More and more banks and credit unions offer monthly budget planning tools as a free service to their account holders. Could it be that budgets are *cough* “fun”? According to one website I spent entirely way too much time looking at, some people even consider budgets “sexy.” (Right after you read this blog post, head over to budgetsaresexy.com. And especially don’t miss the series called “Overheard at the Coffee Shop.” Hilarious.)
Ah yeah. Finally, an article that might actually get some of you reading—How to make budgets sexy. Or, “That time GOLDPoint Systems went wild on their blog post and showed the underbelly of financing.”
Eyes up here. Let’s get serious. Budgets are a way of life. Think of these oft-heard phrases, that you likely have also said yourself:
- “Budget is tight”
- “It’s not in the budget.”
- “Champagne taste on a beer budget”
- “Shoestring budget”
- Or my personal favorite: “budget surplus”
And what is a budget really? Simply, it’s where the amount you make pays for the things you spend.
Advertisers know exactly how to entice those people who are very mindful of money going in and out of their bank accounts.
A friend of mine at work never considered buying a house after renting for 20 years. Then an ad showed up on his doorstep that read, “If you make more than $13 per hour, you can afford this house.” This was back in 2000.
He decided to call the number on the ad, and can you believe this reclusive hermit of a man did the unthinkable? He called the number on the ad to inquire about purchasing a home. Then he bought the home! (You kind-of have to know this guy to realize how remarkable that ad was for him. The guy can barely call the number for pizza delivery out of fear of talking to someone.)
What changed his mind? It all came down to his budget. Once he could see that a mortgage could fit into what he made, he was all on board.
GOLDPoint Systems has software designed to help you tap into those budget-conscious mindsets. We have one of the most incredible loan estimate calculators on the market today. It can take into account any fees, add-on insurance, how long the customer wants to pay on the loan, and with a quick click of a mouse: blam! The actual price of the loan, including month-to-month payments, is there. You can even print it out and hand it to the potential customer. (Or if online, the customer can see for themselves the amortization of their prospective loan.)
How does this play into budgets?
Customers can feel uneasy about the price of something. If they’re like me, the price of something can seem overwhelming and you start comparing how your first car was less than the cell phone your daughter really, really wants. And you may start to sweat and do that thing where you rub your forehead and look down and say, “I…just…don’t…know.”
But if a customer hears instead:
“With our low introductory rate, you could pay off the loan in 24 months with a price of only $24 a month.”
That makes customers think:
“Really?! I just need to bring lunch from home for a week, and I can pay for that! Where do I sign?” (Daughter squeals with delight in the background. You ARE a hero!)
We call that hero-like budgeting tool: Payment Calculator. (See? Does a name get any sexier than that?!)
It’s the brains behind our loan origination system. (We probably should have called it “GOLD Brains,” but the James Bond franchise had already trademarked it.)
Payment Calculator can calculate and show an amortization schedule based on the amount of cash the customer wants or the monthly payment amount the customer is comfortable paying.
If the customer wants to see what their monthly payment amount would be if the loan was extended by a year – no problem. Enter the new criteria and click <Results> and see what the new payment amount would be.
What if the customer would like some add-on insurance to help protect the purchase? Check a few boxes, whistle a happy tune, click <Results> again, and the sales person can quickly show the customer that adding on insurance would only increase their payment amount by a few dollars.
When the customer is satisfied with the payment amount, click <Apply> and the loan is calculated and saved, awaiting final signatures and processing.