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Innovative Connections
December 2012: Happy Holidays!
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Holiday Resources
Make a New Years Resolution
IDA Spots Available
Financial Education Galore!
For Our Borrowers
Quick Links

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Upcoming Events

Making the Most of Tax Time
*Jan 8th- 2010 Lloyd Center, 5:30-6:30pm

*Friday, January 11th, 1-2pm, Northwest Library

*Saturday, January 23rd, 2-3pm, Belmont Library     


January Financial Household Resiliency Series

*Tuesday, January 15th, 5:30-7:30 pm: Making Ends Meet

*Tuesday, January 22nd, 5:30-7:30 pm:   Budgeting and Saving 

*Tuesday, January 29th 5:30-7:30 pm:  Hands-On Banking

*Tuesday, February 5th 5:30-7:30 pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit



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For Past Issues of Innovative Connections
Happy Holidays!
or winter


With a little bit of snow on the ground in some parts of the city, it is beginning to feel a lot like the holidays and winter. As we gather together for warmth, meals, good cheer or simply out of habit,  we realize the value of people coming together. People being there for each other make strong households, strong organizations and strong communities. Here at Innovative Changes, we want to wish you and yours a happy holidays and new years and extend our full appreciation for your support and relationship with us- it has made us all the stronger.


It's been over two years since we have been sending out our monthly Innovative Connections, a newsletter full of financial tools, tips and resources for the community. In this issue you will find holiday resource listings, suggestions for making impactful New Years resultions (hint: they may all have something to do with improving your finances) and our program and class offerings in the New Year! If you haven't received our Innovative Connections before and would like to you can subscribe at the bottom of this email. If you would like to use this resource as one for your clients, staff or community please pass it on! If you would like to contribute to it contact us! Lastly, if you would like to see any particular themes, resources or articles in the New Year let us know!


We wish you the best in this Holiday Season! Remember to be there for the ones you love!




Innovative Changes
Holiday Resources for You!numberone


xmas din Sometimes the month of December is a scramble. Your budget is all of the sudden ten times larger than you thought it would be and money that you put aside for your high energy bill is now going to car insurance and money that you thought would go for presents now must be used for rent. In these times it's important to take advantage of community resources. Attending a free Christmas dinner at a local church or organization could free $50 in your budget that you might have spent on food to go towards bills. It can also be a great way to meet people in your community and share the joy of the Holiday season. Here are some places to look to in case you are in need of holiday assistance. 
  • Metro Church of Christ located 1525 NW Division St. Gresham, Oregon 97030. If you are looking for help during Christmas they are taking calls now at 971-282-6832.
  • St. Vincent De Paul located at 5120 Southeast Milwaukie. Currently families needing assistance for for Christmas they can be reached at 503-595-2292 or you can drop by, yet we highly recommend calling first.
  • Lift Urban Portland, 2701 NW Vaught St., Suite 102, Portland, OR 97210 - Holiday Services:All are welcome, walk-in, and it is completely free.
  • Christmas dinner will be held on December 25th from 12pm-2pm @ Congregation Beth Isreal 1927 NW Flanders St., Portland, OR 97209
  • Potluck in the Park, YWCA's annual Christmas dinner at:1111 SW 10th Avenue. More info at, (503) 255-7611
  • Union Gospel, 3 NW Third Avenue has a Christmas dinner from 10-2pm:

Please keep in mind that for additional resources you can call 211!

Make a New Years Resolution to Improve Your Finances! two

Resolution time is near! The New Year is a terrific time to do some financial housekeeping. What will you resolve to do in 2013? Below are many ideas that may save you money! Remember, it's good to start with one or two so that they are do-able. Get 'em done, and then pledge to move on to another!


Review insurance plans. Make sure to carry only coverage you need and cancel coverage that you no longer require. Shop for better rates. Increase deductibles to reduce premiums. Ask your agent about discounts for multiple policies or vehicles, safe driving records, safety feature discounts. Improve your health (quit smoking, lose weight, exercise) to reduce medical and/or life premiums. If possible, pay one annual payment to reduce payment amount and avoid fees. Let your insurance company know if your credit score has increased- they may lower your premium.


Educate yourself. They say that "knowledge is power", so pick a topic (budgeting, credit, investments, retirement plans, taxes etc...) and learn. Come to some of our classes in the New Year or sign up for a matched savings account to go back to school!


Piggy bank

Save more. Automate savings via pre tax payroll deductions for employer sponsored plans such as 401K, Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Dependent Care Savings Account. Consider a 529 Education Savings Account. Have a portion of your post tax earnings automatically deposited into savings instead of a checking. Enroll in a Keep the Change program, if available, at your bank or credit union. Reward yourself for using coupons or not spending on smaller items by putting the savings in a "piggy bank."


filing system

Organize records. If you have more than one checking, savings or investment account, consider consolidating to streamline record keeping. Enroll in online banking and/or bill paying. Use a money management program such as Quicken to track spending.

 Consider using apps such as Gather supporting paperwork for upcoming income tax preparation.


Limit spending. Differentiate between needs and wants. Resist buying items just because they are a "good deal". Pick one spending leak and eliminate it for the week, month or year! Consider cost per use when purchasing. Invest in quality pieces. Instead of several okay items, buy just one that you love. Buy used.


credit report View your credit report. Go to website to see what your free annual credit report says about you. If you have not already done so, begin establishing credit. Improve your credit score by paying bills on time and reducing debt. Limit applications for new credit. Credit reports go back seven years, so remember to use credit occasionally to keep a current record.


Earn more. If the timing is right, ask for a raise. Take on a second job. Consider part time, seasonal or self employment. Sell unneeded items on, or at a garage sale. Look for a higher rate of return on investments and a lower rate of return on credit purchases. Barter goods or services. Finally, remember that "a penny saved is a penny earned!"


Best of luck reaching your financial goals and cheers to a happier, healthier, wealthier New Year! Come see us if you would like help following through on your New Years resolution(s)!

by Elaine Lord 

Further Your Education and Career Goals in the New Year!: Enroll in the IC$ Education IDA Today!ida


graduating students  If you are interested in the IDA program, or know someone who may be interested, sign up for an IDA orientation today! The next orientation will be:

  • THURSDAY,JANUARY 3RD, 5:30-6:30PM.

The orientation will be held in 2010 LLOYD CENTER (on the 3rd floor between the food court and Nordstroms) and people can RSVP that they are coming by calling us at 503-249-5205 or emailing Misha,


For more information about the IDA program visit our website here.


 The IC$ IDA program offers a 3:1 match for those saving to attend an institution of higher education. Savers must put at least $25 into an account every month, complete financial education requirements and plan to go back to school or already be attending school. Savers can save for themselves or a loved one. 


Financial Education Galorefined




Time to start thinking about tax time! Come to one of our Making the Most of Tax Time seminars to get prepared and learn about the intricacies of taxes. Also, another Financial Household Resiliency series is on the horizon! Start the new year out right by gaining some useful financial skills!  


Making the Most of Tax Time

Tuesday, January 8th, 5:30-630pm, 2010 Lloyd Center Mall

Friday, January 11th, 1-2pm, Northwest Library

Saturday, January 23rd, 2-3pm, Belmont Library  

Tax time brings a window of opportunity. With the added boost to your budget from a tax return you can start paying off some debts that you've been worrying about, check off items from your wish list, or set up a savings account for your child's college education....the possibilities are endless! However, it's important to remember, even with this extra money, planning is key to using it effectively.   We will cover topics such as the mechanics of getting a tax return, how to wisely budget and save your tax return, Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs), Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) and more!


January Financial Household Resiliency Series

Tuesday, January 15th, 5:30-7:30 pm: Making Ends Meet

Tuesday, January 22nd, 5:30-7:30 pm:   Budgeting and Saving 

Tuesday, January 29th 5:30-7:30 pm:  Hands-On Banking

Tuesday, February 5th 5:30-7:30 pm: Building, Repairing and Protecting Credit


These classes will be held at our Lloyd Center office on the 3rd floor of the Lloyd Center Mall (between Nordstroms and the food court), 2010 Lloyd Center.The classes can be taken individually or as a series. They are $5 each and $15 for all four classes. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify.  To Register: visit our website or call or email Misha at (503)-249-5205/

For Our Borrowers

Money treeAre You Receiving Your Payment Reminders?

If you chose to receive your payment reminders by email, make sure that they are coming to your inbox and not your junk mail. If you would like to change the way that you receive reminders (by mail, by email, or by phone call) let us know! Call Misha at 503.249-5205.

How to Make Your Loan Payment
  • You can mail your payment by check or money order to: Innovative Changes, 2010 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR 97232.
  •  You can sign up for us to automatically deduct your payment from your bank account each month. Contact us if you would like to do this: 503-249-5205.  
  • You can drop off your payment (check, money order or cash) at the Lloyd Center, 3rd Floor, Suite 2010 (2010 Lloyd Center Mall, Portland, OR 97232) Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm or drop it through our mail slot on other days/times. 
  • You can also pay via pay pal by following directions on our website here. Please note, it asks you to fill in a donation amount, but this is not a donation, it will go towards your loan payment.             

We Are Here to Help!  


Are you having trouble making your payment this month, or afraid that it might be a little late? Let us know! We understand that unexpected events and expenses can make it hard to keep your finances on track, and Innovative Changes wants to be there for you in such cases. Innovative Changes is flexible and willing to work with our borrowers to satisfy loan obligations, and in return we ask for honest and timely communication. Remember, if you know your payment is going to be late, let us know ahead of time and we might be able to avoid charging a late fee, or sending out a late notice.