In the Community
Advance Financial Scholarship Program
March 21st, 2017
At Advance Financial, we are dedicated to supporting education programs within the communities we serve. Part of that dedication is funding a variety of educational initiatives throughout the state of Tennessee. These Programs are focused on improving the quality of education for pre-school, grade school, and high school students, while also making college more accessible to high school graduates.
We started the Advance Financial Scholarship Program in 2015, giving out a total of $5,000 in scholarship money to senior high school students planning on attending a two or four year institution. This year we have tripled that amount, and plan to give approximately $20,000 in scholarships that can be used by students to help pay tuition and other school expenses.
Below is the criteria for applying for the Advance Financial Scholarship:
- The student must reside in a county served by Advance Financial
- Must be a senior in an accredited Tennessee school
- Student must attend a two or four year institution of higher education in the United States as an undergraduate
- The award brings $1,000 each, payable to the college of their choice to cover part of their school expenses for the fall of their first year
- GPA Must be equivalent to at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
Paying our Employees to Give back to the Community Through Volunteering
May 24th, 2016
Think of the word community. What comes to mind? Is it your church group, the neighbors on your street, or the members of the PTO? A community can be described as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. We at Advance Financial are part of our customers’ communities; therefore we also share many common goals and interests with those that use our service, which is shown through our charity and volunteer work.
Because giving back to the communities we serve is so important to us, we allot 40 paid volunteer hours a year to each of our employees. Whether it be one of our many scheduled volunteer events, or a specific organization that is important to an employee, we make sure the opportunity to make a difference and give back to our neighborhoods is always available.
278 Volunteer Hours for April
April was a big month for our volunteer efforts, with 278 logged hours. Below are some of the charity events that our team participated in. Great job to everyone who volunteered!
Our Knoxville volunteers taught some kids at Anderson County about financial literacy. We were happy to partner with Junior Achievement for the day to educate the students from a real world perspective.
McMinnville Kids Funfest & Safety Day
Volunteers from our Gallatin store helped out for the McMinnville Kids Funfest & Safety Day by passing out first-aid kits to the kids.
JDRF One Walk
One Saturday afternoon our Chattanooga team banned together to volunteer for the JDRF One Walk fundraiser. JDRF One Walk is the largest type 1 diabetes fundraiser event in the world. The team helped register runners and pass out shirts.
Clean and Green
Some of our AF ladies joined the Clean and Green organization to pick up trash around the downtown area of Nashville in an effort to keep the city of Nashville beautiful.
If you feel strongly about our volunteering efforts and think you would be a good fit for the environment we try to create at Advance Financial, click here to find out how to join our team.
What are we doing for others?
January 16th, 2015
Monday, January 19th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an American federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of January each year and is around the time of King’s birthday, January 15th. King was the chief spokesman in the civil rights movement.
Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” Each year, Americans come together on this holiday to serve their neighbors and communities, hence, Monday is also known as the King Day of Service.
It’s great when we can donate money to give back to the communities we serve, but Advance Financial is proud to be a company that offers it’s employees 40 hours of paid volunteerism every year. In 2013 and 2014, we sponsored Hands on Nashville’s MLK Day of Service, donating $3,000 per year. In addition, in 2013 we provided volunteers to paint a fire hall and in 2014 we painted at Metro Park Community Center.
To celebrate MLK Day in 2015, we will once again partner with Hands on Nashville with volunteers to serve Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation Community Centers through facility improvement projects.
To find out more about the King Day of Service, visit the Corporation for National & Community Service website.
Photo Credit: Scott Ableman
Resolution. Friend or Foe?
December 30th, 2014
The holidays are just about over. The only one remaining for 2014 is New Year’s Eve. A night when we celebrate the past year and look forward to the hope of a bright new year just east of 11:59 pm.
Thousands of people also make new year’s resolutions, a promise to oneself to make changes, usually for the better, in the upcoming 365 days. These lists include things like losing weight, quitting a bad habit, saving money, etc. The list goes on and on.
But somewhere between January 1 and say maybe February 15, most of those hoped for promises tend to blow out the proverbial window. So, you ask, how do I make a list and stick to it? Here are a few suggestions:
- Be realistic. You’re probably not going to lose 100 pounds, but you might lose 25. Or better yet, break it down to 1-2 pounds a month. A shorter-term goal is always easier to attain.
- Ask for help. If you’re trying to quit smoking, join a support group or talk to your doctor to see if there’s anything that can help with the process. Be open to new things.
- Be accepting of mistakes. If you’ve committed to eating better, be nice to yourself. If you have a cookie, there’s no need to get a stick out and start beating yourself up. The only thing that’s accomplished by this is a feeling of failure. And when I feel like a failure I want to eat a cookie.
- Be patient. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Be intentional. If your resolution is to “be happy,” then find ways to be happy. When you get up in the morning, making a list of all the things for which you’re grateful. A grateful person is a happy person.
- Write it down. Put your goals on sticky notes and attach to your mirror to be seen every morning while you’re brushing your teeth.
These are just a few ideas. Be creative and come up with some of your own. Remember, none of us are perfect. The idea is to keep trying. Change is a life-long process. The idea is to begin that process.
We at Advance Financial wish you a very safe and happy holiday and look forward to serving you in 2015.
Photo Credit: The Globzer
Office Party Shenanigans
December 23rd, 2014
It’s the time of year for celebration. And we all know what that means, P-A-R-T-Y. Most offices hold a yearly holiday party. But just because you want to let your hair down, doesn’t mean you necessarily should at a company function. There are certain things you can’t (or shouldn’t) do at these gatherings.
For those of you who don’t know already what those things are, here’s a short list to help you keep your job and survive another year:
- First and foremost, DON’T GET COMPLETELY CRUNK (for those of you who don’t know what that is, “Crazy Drunk”). It’s just not a good idea. We all do things we wouldn’t normally do when we’re drunk. Which brings us to #2.
- Don’t hook up with fellow employees or worse, your boss. In other words, if anyone asks you to come see something in the broom closet, JUST SAY NO!
- Don’t tell vulgar or off-color jokes. You don’t know if Sue from accounting will report you to HR, so better safe than sorry.
- Dance with care. Don’t do any “Miss Jackson if you’re nasty,” moves.
- Dress appropriately. If you’re showing something you’d be embarrassed to show on a regular day, a good rule of thumb is cover it up.
- Don’t overshare. Nothing makes people more uncomfortable than a “Hey, do you know what Madge and I did last Saturday night,” story.
- Almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera that can take images and records. Unless you want your holiday party behavior to live on post-holiday season, think twice.
Remember, you have to work with these people everyday and there’s nothing worse than hearing, “Did you see Herb at the party. He was _____________.”
All of us at Advance Financial hope you have a very safe and happy holiday.
Photo Credit: Katrina Cole
Have Yourself a Merry Little…
December 17th, 2014
This time of year is meant to be happy and joyous – spending time with family, enjoying holiday parties, selecting presents for those you love. But these things, and a whole list of others, can also bring the holiday stress – turkeys may burn, malls will be crowded and families might have squabbles. How you react to the stress of these situations can either make things better or worse. Below are a few suggestions you might find helpful when dealing with the holidays.
- Lower your expectations. As much as you may want a perfect holiday, it’s probably not going to happen. And by having high expections, you set yourself up for failure. Relax, focus on what’s realistic and enjoy the moment.
- Don’t overload your calendar. As much as you may want to go to every party and event, pick and choose what’s really going to be fun to you and allow yourself time to rest and take it easy.
- Get enough sleep.
- Try to stick to your regular diet as much as possible. A huge part of the holidays is the food. Of course you’re going to eat special treats and holiday dinners, but don’t let it become a habit. It’s easier to stick to your regular diet than to have to make New Year’s resolutions.
- Ask for help. Instead of having a resentment that you’re the only one trying to pull off a great holiday, ask for help with things like meals, shopping, errands.
This is just a small list of ways to help. There is a ton of information on the web and you can always ask other people how they handle stress.
Our services can help with holiday stress as well. With over 50 locations all over Tennessee we can help you conveniently pay a bill (FREE), get the cash you need, wire money to a loved one and much more. Stop by and see us. We’re here to help.
Photo Credit: Jim
Jingle All the Way…
December 4th, 2014
The holidays officially kick off in Nashville on Friday, December 5th with the 61st Annual Nashville Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony. This year grammy-nominated singing legend Brenda Lee, best known for her rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” will be making a guest appearance in the parade. Also slated for guest appearances are Megan Alexander of Inside Edition and singing duo Haley & Michaels. It promises to be a great event. Please visit here for road closures and here for parking. The Mayor’s Tree Lighting festivities begin at Public Square in front of the courthouse at 6:30 with fireworks immediately following and 7:00 for the parade start.
Along with this week’s activities, there are a ton of other things going on around the city to get you in the holiday spirit. Here are a few suggestions:
As well, there are loads of free events around the city. Visit Ms. Cheap’s Holiday Guide for a complete list.
As always, Advance Financial is here to help. If you’re in need of holiday cash for presents, events, traveling, etc., you can call on us 24/7/365.
Photo Credit: brianiac
Let the Games Begin
November 19th, 2014
It happens the same way every year. We spend days preparing for it – clipping coupons, planning routes, setting alarm clocks, making plans with family and friends. No, it’s not Thanksgiving. It’s Black Friday.
Every year, the day following Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, millions of Americans make shopping plans to get great deals on the anticipated holiday shopping list, decorations and the like. Retailers open extremely early (or, as seen in current years, never close) to accomodate those that want to save some green during this holiday season.
Some people have trained years for Black Friday, the Olympics of shopping. But there are those “Black Friday Virgins.” If you count yourself among this group, here’s a few tips:
- Use apps such as TGIBlackFriday.com and RetailMeNot.com to help plan your strategy
- Lots of people thrive on the chaos of the hunt, the crowds, the adrenaline. Not your scene? You can shop online from the comfort of your home and get some great deals
- Some retailers offer “Black Friday” markdowns prior to the actual day. Do some research to see what you can find
- After you’ve completely stuffed yourself with the feast, check out your local paper for sales flyers and coupons
- Makes plans to go with a shopping partner. Two heads are better than one and four hands are even better. You and your compadre can divide and conquer
- If you want to sleep in on Friday or if you don’t find exactly what you need, there’s always Cyber Monday
During the holidays, money can be a stressful matter. We want to help relieve some of that pressure. Our stores are open 24/7/365 and you can even apply for a loan online. Let us help you with all your financial needs.
Photo credit: Twisted Manga