Having debt is like a lot of experiences in life — everyone thinks they are the only one.
But there’s strength in numbers, said Amy Peek, accountant and owner of Pittsburgh-based Pittsburgh ConsultiN.
That’s why she’s rolling out her firm’s inaugural community, or club.
This first-time group effort, dubbed Debt Eliminators, is aimed at people wanting to get rid of all debt, regardless of the amount.
Unlike Peek’s traditional one-on-one financial services, Debt Eliminators will have a multi-pronged approach that includes a personalized plan and coaching from Peek, but also will involve education and support in a group setting.
There will be workshops and more informal social gatherings for members to share their successes and failures, along with virtual community support through a private Facebook group for members only.
“There are important things you can learn from each other,” Peek said.
There are countless budgeting and saving tools coming out all the time — and having a community of support may help cut through some of the noise.
“There’s a lot of crap, too. And it can be hard for people to decipher the good from the bad,” she said. “Getting out of debt is a long process … and it can be a very hard process if they don’t have the support in place for a plan.”
For some, discussing financials in a group setting may be a turn-off.
While Peek will encourage members to talk about and share their experiences, she will keep all financial information confidential. Members only will share what they are comfortable sharing. And incentives she offers for paying down debt will be awarded publicly, but she won’t disclose how much the debt was — only that a goal was reached.
Peek said she decided to start the community and focus on debt elimination partly in response to the recent government shutdown.
“It’s really concerning to me to see people live paycheck to paycheck and not able to pay their bills, let alone pay down debt,” she said.
The group is open to anyone, regardless of whether they are an existing Peekz client.
Peek says she is looking for people who are serious about paying down debt.
“I want people who don’t want anyone’s thumb on them,” she said. “It’s important for me for people to take ownership of their debt because I’m not a fan of bankruptcy.”
For more information and a full list of benefits and expectations, visit our communities page on the Peekz website.
Fill out this form if you are interested in joining the Debt Eliminators community through Peekz.
Peek plans to begin coaching calls for members by late spring.
The firm plans on offering other communities this year. Stay tuned for more details.
Photo credit: Brendan Wood, Flickr–CC (top) and Alyson Raletz (secondary)
Peekz ConsultiN LLC is a Pittsburgh-based accounting firm, located in the West Side, that caters to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. We aim to empower clients to help them take control of their finances and achieve their dreams.