Research shows that one of the key indicators for business success is cash flow management. Most of us weren’t born with behaviors and attitudes related to money – they were learned or shaped along the way! Many times, the way we view and handle money in our personal lives transfers to our business. This week, we’ve invited expert Gabriela Santana from Ventura County Community Development Corporation (VCCDC) to share her experience helping clients reach their financial goals such as starting a business or buying a home.
Q: What are some of the challenges or pitfalls that clients experience related to personal money management?
A: Common challenges our clients have in personal money management are not knowing where their money is truly going, the feeling of inability to save, not knowing how their credit looks and how it can significantly improve their financial future. Some pitfalls clients experience in their hectic lives are being disorganized, not having or using the tools that can help them manage/control/project their finances, and ignoring issues when they arise due to fear or lack of knowledge.
Q: What are some ways you counsel them to overcome or improve behaviors?
A: We first need to know what the current habits/tools/concerns are and how they are being handled. We determine if these actions are helping in reaching their financial goals. Then using the existing good habits, we work on strengthening them and creating new ones by implementing actions that will work for them.
Q: What are tips and strategies to establish a realistic budget, and then be sure to stick to it?
A: We need to be honest with ourselves: what are our true needs and wants? Determine what our annual expenses are, write them down, create a monthly breakdown of our full year. Include what we really spend on our hobbies/pastimes/entertainment. Now let the math tell us where we are… are we ok, or does change need to occur? Use the tools that are available to us through our banking institution or phone apps. Let our goals be our focus, our reason WHY we are wanting change, making change, and why we are on a budget.
Q: Please tell us about VCCDC and its services.
A: Ventura County Community Development Corporation (VCCDC) helps clients determine their goals, create an action plan with tasks that will guide them to positive outcomes, and provides tools/resources to improve their financial well-being. We make our client’s goal the center of our services – whether it be creating and implementing a new financial course, saving for a business or down payment for a home, improving or establishing credit, or creating a plan for financial stability.
Clients that enroll in SET before October 17th will be eligible to attend WEV’s ‘Plan for Success: Financial Fluency’ workshop taught by Gabriela. Attend an orientation soon so you don’t miss this opportunity!