category. Next add five columns with the following headings: February, April, Savings, Trim, Eliminate. Note total expenses for each month in the appropriate columns, note the savings for the two months, and determine if you can trim or eliminate the expense. Below is a sample chart to get started:

ESSENTIAL EXPENSES FEBRUARYAPRILSAVINGSTRIMELIMINATE
Mortgage / Rent$$$$$
Insurance$$$$$
Auto Loan$$$$$
Credit Cards / Student Loans$$$$$
Utilities (garbage, water)$$$$$
Cell Phone$$$$$
Groceries$$$$$
TOTAL$$$$$
OPTIONAL EXPENSES $$$$$
Lunch / Dining Out$$$$$
Morning Coffee$$$$$
Gym Dues$$$$$
Memberships $$$$$
Movies / Events$$$$$
Shopping$$$$$
Housecleaner$$$$$
Kids (sports, apps, parties)$$$$$
TOTAL$$$$$

Throughout the month tips were shared on how to trim expenses. Compare the amount you paid in February to the amount you will be paying and add up the savings (one person I spoke with saved $2,000 a year by making the recommended calls). If you missed the tips, scroll down for the full month of tips.

Additionally, most optional expenses have been eliminated or significantly reduced during shelter-in-place. These little expenses can add up to costly annual expenses. Now is the perfect time to determine which of these expenses can be trimmed or eliminated going forward.

Shelter-in-Place has forced us all to hit the financial reset button. Taking the time to complete this monthly comparison, and trim and eliminate unnecessary expenses will help you reset financially and come out quarantine with a healthier financial mindset! 

Financial Literacy Month – Tip #28

With the growing number of data breaches that occur each year, it is important to understand the options available to protect your credit. Here are three ways: 

Credit Freeze –is simply just that…it freezes your credit and restricts access to your credit until you thaw/unfreeze your report. To freeze or unfreeze credit, you have to contact each of the three bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian) directly. If you have been a victim of identity theft or think your information has been compromised, this is the best step to ensure that no new accounts will be opened. This is a free service offered by all three bureaus and governed by Federal Law. 

Credit Lock – is a preventative measure to help protect your information. Available through the three credit bureaus, and other anti-fraud services, this step allows you to easily lock and unlock credit when applying for new loans or credit lines. This service may be at a cost, is not governed by Federal Law and depending on the service provider, may require the purchase of insurance to protect against any losses. 

Monitoring – also a way to prevent identity theft without locking or freezing credit. This service will send an alert when any inquiries have been made to credit. Monitoring is offered both with a fee and without. Be sure to check with your healthcare, insurance company and credit card companies, many offer this service free of charge. 

While setting up a service to protect your credit, it is also important to protect your child/children’s credit too. 

Regardless of the method, you have worked hard to earn a solid credit history, take the steps to protect it!