Category Archives: credit report

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 7)

Yay! It’s Day 7 !

Welcome to the last of the blogs in this series! Yes, you made it! –  well done for going through this week of tips  – you kept in mind: I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14 (NKJV)

(We will resume our regular weekly posts this week)

By completing this seven day series of activities, one day at a time, you are already that many steps closer towards your financial goals for 2014. And as you continue to progress you become one of the group of 8% in the population that achieve New Year’s Resolutions and go on to master their goals!

Before we look at the tip today, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions?

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Question 1: Have you read the tips from the past six days?  If not take a moment to read those you have skipped – just click the link for the Day:

Day 1 – the one about developing your Spending Plan
Day 2 – the one about Reducing your Debts
Day 3 – the one about Increasing your Savings
Day 4 – the one about gaining more Financial Knowledge
Day 5 – the one about checking your Credit Report/ Rating
Day 6 – the one about having the talk about Finances

Question 2: Did you set the date for the meeting, or better still, have the meeting and go through the main areas you agreed to cover?  You still have a few hours today to make this happen if you haven’t yet done so…but make sure you take action in the next 24 hours!

Question 3: As part of your morning devotional study and reflections today, did you thank God for the opportunities being brought your way, and commit  to  achieving the activities planned for this day to move closer toward your goals? Remember: But let him ask in faith, never wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6 (NKJV)

So, if you’ve not yet done so, just pause for a moment now to do this… and then read through your list of activities you prepared at the start of the week.  Tick off all the actions you completed so far and congratulate yourself for making good on those activites.

Then, refresh your mind about the rest of the activities you will need to do this week to make your goals become a reality and commit to making them happen.

OK, now let’s move on to the last tip!

Tip No 7: ADJUST FOR 2014’s planned ‘BIG CHANGES’

You may have made some non-financial goals for 2014.  Goals that will result in major life changes.

Some may be positive changes (eg starting a new career, getting married, going to university, starting or expanding your family, buying your first home or investing in another business property) others not so much (eg getting a divorce, coping with funeral costs and the loss of income as a result of recent bereavement of main breadwinner, increased expenses due to loss of a primary caregiver).  Or you may be thinking about the changes you need to make for your retirement.

Whatever it is, these goals will all need you to take another look at your financial plans.

If this is your first time to look at things in total, you may want to categorise your goals into seven Stewardship Life Categories:

  1. Spiritual Development goals
  2. Health & Wellbeing/ Mindset goals
  3. Career /Business Goals
  4. Educational & Personal Development goals
  5. Wealth & Financial goals (this blog will help you with that one!)
  6. Relationships /Romance goals
  7. Community Service & Giving goals

First, write down the priority goals in each of the seven life categories :  Remember, just like your financial goals, these should also be SMARTER goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound, Ethical and Responsible) or it may be best to reassess if they fit in with the rest of your life mastery plans.

Next, identify what financial resources you will need to achieve each of these goals, and identify where you can reallocate funds in your Spending Plan to meet the needs of your short term goals.

A good example was shared by a friend recently:

“I had a short term goal to lose the weight I’ve gained from the festive season.  So I just decided I needed to reallocate the money for a couple of evening’s entertainment or eating out this month and bought a good pair of trainers. 

I also found a free app on my mobile phone that counts my steps and helps me track what I eat and my water intake. 

I’ve set it to a goal of 10,000 steps per day and I can track my progress. This may seem like such a small change to my Spending Plan but it makes a big difference – I have what I need to achieve my short term Health & Wellbeing Goal!”

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all this planning you need to do, don’t panic.

Take one short term goals from each of your life goal categories.

Write out everything you will need to do or resources you will need to make this goal a reality and then identify the items that may need you to spend.

You may find the cost is not as much as you estimate or you can get the resources for free – do some investigating to see what is available before you run out and spend money.

Death & Taxes…

Next, look at the insurance cover you have, how your retirement fund is doing, your contributions into your employer’s pension or your own private pension.

It is also a great time for you to think about the longer term and plans for your estate which includes property and any other assets, by making a Will.  The saying ‘Nothing is certain but death and taxes‘ is just as true today and it is wise to regularly assess how you plan for these.

So, there you have it.  The last tip to help you move closer towards your financial goals this year!

Attend one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars to continue to support you on your financial journey – These are all bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.

The first quarter, from January to March, is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes. From April to December we then run the weekend, or one-day church based seminars.

A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.  If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and they can arrange a session for your church group within your Stewardship Day programme this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.   For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)

Hopefully the information covered so far has been is useful – but please suggest any other areas you would like to see more about and we’ll post a blog about it.

As always, share how you are getting on with these, any questions or comments you have.  Maybe you think there are some tips we’ve missed – please let us know.

Until then….onwards and upwards!

Your Seven Day Plan to Achieve that New Year’s Resolution (Day 5)

Welcome back to another step forward on this seven day plan!

Today as a good start to the week, remind yourself of this promise: For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Phil 2:12 (NIV)

(We will resume our regular weekly posts in a few days after this series of blogs completes on day 7 , but for now we are focussing on tips to help our 2014 financial goals)

By now you know that only 8% of the population actually end up achieving their New Year’s Resolutions and by continuing today, you have committed to be one of that group that master their life goals!

You also know from ATP’s 2013 survey completed for UK Seventh-day Adventist believers UK, scores of respondent actually admitted they either did not practical tools to enable them to achieve many of their financial goals. No surprise there as most people whether in the Britain or elsewhere, all struggle with the same challenges.  So, by completing these seven day’s tips, one day at a time, you will have some tools to help progress your financial goals for 2014.

Before we look at the tip today, can you honestly answer ‘YES’ to these questions?

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Question 1: Did you read the earlier Days?  If not take a moment to catch up on Day 1 here , find Day 2 herereview Day 3 here and check out Day 4 here.

Question 2: Did you list out at least one area of financial knowledge you would like to improve this year and identify where you can access this information?  You still have another 24 hours to make this happen if you haven’t yet done so…but make sure you take action within the next day!

Question 3: As part of your morning devotional study and reflections today, did you recommit your plans to God, asking for focus, guidance and clarity of purpose to help you achieve your goals and plans for this day, week and year  Remember: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14.

So, if you’ve not yet done so, just pause for a moment now to do this… and then quickly write down or review at least three of the activities you will do this week to move your goals closer to become a reality.

OK, now let’s move on to the tip for Day 5!

Tip No 5: REVIEW (or get hold of your first) Credit Report

Remember, furthering your knowledge is an essential pillar to help you achieve your goals in finance, or in fact, any other area in personal development.  Knowledge of what is on record about your credit information is beneficial so don’t put this one off!

Your credit report is an up to date record of your credit history but is a ‘snapshot’ at the time it is requested and things can change.  For good financial housekeeping make it part of your activities to check your credit record regularly, at least once a year.

First, request a copy of your credit report: You have a statutory right to obtain a full copy of your credit report from any credit reference agency such as Experian , Callcredit or Equifax .

There is a statutory fee of £2 to receive your report either online or hardcopy in the post although there are offers that give you access to your credit file for free if you sign up with the company.  As different credit agancies may have different information on file if this is your first time doing this you may want to request the file from all three of the credit reference agencies.

For more information on UK resources and information on credit reports and credit reference agencies, look out for future blogs as these will are posted and updated over the year.

OK, so you have your credit report, now what ?

Next  – and do this within the next 48 hours –  identify any information you find worrying and check your records to see if your file may need to be corrected.  The instances of people being subjected to credit fraud are increasing, so learning how to master some simple anti-fraud activities will also help in your financial goals.

More information on Protecting your reputation and identity later…

If you have a specific creditworthiness issues, don’t delay in addressing this –  Be sure to research how to address areas of poor credit or reach out to a friend with good knowledge to help you or financial advisor if this area of your finances needs serious sorting.

But remember, if you are not clear about what you need advice for you will be throwing away good money on professional services.  Know exactly what it is you would like to achieve before you go spending on advisors.

Attend one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars that deal with Credit, Loans and Debts – These are all bible-based seminars and are delivered in your local church. As part of the Stewardship of our knowledge, member’s have supported other church groups by running these seminars annually since 2004.  Most seminars are run from April – December.  The first quarter of the year is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes.

If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and ask him/ her to arrange a session for your church group within your Stewardship Day programme this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.  A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)

Knowledge is nothing without Wisdom…

The book of Proverbs is a fantastic way for you to start gaining some of the basic understanding of how successful people approach managing credit, business, wealth and finances. One chapter a day and you have covered the whole book in a month!  It’s never too late to start now.

For ladies in the UK, see our blogs on Proverbs 31 for secrets on successful living , business and financial success.  And see the Sorority created just for you, by women just like you PI TAU OMICRON (Π Τ Ο).

For ΠΤΟ sisterhood eligibility criteria click here.

Hopefully this information is useful – please suggest an area you would like to see more about and we’ll post a blog about it.

Tomorrow, we will look at another tip to help you in your financial goals.  As always, share how you are getting on with these, any questions or comments you have.

See you again tomorrow….onwards and upwards!