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If you're not completely comfortable with your spending plan, or would like some guidance with this or other financial issues, consider a free and confidential money management counseling session. Our appointments are offered weekdays, evenings, and weekends. The average counseling session lasts approximately one hour, and there is no limit on the number of sessions you may have.

Counselors are qualified to discuss general money management, credit and housing topics including goal setting, spending and savings plans, credit and credit reports, debt management, buying a first home, mortgage delinquency and foreclosure prevention. Each session is goal oriented and results in a written action plan clearly outlining the steps you and your counselor decide to take in order to establish personal financial control.

Five Budgeting Blunders

1. Not knowing what you spend

2. Failing to prioritize goals

3. Abusing your credit card

4. Charging more each month than you repay

5. Not paying yourself first

A well-designed, realistic spending plan is the most powerful tool available for reaching your financial goals. Download our Money Management Planner to see if you're right on track or if you'll need to increase your income or decrease your expenses in order to save enough. In order to complete this worksheet, you'll need to think about what is really important to you. How can you use your income to provide the greatest satisfaction?

Budget math is simple: The amount of money going out must always be less than, or equal to, the amount of money coming in. If you're like most people, incoming funds are pretty predictable and documentable - your paycheck and earnings on savings and investments. Money going out, however, may be a bit fuzzier. Sure, you write checks for bills and you know about how much you've spent using credit cards, but cash may seem simply to disappear. As a result, you don't have a good overview of where your money goes. Understanding and changing your spending habits is the key to successful budgeting.

Visit our Financial Education center to learn how to master your money.


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