Archive for the ‘chicago’ Category

CashNetUSA Manage Your Money Seminar Helped Chicagoans Change their Financial Outlook

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

If you could do three things to change your financial outlook today, what would they be? That can be a tough question to answer, but with help from three personal financial experts, Chicagoans were able to sort through tough questions like this and find relevant answers at the recent Manage Your Money Seminar sponsored by CashNetUSA.

Popular national personal finance experts Charlotte Stallings, Max Jaffe and Princess Clark-Wendel offered Chicagoans practical advice on how to successfully manage their personal finances to Chicagoans on Thursday, October 27, 2012 from 5 – 8 pm at the University Center Conference Chicago located at 525 S. State St. This free seminar was sponsored by Chicago-based online lender and was open to the public.

“The free seminar allowed us to bring the expertise of some of the country’s best personal finance experts to Chicagoans interested in improving their finances during these times of financial uncertainty and struggle,” says Keith Weinberger, Senior Director at CashNetUSA.

All three personal financial experts spoke on how to better budget your money and survive these tough economic times.

, a Houston-based financial expert who gives financial advice to top executives, emerging leaders and individual consumers across the country, outlined steps towards immediately gaining control of your finances. Here are some of those steps:

  1. Keep your mind open on how to improve your finances even if you think you’ve heard it all before.
  2. Know that it’s okay to talk about money. Ignoring the facts doesn’t change the facts. By discussing money, you can start changing your mindset in order to move forward.
  3. Even if you get off track from your budget, know that you can get back on track.
  4. Clearly define your top three financial goals, so that you know what you’re working towards.

, founder and CEO of Dallas-based Spending Solutions, Inc., spoke on setting and managing a budget. His key tips included:

  1. Have a mindset that you earn money as opposed to make money. View the money you make as the exchange of your time and talents in the work place.
  2. Plan ahead with money management. Be proactive with your budget instead of being reactive. Then you’ll be able to plan for emergency expenses.
  3. Track your expenses for 21 days so that you can clearly see your spending habits. Then you’ll be able to understand what needs to change to improve your budget.
  4. Set aside 10 to 15 percent of your income for paying off debt and building savings for a ready-to-use emergency account.

Chicagoan , a successful business woman, author, speaker and media personality, concluded the seminar with personal encouragement on how to live life debt and worry free:

  1. Keep dreaming big and do not let debt take over your life.
  2. Be public about your situation, make sacrifices and celebrate the little victories in order to change your financial situation.
  3. Most importantly, work to live debt and worry free.

Feedback was positive from attendees of the Manage Your Money Seminar who overall felt that the seminar would help them

take steps towards better managing their finances. Attendees also received VIP gifts, refreshments, and entry into a raffle for the chance to win a free Apple iPad.

“The Manage Your Money Seminar was a successful event,” says Keith Weinberger, Senior Director at CashNetUSA. “We look forward to continuing to help Chicagoans and people across the country improve their financial lives through our financial education programs.”

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Would you sell out your house in order to save it from foreclosure?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Here’s the thing. I don’t like the look of it either. I’m talking about those Bank of America ads on the Wabash Avenue bridge houses in Chicago. Have you seen them? Yeah, they’re not pretty.

Our new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, signed a 30-day lease with Bank of America for that space, according to the . Why? To raise money, of course. Chicago needs it. Bad. And nobody likes this idea. Nobody.

But… I wonder…

Would you do the same thing if you could to save your house in foreclosure?

Would you, if you could, lease the roof of your house to Bank of America? Wells Fargo? Pepsi Cola? What about the front of your house? Would you wrap your whole house like a car in an Exxon Mobile banner?


What if it was temporary and it meant you could pay off your mortgage?

Yeah. That’s what I thought. You’d do it, right? Your neighbors would hate you for it. But you’d do it. And maybe they’d hate you a little less knowing that you just saved their property value by avoiding foreclosure.

I’d do it. Totally. To save our house? Heck yeah.

Actually, according to Bob that’s not true.

I was telling him about how I was going to write this blog post and ask people if they would sell ad space on their houses if it meant they could save their homes from foreclosure. Here’s how that conversation went:

BOB: We talked about that.

ME: We did?

BOB: Yeah. I totally wanted to do that.

ME: You did?

BOB: Yes.

STEPH: You wanted to sell ad space on our house?

BOB: Yes. I wanted to call Bank of America and see if we could lease them our roof space for a banner or something but you were totally against it.

ME: I don’t remember that.

BOB: Well… probably because you didn’t want to do it.

So, there you go. I apparently didn’t even want to investigate the possibility of selling ad space on our roof to save our house. Funny how short the memory is. Bob was Mayor Daley floating the idea and I was the general public railing passionately against it even though it could possibly save our house.

Though I don’t remember it, I can imagine that I was horrified by the thought of a Bank of America banner wrapping our house. But wouldn’t I have at least wanted to try? Thinking about it now, I assume that I would have completely gone for it because, well, anything to save the house, right? Apparently not anything. And why not?

Everyone is railing against our new mayor calling this leasing of city property for ad space a huge mistake. And I get it. It is a slippery slope. No one likes to be marketed 24-7. And our architecture is so precious to us. We Chicagoans are extremely proud of our architecture. We don’t want to taint it with obnoxious banners and corporate logos. We don’t want to completely sell out, no matter how terrible things are.

Mayor Emanuel plans to bring in $25 million for the city through this sort of advertising. And if he’s right, if it works, would it be worth it? I don’t know. Feel free to chime in. Please. That kind of money could save a lot of jobs and programs, right? So it could be worth it?

And I’ll ask again, if you could sell ad space on your house to save it, would you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

For more information about the new ads downtown Chicago, check out these links:

– Chicago Tribune

– Chicago Tribune

(The photos are courtesy of Bob Walker. Thanks for braving the cold on your lunch break, honey!)

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