From: Amy Hannold,
247Moms.com Frugal Living Editor
Moms Can Become Debt-Free and Money-Wiser
Resolutions to better manage and be in control of your money can last – and change your life.
Here are some safe, efficient places to start:
Before you can make goals, you have to know where you stand.
Step One: Order a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com
You can order one copy of your credit reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year. For consistent, periodic monitoring of your credit report, order one copy of your credit report from one of the three agencies during the year.
Step Two: Communicate and put your plan in writing. Create small and future goals.
BetterBudgeting.com has free, printable “Dealing with Debt” and “Basic Budgeting” Worksheets. With yourself and/or your spouse, thoroughly review your spending, expenses and current debt. Complete the debt and budget forms, followed by a pact to stop accruing debt. You can read more about creating a budget at BetterBudgeting.com. If you’d like to create an interactive money management plan, Mint.com is for you. Free financial planning software and connections to related resources – Iphone and Android apps too!
If you find that you’re behind on payments or nearing a point where you will not be able to pay monthly bills, begin to communicate with your creditors. Proactive, honest measures taken now may earn you some relief with interest rates and the effect on your credit report.
Step Three: Know Your Rights and Where to Turn
Consumer Action Handbook, a combo encyclopedia and yellow pages of all things money. Read it online or order a free printed copy at ConsumerAction.gov.
Bank and Credit Unions: Ask your bank/credit union for any services or tools they offer to help you manage your money.
Clark Howard: His comprehensive website offers articles and resources to “Save More, Spend Less and Avoid Getting Ripped Off”. Find his books at the library, broadcasts on your tv, podcast and radio too.
Dave Ramsey: Your church/bible study can work together towards “Financial Peace” with Ramsey’s books and seminars. He’s written helpful books and can be heard on radio/tv.
Be Aware of Credit Counseling Services: On television and on the internet there are many commercials offering to assist you with your credit circumstances. Before you sign with any of these, refer to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (nfcc.org) and the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org).
Step Four – Wiser Today, and Beyond!
Now that you have a clearer vision of where you are, make conscious, evaluated decisions with your money-everyday. Find an encourager, someone who perhaps can be an accountability partner. Track your progress and celebrate wisely as you reach small goals. Surround yourself with pictures, goal sheets, scripture, inspirational quotes and people who remind you what you’re working towards. You can do it!