ACCC discusses the cornerstone of responsible financial planning.
Boston, MA – July 31, 2017
It is easy to spend money today without thinking about what you may need tomorrow. Most people find budgeting annoying, overwhelming, and daunting. It is important to remember, however, that budgeting is one of the key aspects to financial success. To help consumers with the process, American Consumer Credit Counseling has provided several tips on how to create a budget that fits your life.
“A budget is the cornerstone of responsible financial planning. It shows exactly how much money you have and where it’s being spent,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “By creating a budget, you can find ways to save money and plan for whatever you may need in the future.”
Although there are many kinds of budgets, funds allocated for emergencies are often neglected, and cause the most worry. If a consumer is concerned about their lack of an emergency fund they are not alone: more than 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 saved for emergency expenses according to a GoBankingRates survey. Only 15 percent of respondents reported that they had more than $10,000 in their savings accounts.
American Consumer Credit Counseling offers advice for building a budget:
- Create a budgeting worksheet – A budgeting worksheet helps consumers outline their budget and customize a spending plan based on their income and needs. By putting a budget together on a worksheet, it’ll be easier for consumers to make the right financial decisions.
- Maintain good spending habits – Consumers should determine how much they spend in each category, such as debt, living expenses, and take-home income. Each day, they should record their spending in the appropriate box. At the end of the week or pay period, total all of these amounts and record them in the spaces provided. Make adjustments based on the records and the effects of spending.
- Develop a plan – Determine all of the inputs, outputs, expenses, and incomes. The best way for consumers to track this is to limit their financial actions to one account for a trial period, usually 30 days. Review the bank statement and any additional factors that could influence your financial standing. Work with a professional or use free resources to develop a plan that is best. Revise your budget to keep up with your lifestyle.
- Utilize a Personal Financial Workbook – The Personal Financial Workbook is a tool that can be used to organize finances and gain an understanding of how money is being spent. By using the worksheets, consumers can paint a clear picture of their financial situation and make better decisions for the future. Consumers should photocopy worksheets before using them so that they may revise the information, and reuse the worksheets as needed.
- Shop with a plan – Certain times of year require a lot of shopping, and trying to stay within a budget can be especially daunting. Use budgeting worksheets to plan your shopping trips during the busiest retail seasons.
- Divide and conquer – Do not hesitate to break the budget into parts. Have one budget for the household, one for expenses like dining out or going to the movies, and one for any other aspect of your life. It is often simpler, in the long run, to create a multilayer budget with details than to have one large budget that glosses over key information.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit https://www.consumercredit.com/debt-resources-tools/