Innovative Changes
The Holiday Issue: Managing Money, Time, and Stress this Season
December 2013

We know the holiday season can be stressful. Time and money always seem to be in short supply, and expectations from family and friends can add pressure. We've put together these articles to help you juggle your priorities and have a happy holidays: 
  • Six Steps for an Affordable Holiday Season
  • Holiday Resources for 2013
  • Managing Holiday Stress 

Also, in the New Year we will be growing our coaching program. Do you want to become a financial coach or do you want to be matched up with a financial coach? Read here or contact Katie:, 503-249-5205.


Have a wonderful holiday! 

All the best,


Innovative Changes

Upcoming Workshops & Orientations

Our next Financial Household Resiliency workshops will go for 4 Tuesdays in a row starting:
Our next IDA Orientations will take place on:
- Friday, February 7th, 10-11am
- Thursday February 20th, 5:30-6:30pm
Register here.
Our next Credit Builder Loan Orientation will be held:
- January 8th, 5:30-6:30pm
Register here

Holiday Resources Winter 2013


Christmas is right around the corner, and you've probably already started looking for resources to help out during the holidays. Here are a couple of programs that help out during the holidays, or you can check out 211info by calling 2-1-1 or going to 


Free Activities: If you are looking for cheap or free things to do during the holidays with your loved ones, check out or


Food & Other Assistance: 

Sunshine Division/Portland Police BureauProvides assistance to those who live within the Portland city limits who are families with children, people living on Social Security or disability income, veterans or widows of veterans, or people who are over the age of 70. By application over the phone only, no walk-ins.



Society of St. Vincent de Paul Provides food assistance, emergency services, rent and energy assistance



Salvation Army: Provides food assistance and toys.



You can also connect with the Oregon Food Bank for food assistance. 503-282-0555   

Six Steps for an Affordable Holiday Season


Read below for the abbreviated article, or click here for the full one!

1. Estimate out how much money you need for holiday spending: How much should you plan on spending? For most people, their budget for the holidays is different from their normal budget because of the extra expenses. 


2. Assess Your Budget: How much extra money do you have in your budget available for holiday expenses? Do you have any money that you have been saving for the holidays?


3. Fill in the gaps. How can you make up the difference? If you can't realistically fit your holiday expenses in your budget, sit down and make a list of things you can do to make up the difference. 


4. Make a game plan. Sometimes during tough years, it is impossible to budget for everything you want to do for the holidays. It can be tempting, especially with children who expect this time of year to be extra magical, to spend money that you need for the future.


5. Create memories that don't have price tags.  While gift giving is an important tradition, there are other opportunities for connecting with your family and bringing meaning to the season. 


6. Plan ahead for next year. Saving up and spreading out the cost of buying gifts across the year eliminates holiday stress and allows you to find the best deals. The more time you have to plan for the holidays, the easier it is.


By Jenna Knobloch

Quick Links
Want to Make a Difference in Your Community? Become an Innovative Changes Financial Coach
 OR Get Coached!

Volunteer financial coaches work one on one with people in their community to help them build financial skills and achieve life-long goals.  

As a coach you will:

  •  Attend a day-long coaching training
  •  Commit to meeting with your coachee at least once a month for 6 months
  •  Set financial goals with your coachees  and support and hold them accountable to achieving their goals

Innovative Changes is committed to supporting our coaches. We will provide:

  •  Professional training
  • Resources and ongoing support
  • Convening of coach meet-ups

Our next coach training will be Saturday, January 25th from 9am-4pm. 


Not ready to become a coach yet, and want some coaching yourself? Your financial coach can hold you accountable to setting and acheiving goals such as clearing up your credit report, budgeting and saving money. It is a six month commitment.


If you're interested in becoming a coach or getting a coach contact Katie at 503-249-5205 or katie@innovativechanges. 

Managing Holiday Stress

In order to manage holiday stress, you first have to understand what is causing you stress. Then you can plan out how to tackle each stressor so you can enjoy the holiday season. Below are some typical holiday stressors and ideas of how to manage them.

Tight Budget: Make a list of who you plan to buy gifts for and make a spending plan. You are less likely to splurge or impulse buy if you step into the store with a gift in mind. Talk to your family and friends about a gift exchange. You will save money buying a present for one family member instead of several!

Family: Spending time with family can be stressful for some, so make sure to set aside time for yourself. Do what you would like to do this holiday season in addition to what your family would like to do.

Gatherings and Party Planning: Many of us have to balance work, family, friends, and many other things on a day-to-day basis. When gatherings and party planning are added to the mix, you may find yourself strapped for time. Try planning ahead: decide which meal items can be prepared early and frozen. Ask your guests to bring a dish to make your gathering a potluck.

Holiday Blues: Holidays can be a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones or are far away from family and friends. Volunteer your time giving to others so you won't feel isolated. Accept feelings of sadness and missing those you hold dear and try to contact those who are still around. Set up a Skype date or phone call with loved ones far away and gather with those who are near.

Keep reading for more tips here!

By Katie Dineen
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For Our Borrowers


Are 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

See all the options on how to make your loan payment here.

Remember, 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. We are flexible and willing to work with our borrowers to satisfy loan obligations, and in return we ask for honest and timely communication.