Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Financial Planning tips for the New Year

Financial Planning tips for the New Year 

Roughly 80% of Americans planned to make New Year’s resolutions for 2020, according to a WalletHub survey. But fewer than 50% of those resolution-makers were expected to keep their vow for a full year, which is not a good sign for hopes of improved money management.Start your New Year off with a new resolution in the right direction with a plan, a financial plan! Be sure to begin with small realistic goals first so you can move toward your larger goals.  First look at a large goal such as buying a house or retiring early and then look at the things you will need to do to reach that larger goal. Regardless of your goal, it is wise to set up a support system[LJ1] to make it easier to reach your financial goals and Origin SC is ready to help you. It is also important to measure your progress periodically throughout the year. Here is what Tavia Watson, the licensed and HUD certified coach at Origin SC suggested. “Develop financial goals (short term and long term) navigate a plan to achieve your goals Budget monthly include all expenses:  fixed, variable and periodic expenses. Open a Christmas fund with your bank and use this account for a savings (not technically for Christmas gifts) but for things related to your goals:  Purchase a home, car, pay off debt, go on vacation.”

Here are 4 more tips to begin your journey down the right path to successful finances. 

1.   Start a budget – create a monthly budget and reduce spending in specific categories as each month goes on. Your budget should include your monthly fixed, variable, and periodic expenses. Examples of fixed costs include rental lease payments, salaries, insurance, property taxes, interest expenses, depreciation, and potentially some utilities. Variable costs can be general expenses such as clothing, groceries, and car maintenance, or resource expenses such as fuel, electricity, gas, and water. Periodic expenses are things like car repairs and costs that happen every so often.

2.    Work towards getting out of debt– set up payment plans, reduce spending, and contact Origin SC’s Debt Management program

3.    Start saving $- stop eating out, less frequent visits to coffee shops (make your own at home), find ways to save on utilities, and set a monthly savings goal.

4.    Learn about money & financesIt will help to learn more about how to successfully manage your money. Every year at Origin SC, we help thousands of people gain control over their financial future. Our licensed staff in the Financial Education & Coaching  division of Origin SC will help you create and stick to a budget, break the chains of debt, and plan for the long-term. Our programs include:


Budget Planner Recommendation 1 

Budget Planner Recommendation 2

Meet the Staff: Amy Bare


Title:  Human Resources & IT Associate 

Hometown:  Abingdon, VA

Years Working for Origin: 4 months

Favorite Hobby:  Reading and spending time with my wife and our two yorkies, Wrigley (13 years old) and Oliver (6 years old), and our newest addition, Reiki, who’s an 8-week-old golden retriever.  


1.   What drew you to Origin SC originally? And how has the organization changed since? 

As a graduate student pursuing my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I was seeking opportunities for an internship this past summer and hoped to join an organization whose values and commitment to community aligned with my own.  For me, it was and remains important to be a part of a mission that is centered in the promotion of equity, fairness, and stability where individuals and families are empowered through strength-based services such as advocacy, counseling, and education.


2.   What has surprised you the most about working at Origin SC?

I don’t know that I was necessarily surprised, but I have certainly been invigorated by the dedication and commitment of our staff to the mission of our organization and most importantly, by the intense effort they give on behalf of our clients.  It is both refreshing and inspiring to work with a group of compassionate professionals who recognize that the relationships we build with our clients are as important to our success as the services we offer.  


3.   What is an experience that has really shaped who you are?

There have been several life experiences and thankfully, many amazing and inspiring people along my path that have certainly influenced who I am today.  I would have to say though, that it was my own personal journey of coming out that has shaped me the most. The reason for that is because mine was also a journey of self-acceptance and it was something only I could do for myself. Coming out is a very personal decision and the process is different for everyone. Ultimately, what guided my decision to come out was my own personal desire for authenticity and integrity. By that, I simply mean, I wanted to experience the realness of life openly, honestly, and in congruence with my own personal values and beliefs. That decision, by far, has made all the difference in my life and has provided me with a sense of purpose and wholeness that I may have never experienced otherwise. Personal challenges help make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. I’m grateful for this journey.  


4.    How has Origin SC helped you in your career development?

My own lived experience has instilled in me both a personal and professional commitment to counseling, advocacy, and community outreach initiatives that serve to encourage and advance equality, diversity, and inclusion. Working at Origin SC has provided me with a unique opportunity to do exactly that while building trusted partnerships with other community organizations with a shared purpose of helping individuals and families throughout the Lowcountry area.


5.    What is one thing that you are most proud of?  

I am most proud of my decision to go back to school to earn my master’s degree after having spent 23 years in a completely different career field.  That decision is what eventually brought me here to Origin SC where I am reminded daily of the kindness, compassion, and empathy that not only still exists, but shows up every day engaged and determined to create a positive impact in the everyday lives of real people and their families.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Meet the Staff: Amy Greer



Title:  Homeless Prevention Case Manager

Hometown:  Lafayette IN

Years Working for Origin: 1.75

Favorite Hobby:  Shopping                                                 

1.     What drew you to Origin SC originally? And how has the organization changed since?  I was drawn to the organization when I was in college and saw a presentation from Kristin about the programs and services Origin offers and thought it would be a good place to work.

      What has surprised you the most about working at Origin SC? The amount of people who need our services from housing, debt management, homeless prevention, representative payee and conservator all serve a vital role in the community and allowing people who might not be able to flourish without assistance flourish,

3.    What is an experience that has really shaped who you are? Taking care of my dad who passed away in 2016 of Alzheimer's. I had to learn compassion, how to handle someone else money, how to work with debt collections, how social security works, how to be an advocate. But most of all how to talk to people with out making them feel dumb when they did not know or understand something. It gave me a deeper understanding that people need to be loved right where they are and learning to communicate love to them is a despite intellectual barriers is vital for successful relationships.

4.     How has Origin SC helped you in your career development? I love getting to learn to do new things from working in debt management and helping to digitize the program, then working in homeless prevention and RepPayee I am learning to work with Social Security and filling out reports, also I get to work with people finding solutions to rental issues. So I have learned a lot of things and somehow information I have learned despite the job I still use to help the clients I serve.

5.     What is one thing that you are most proud of? Getting my bachelor’s degree before I turned 30!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Giving Tuesday 2020

 What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. 

When is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday 2020 is Tuesday, December 1st 2020.

How is Origin SC participating in Giving Tuesday and how can you help?

This year for Giving Tuesday, Origin SC is raising funds for our FVIP (Family Violence Intervention Program). With your support, Origin SC’s Family Violence Intervention Program continues to make progress towards ending the cycle of domestic violence. Your gift directly supports victims of domestic violence on their path to becoming SURVIVORS. We know one of the major factors that often prevents victims from leaving their abuser is a lack of financial stability. Your contribution enables us to help provide supportive services to victims of domestic violence that help them achieve emotional and financial stability. Your unrestricted donation to Origin SC can help raise awareness about domestic violence and strengthen financial stability in the community creating a healthier local (and personal) economy. 

Donate NOW: https://originsc.networkforgood.com/projects/112712-family-violence-intervention-program-everyday-giving

Origin SC – FVIP Program Overview & Success Stories

At Origin SC, we offer group workshops and individual counseling for those who have experienced violence or abuse in the home. We know that the first step to healing is asking for help and, when that happens, we’ll be there to offer support and guidance. Each client is seen for an individual assessment to determine their specific needs. Once needs are determined, each client receives a treatment plan and is seen either in a group or individual setting.

Our programs include:

We understand the various dynamics influencing life situations, and are prepared to take on even the most challenging circumstances.

Below are two testimonials from recent graduates of the program.

“At first I didn’t realize why I needed classes. As the classes went on, I was shocked at how much I have learned and needed to learn about myself. I learned self- care is very important, as a mother of four I forgot about myself. These classes gave me my life and my self-worth back. They taught me it’s ok to start over if needed. The financial class taught me budgeting and savings ideas. My counselor gave me many resources. Learning about the different types of abuse helped me a lot. Setting boundaries with my husband has also helpedI learned a safety plan if anything in the future occurs. Origin SC, thank you for helping me see me for how great I am truly! I would highly recommend these classes to any friend or family members. I look forward to taking the First Time Homebuyers class! Thanks again Origin and my counselor! Y’all are the best!”

“I was scared, I didn’t know what options I had. I was constantly giving in to my abuser and walking on eggshells trying to make him happy and have him leave my children and I alone. My friends were frustrated with me, but his family and our church was telling us that divorce was bad and I should just forgive him. As stressful as it was, I’m grateful that DSS showed up at my apartment and referred me to Origin SC because for the first time, I heard the truth about my situation without judgement and was given everything I needed to succeed. Thank you.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Financially Friendly Black Friday Shopping

Do you spend too much on Black Friday? This shopping holiday is not made to break the bank and there are ways to shop smart this season!

·         41% of shoppers have suffered financial consequences because of Black Friday overspending.

·         51% say spending too much on Black Friday has caused them stress.

·         39% say they have felt regret about spending too much.

·         44% have used a credit card to make Black Friday purchases they could not afford.

·         63% of shoppers say using a credit card encourages them to spend more than they should.

Data Sources: *Survey of 600 Black Friday Shoppers conducted by Poll Fish, 2018.


Do you agree with any of the above statements? If so, this piece may be helpful for shopping this year. Trying to avoid shopping on Black Friday is like trying to avoid a slice of pie on Thanksgiving: both come once a year and are designed to entice you to indulge. Everyone loves deals but are they really deals? You may also fall into FOMO (fear of missing out) if you do not go Black Friday shopping and once you are there, the “deals” suck you in.

Plan Ahead!

Planning ahead will be the best “trick” to help save because when you are walking around you may waste time and money. It is like going grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Make a list of who you are shopping for, items you are planning on buying, and where you are planning to shop. Many stores release  what their sales will be in advance, and which items will be a part of their Black Friday sale.  In this step you should also set a budget (decide how much you can afford).

This year will also more than likely be different because of COVID-19 protocols. Normally, we see videos of shoppers stampeding through store fronts when they open on Black Friday, but this year that may not be the case. Many shoppers may choose to stay home this year and many stores will be offering curb side pick-up which will reduce in person shoppers, as well as the already in place store COVID rules regarding shopper capacity. This leads into another helpful tip: shop Black Friday sales online or wait until Cyber Monday. Most Black Friday deals begin at midnight on Thanksgiving or even earlier, so do your research and set your alarms!

Another helpful resource is downloading a Black Friday App. Of course there’s an app for that! A few are listed below:

·         Shopular. Shopular is a location-enabled app that automatically shows you relevant deals when you approach your favorite stores. Since it’s pretty much effortless to use, it’s a great product to bring to the mall when you plan to hit multiple retail locations. Plus, it has a built-in rebate feature that returns up to 25% off select purchases.

·         Flipp. Flipp aggregates flyers and coupons from hundreds of retailers. It lets you upload personalized shopping lists too – perfect for Black Friday. Upload your retail loyalty cards to earn points or rebates on Black Friday buys.

·         The Coupons App. Like Flipp, The Coupons App is a flyer and coupon aggregator. The customizable alerts are clutch. You don’t even have to log into the app to see late-breaking deals, including Black Friday flyers.

·         TheBlackFriday.com App. The name says it all. Of these four, TheBlackFriday.com’s app is the most narrowly tailored to Black Friday deals. If you’re looking for an app exclusively for the occasion, this is your pick. It includes deals that fall outside the traditional Black Friday window too, so it’s not a one-trick pony.

Goodluck this shopping season, and may the deals be ever in your favor! Don’t forget to plan ahead by creating a budget and a list!         

Written by: Allie Ryan                     


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Meet the Staff: Tavia Watson

Meet the Staff: Tavia Watson

MEET THE STAFF: Tavia watson

 Credit Counselor/Facilitator Manager 
Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
Years Working for Origin:  1 Year
Favorite Hobby: Shopping, shopping, taking trips, socializing 

1)                  What drew you to Origin SC originally? And how has the organization changed since?
 I saw the advertisement on Indeed for Credit counselor/ Training workshop facilitator.  Two words stuck out Counselor and Training Facilitator.  Both of which I have experience.  So, I figured to merge both work experience with obtaining more credentials as well as still doing what I love best (HELPING PEOPLE).  I would do the job to the best of my ability.

2)                  What has surprised you the most about working at Origin SC?
              The family-oriented environment and the opportunity for growth and                development.

3)                  What is an experience that has really shaped who you are?
My experience of working in the field of Human Service and Counseling has shaped me to be empathetic for others as well as to be able to inspire and encourage when needed.    My moto after completing my Thesis (Master’s Program) The ability to help one equals a job well done.  I truly believe its my career calling in live

4)                  How has Origin SC helped you in your career development?                         Origin has allowed me to expand my career opportunities and to obtain       credentials that will be beneficial to me.
5)                  What is one thing that you are most proud of?
I am  very proud to positive get feedback from clients and coworkers related to me work experience and the ability to help others.  

Friday, October 16, 2020

October: Financial Planning Month

October is Financial Planning Month and it’s a great reminder for us to keep our spending in check and to prepare a budget before the upcoming holiday season. We have compiled some tips and other resources to help get you started.

Before you start it is important to have a defined goal as the first step. 

You can ask yourself: 

·       What are your goals? How are you tracking your goals? Who is helping you reach your goals?

These 5 Tips can help put you in the right direction:

·      Create a budget. Review previous monthly bank statements and cut expenses where you can. Eating out, monthly memberships, and drive-thru coffees add up over time!

·      Start saving. A little put away here and there also adds up over time! Keep that pocket change and cutting back on expenses goes a long way. Transfer over a portion of each paycheck when possible to your savings and watch it grow! We like to call this “paying yourself.” Do something nice for your future self.

·      Pay bills on time. When bills are not paid on time, late fees and penalties result in extra costs and can lower your credit score. 

·      Consolidate debt. Carrying a never-ending balance across many accounts can be challenging to manage. Our Debt Management program develops consolidated payment  plans that include lower interest rates and monthly payments which are made directly to our office and distributed appropriately to the creditors on the behalf of the client.

·      See a financial planner (at Origin SC). We can help you with our goals and set you on the path to success. We offer many resources, such as FREE workshops to help improve your credit and make ends meet ! Origin SC also has a Financial Coaching programWe provide education in developing and balancing your budget and managing your money to make the most of every paycheck. You will work to develop a simple budget that accommodates your unique financial situation and lifestyle. 

Written by: Allie Ryan


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Thinking Outside of the Box: 5 Creative & Simple Ways to Help Domestic Violence Victims & Survivors

   October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This month is about taking action, raising awareness, and bringing attention to the issue of domestic violence (DV). It is also about remembering those we have lost to domestic violence and honoring those that have survived. Change starts within ourselves and flows out; first touching our families and those closest to us, next reaching our communities, and then moving beyond to hopefully, a national level. If we want a world without domestic violence, we must take a stand in some way and remind ourselves, our communities, and our country that there are still countless people impacted by domestic violence directly and indirectly each year. We must continue to shed light on the issue until there is zero tolerance for domestic violence on a national level. For many of us, this can seem daunting & uncomfortable, and for many of us, we pose the same question in our heads. “How can I actually make a difference in a domestic violence situation?” The answer is simple, let’s change the way we think about making a difference on an issue such as intimate partner violence. Let’s change the way we think about offering help to create change should look like around domestic violence. Even though we want to, we don’t have to stop the abuse to help and create change around the issue.

   In honor of taking a stand against domestic violence, this article intends to offer a few examples on the ways you might be able to help a survivor or someone experiencing domestic violence.

1.    1. Give your talents- Do you have some special skill that comes so very easy to you it’s almost like second nature? Have your friends ever asked for your help with something because you are known to be quite good at it? Do you have special training/ certifications or professional skills and experience that others might benefit from? If so, you can always contact an organization that works with domestic violence victims and ask if their clients could use your skills. A personal trainer, yoga instructor, dance teacher may offer exercise, yoga, or dance classes periodically. A career coach might offer a class that focuses on preparing for a job interview. A writer or even college level English major, can provide a workshop on building resumes and writing cover letters. You might offer attendees the opportunity to develop their own resume during the class. Chefs can offer a cooking class. Artists can offer art therapy workshops. Call your local domestic violence shelter or organization and offer your talents. The possibilities are endless in this department!

2.   2.  Give your time – Many domestic violence organizations and shelters rely heavily on volunteers to ensure certain aspects of their programs continue to run and function efficiently and smoothly. Unfortunately, funding is limited for most, if not all, programs that work toward helping domestic violence victims and survivors. Limited funding means limited staff with heavy caseloads and not nearly enough time. This is why volunteers are so essential to these domestic violence shelters and organizations. If you are interested in volunteering, check your local DV shelter and DV organizations to see what opportunities they offer volunteers. A few options might include:

·         Answering calls that come through a domestic violence hotline or online chat

·         Providing agency/shelter approved transportation to appointments and job interviews

·         “Volunteering as an advocate who helps survivors find jobs, housing, childcare, and legal services”

·         Working at a DV fundraising or DV awareness & community event

·         “Cooking or cleaning for a shelter”

·         “Fostering a dog or cat whose “parent” can’t keep the animal in a domestic violence shelter”

3.   3.  Give a nonmonetary donation – When leaving a domestic violence situation, many survivors have to start over entirely. They often spend weeks if not longer planning to leave the abusive situation and often wait anxiously for the safest time to leave. They typically have a very limited window of time to escape and no means to take belongings other than a small bag of clothes for themselves and their children and important documents. If you have items that you no longer need such as clothes, like new household items (ex. towels, blankets/sheets, furniture) old cell phones, old vehicles, consider donating before throwing these items away. Toiletries, cleaning supplies, and food are always in high demand at shelters as well. You can also call your local DV shelter and ask what they need. Start a local drive with friends to obtain what is needed and raise awareness.


4.    4Give a monetary donation – Shelters and organizations often have limited funding and rely on grants and donations to keep their domestic violence programs running and afloat. Donations are always greatly appreciated and make a huge difference in the supportive services that most organizations and shelters are able to provide. If you’d like to donate to Origin SC’s Family Violence Intervention program, click the link. https://originsc.org/get-involved/donate/


5.    Help the people around you – You don’t have to work at a domestic violence shelter or organization to offer kindness and compassion to someone in need. Just offer to listen and see how you can help their particular situation whether it be babysitting for a few hours, or watching a pet, maybe they just need a safe place to stay one night. Perhaps you can be the safe location they come to first when they decide to flee and then you help get them to a shelter. With dv rates so high, chances are you do know someone who has or is experiencing intimate partner violence. If you know someone isn’t ready to leave a domestic violence relationship, just simply let them know you are here for them now and when they do decide to leave. Provide them with local resources and encourage them to call 911 if they are ever in an emergency.

jh Origin SC, has a Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP) that offers group workshops and individual counseling for those who have experienced violence or abuse in the home. To learn more, visit the FVIP webpage or call 843.628.3000.

Written by: Lindsey Jenkins


Resources: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/four-ways-to-help-domestic-violence-survivors-besides-money-0517137

Adulting 101: Financial Tips for Young Adults


Adulting 101


Congrats! You’re on your own and have become an adult, but have you considered one of the hardest parts of becoming an adult…your finances?  We hear terms like budgeting, credit scores, taxes, interest, loans, etc. but most of us were never taught what these things mean. So how do we become educated in a time where our generation (Gen Z & Millennials) avoids the conversation involving their finances? We know taking the first step towards acknowledging your finances is the hardest part.  That’s why we have provided some tips and resources to help you overcome this fear and take action!


Everyone deals with money anxiety whether it be having enough to make ends meet, paying bills, buying a home, or even earning enough income to achieve long-term goals; you are not alone!


First things first, here are some tips to help take small steps to become more comfortable addressing your finances:


·         Create a monthly budget

·         Check your account balances once a week

·         Pay bills as soon as possible

·         Keep credit card accounts low and pay off as soon as you spend

·         Start to create long term financial goals

·         Invest in yourself


Still overwhelmed with your finances? Don’t be afraid to get help! The more you talk about money and listen to what works for others, the more your fear will begin to fade. We at Origin SC have amazing resources to help you, many are FREE. Take advantage of them while you can! Getting ahead early will help you with those long term financial goals.


Origin SC Free Virtual Classes: https://originsc.org/classes/


Credit Improvement & Making Ends Meet 

Learn the positive steps you can take to improve your credit & basic budgeting techniques and day-to-day money management strategies. This workshop can be especially helpful for potential homebuyers.

Intro to Homeownership

Gain a better understanding of the homeownership process – from the mortgage application to down payment assistance.


First Time Homebuyer

Take advantage of this comprehensive HUD-certified workshop! Learn the latest from our licensed homebuyer coaches and meet trusted professionals in the industry.

Bankruptcy Counseling

Get the counseling and education you need if you are facing bankruptcy.

Foreclosure Prevention

Learn how our licensed and experienced staff can advocate on your behalf to get you back on track with your payments or save your home from foreclosure.

·         To sign up for these virtual classes, you can find them here: https://originsc.org/classes/ or can call 843.628.3000

·         Each class is led by our HUD-licensed facilitator: Tavia Watson

By: Allie Ryan