The POWER of
Promoting Financial Literacy
Springboard is a non-profit
organization founded in 1974.
We offer personal financial education
and assistance with money, credit, and
debt management through educational
programs and confidential counseling.
Accredited by the Council on Accreditation
Member of the National Foundation for
Credit Counseling (NFCC)
Certified by the Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD)
Member of the Better Business Bureau
Our Services Include
Credit and Debt Counseling
Financial Education Programs – Seminars
Debt Management Plans
Homeowner Assistance (Foreclosure
First Time Home Buyer Education Seminars
Reverse Mortgage Counseling
Pre-Bankruptcy Budget and Credit
Pre-Discharge Financial Management
Surveys show that only 12% of high school
seniors learn about money management in
Historically, it has been up to parents to
teach their children the skills needed.
Most of us learn these lessons the hard way
after we’ve moved out on our own and made
Stop incurring new debt
Live on a cash basis
Get a handle on your situation
What is a Budget?
A budget (spending plan) is a plan to
figure out where your money goes
before you get it.
Where to Begin When Creating
How much do you earn?
How much do you spend?
Track Your Spending!
Track ALL spending
for at least 90 days
Write down even the
to the monthly
tracking sheet to
summarize and view
Daily Tracking Sheets
Use the forms provided
in this book or
Carry a small notebook
Keep your receipts in a
separate envelope for
Use software like
Microsoft® Money or
Quicken® (chances are
you already own one of
these applications if you
own a personal
Tracking Sheet for Monthly
Creating Your Budget
Three things you need to know:
Track All Your Sources of Income
Part time job
Categorizing Your Expenses
The two most important categories of
expenses are needs and wants.
Necessary expenses are your needs.
Discretionary expenses are your
The rule to bear in mind is this: Anything that
is necessary for you to earn a living is a
Housing (include utilities, taxes,
Transportation (include car insurance)
Personal care, clothing, jewelry
Entertainment (include cable TV!)
Credit Card Payments
Any Other Debt Payments
After you divide your necessary from
your discretionary expenses, you aren’t
done categorizing your spending.
This usually takes the form of credit card
bills, though auto loan repayments and
personal loans would also count.
Take each debt and figure out a monthly
payment amount that will allow you to
pay off your debts as quickly as possible.
For your auto loans, this is your established car
For your credit cards, don’t just send the
minimum monthly payment; if you do, you’ll be
paying toward that debt for the next 30 years.
For example, say you owe $6000 on a credit card.
Over four years, or 48 months, you’d pay $125 per
month to wipe out the debt. If that amount is too large
for your budget, you can adjust the payoff term to
something longer, like 5 years. (Then you’d only have
to pay $100 per month.)
Whatever you do, though, don’t stretch out the payoff
term so much that you’re just making minimum
A short–term goal should be accomplished
within one year.
A mid-range goal takes between 2 and 5
years to accomplish.
Long-term goals take over 5 years to achieve.
Don’t be too
Adding It All Up
Now it’s time to put everything together and
see whether your budget will work.
Remember, your short, mid and long term
goals should be included with your expenses
on your budget.
Total Necessary Expenses
+ Total Discretionary Expenses
+ Total Debt Payments
= Total Monthly Expenses
Now Let’s See if Your Budget
Total Monthly Net Income
- Total Monthly Expenses
= Surplus (+) or Deficit (-)
If Your Expenses Exceed Your
Work to find solutions
Credit counseling can help if you have high debt
payments that are upsetting your budget.
Whatever you do, don’t cut into the 10% - 15% you
should be saving; you need to save up to three – six
total month’s of expenses to get through an
Re-evaluate your budget periodically, especially
when your income or needs change.
What Your Spending Should Look Like
Personal & Misc. 5-10%
Monthly Installments 10-20%
goals, it’s time
to propose a
Balancing that Budget
Continue to track spending for another 30-60
days to plug budget “leaks”.
Wants vs. Needs – know the difference!
Ask before you buy: “How did I get along
Plan ahead and curb those impulse buys.
Include your family in budget discussions
Dine out too often
Five times more expensive than making it yourself
Impulsive nature of it
Movies - #1 entertainment outlet
Paying too much for things
Buying what you don’t need
Shopping as a form of entertainment
Increasing Income and
Make sure you control your money, not the
other way around
Rework your budget as needs, priorities,
income, and expenses change
Try some of these tips to reduce expenses for
You and Your home
When grocery shopping
Shopping with Coupons
Coupons can be a valuable tool to help
consumers save money at the grocery store.
But coupon shoppers have to be careful;
coupons can be advertising devices designed
to get you to purchase high-priced name
brand items that are still more expensive than
the brands you normally buy.
Where Do You Get Coupons?
Wednesday and Sunday • Sunday paper, except
Grocery store coupons on flyers, mailer coupons,
Coupons enclosed in products.
You can also find coupons online:
Planning ahead can
make the difference
Use the calendar
as a rough guide
for when to find
seasonal sales or
Serious Spending Issues –
Compulsive shopping vs. Impulsive shopping
10 signs of Compulsive shopping
To relieve anger or depression
Spending disrupts normal life
Conflict with loved ones
Lying to family & friends
Feelings of elation
Taking cash from others – purchasing on your own
Feels like something forbidden
Guilt or shame
Purchase never unwrapped or used
Purchasing on credit for items wouldn’t spend with cash
Your Credit Report
The FACT Act of 2003 mandated that the
three major national credit-reporting bureaus
establish a website, a toll-free number and a
mail address for consumers to request their
credit report for free every year:
*You may also purchase your score at this
website for a small fee.
Getting Your Report
If you’ve been denied credit because of what
your credit report says, you are also entitled
to a free copy of the credit report used in the
decision - within 60 days of the denial.
Contact the credit bureaus directly
Equifax – www.equifax.com
Experian – www.experian.com
TransUnion – www.transunion.com
Opt Out of Prescreened Offers
If you would like to stop receiving offers
of new credit you may Opt Out.
Springboard Nonprofit Consumer
4351 Latham St. Riverside CA. 92501 www.credit.org