This New Year’s Eve, the Tatum family made goals together, motivated to start the new year on the right foot. Instead of making the usual New Year’s resolutions, they made tangible goals together as a family to work towards becoming debt-free and purchasing a home in 2017.
After difficulty making rent payments last year, Alonzo and Tomika connected to the Virtual Counselor Network to get their finances back on track. With a family of six, the VCN made it easier for Alonzo and Tomika to connect with a financial coach, from right at home using online video chat technology.
With the support of a CHW financial coach, the Tatums began changing the way they were saving and spending their money. Alonzo says, “What’s changed the most is really our mindset, being conscious of our budget and accountable to our coach.” Alonzo and Tomika were able to pay their past due in the same month and promptly joined the Financial Health Club afterwards.
The Tatums meet with their coach, Jesse, on a consistent monthly basis to check in on progress towards their goals. Tomika says, “It has motivated us and prepared us to be accountable every month.” At their last session, the family checked in on accomplishments and challenges for the month and discussed ways to reduce spending. They made a plan to create a Vision Board with their family to ensure they are all committed to their savings goals.
Since working with a coach, Alonzo and Tomika have made significant strides toward their goals. They are now keeping a monthly budget and working together to find ways to reduce their spending. They’ve started repairing their credit using some letters their coach recommended to send to fix errors on their report.
Coaching has also impacted their family in positive ways. The Tatums have recognized a difference in their family’s attitudes towards money.
“We believe this is going to change our family’s legacy. We’ve involved our kids so that they can avoid the same pitfalls in their lives. Now they have vengeance against debt!” says Alonzo.
“I am really impressed with their motivation and truly believe that they will reach their stated goal, which is to become debt-free and purchase a home by 2017,” explains Jesse, financial coach.
The Tatum family plans to continue working with their financial coach throughout 2015, meeting on a monthly basis and regularly checking in on their progress. In order to reach their goals of becoming debt-free and purchasing a home, they have committed to repairing their credit and increasing their savings. In two months, they will have paid off their payday loan debt, allowing for a surplus in their budget and a chance to increase their savings. Before their next coaching session, they’ve committed to writing and sending letters to creditors in order to improve their credit. They have also signed up for the Financial Fitness class and plan to attend a Homebuyer Class later this year. In addition, in order to increase their monthly savings, they have planned to enroll in SDGE’s Level Pay program.
By strengthening their monthly budget, increasing their savings and improving their credit, the Tatum family will be in the best position possible when they go to apply for a home loan in the near future.
Learn more about the Virtual Counselor Network