Equifax

Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter

 

Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Kaizen and the Art of Money Management

Written by Teri Cettina on January 2, 2013 in Family Money  |   No comments

Kaizen is a Japanese business term that has been popularized in the United States, and it basically means “continuous, small improvements.” I recently read an excellent book on this topic, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way and immediately realized that Kaizen…

money management kaizenKaizen is a Japanese business term that has been popularized in the United States, and it basically means “continuous, small improvements.” I recently read an excellent book on this topic, One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way and immediately realized that Kaizen could be a great way to tackle improving our money management habits. Kaizen = baby steps.

The idea behind Kaizen is to break down a new habit—something you’d like to do better—into incredibly small steps. Each task should be so small, in fact, that you simply MUST do it. When you make tasks this simple, you also outsmart your own nervous system. Tiny improvements are so non-threatening that you don’t raise your anxiety level about them and quit—which is what often happens with money challenges.

Putting Kaizen into use

So how might you use Kaizen in your family’s money system? I’ll give you an example from our family. We need to choose a new electronic money management system—either online or in the form of software. This greatly stresses me out. As a result, I’ve been avoiding researching it—I’ll research it a little, then quit because I’m nervous about making the change.

My husband and I decided to break it down into smaller steps. We already talk together about money once a week, so the first week, we simply talked about the need for a new program, including why our old system wasn’t working and what we thought we needed. We purposely stopped our discussion there instead of getting into a convoluted conversation and then immediately going online to research other systems. Our next steps:

The second week: We did some online research about the best budget-tracking programs and picked three to consider.

The third week: We looked at one new program. We read its online description and looked at the FAQs or tutorials, paying attention to a couple of program features that are particularly important to us.

The fourth week: We repeated the process with the second new program.

The fifth week: We did the same thing again with the third new program.

We haven’t yet picked our new financial program, but giving ourselves permission to research it slowly and consistently has paid off. We haven’t thrown in the towel or stopped looking into new programs as we might have in the past, when we tried to do too much, too soon.

Think about your own financial challenges. If you’re trying to cut what you spend on groceries, for instance, make a tiny initial goal. Try to save just 1 percent on your weekly shopping trip. If you normally spend $150 on your weekly food haul, aim to save just $1.50. Who can’t do that, right? The next week, try for 2 percent. Keep going until you’ve saved 10 percent—or whatever you think is reasonable.

Another Kaizen key: Focus on one financial goal at a time. Stick with it and master it before you move on to something else. So in the grocery example, don’t try to both save dollars and start shopping at multiple stores for the best deals. Wait and work on cutting spending at your single store first. When you’ve mastered that task, consider trying an additional money-saving hack.

How might Kaizen work for you?

Teri Cettina is a mom of two daughters and freelance writer who specializes in personal finance and parenting topics. She blogs at Your Family Money. Follow her on Twitter: @TeriCettina.

No comments yet


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.