Budget Counseling

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Budget Counseling to Repair your Credit Score in PA.

Budget Counseling in Bucks County and Montgomery County
We help repair your credit score by providing budget counseling in Bucks County and Montgomery County.

Planning doesn’t mean having less, it means doing more with what you have. Our ideas change about what we’d like to have and what we must have. Similarly, your budget (Spending Plan) will change as your needs and wants change.

The first step in the budget counseling process is to find out how you spend your money. We will help you sort out your obligations and develop your spending plan. The plan is comprehensive. It most likely includes categories that aren’t part of your usual spending and savings plan. We will use it to jog your memory about small and large expenses, and to plan for changes you anticipate. Include an entertainment category – fun and luxuries. If your plan doesn’t make room for fun you will soon abandon it.

We will figure expenses on a monthly basis. Say you spend $1 each day to buy two cans of soda at work. That’s $5 a week, $20 a month. When you see that sum from a small cost item, you may decide to have only one can per day.

Use this principle in reverse for once-a-year costs, such as a property insurance premium. That payment can be a strain, but if you plan for it and put aside one-twelfth monthly or one-fourth quarterly, you can meet the payment without anxiety. Put the set-aside in a savings account. You’ll benefit twice – by having the money on hand when the bill comes and by earning interest on the deposit.

We will continue this process with every expense you incur throughout the year to come up with the monthly cost of maintaining your household. Once we know where the money is going we can ask some tough questions. Are you spending too much on phone calls? Can you trim the insurance premium, but get the same coverage by shopping different companies? If your grocery outlay seems high, ask yourself how much food you waste. Try to do better by planning menus and then making shopping lists. The point is, with some scrutiny, you should be able to find some fat in your budget. Are savings a little thin? Don’t make the common mistake of saying you’ll save what’s left over – you know that means you won’t save at all. Look at your short-term plans first. If you’re hoping to buy a new car, are you putting enough money aside weekly or monthly to meet your down-payment goal? Your savings should be 3-6 months’ of operating costs (what it costs to run your household per month).

Try to anticipate financial changes. If you’ll be driving more, for instance, you’ll spend more on gas and car upkeep. Maybe some costs will go down, if you pay off a loan, for example. Divert at least part of any paid-off loan payment or pay raise to your savings account. Your tax refund can pay off a loan or increase your savings.

As you use the budget plan and your spending habits come into focus, you’ll probably see places where you want to make changes. Revise and review your budget often to be mindful of your goals and to make necessary changes as they come about. Your financial anxiety level may be directly proportional to the amount of or lack of savings in the bank. If the savings is not enough or negligible, change your strategy and get that money in the bank for emergencies, you’ll sleep better. If YOU don’t take charge of your finances who will?

Call for an appointment 215-348-8003.