Do you spend too much, save too little, carry too much debt or care too little about your financial future? These are all contributing factors towards financial problems. Financial Counseling could assist you in developing fundamental money management skills to help you solve or avoid financial problems and improve your financial status. Financial Counseling can include many types of counseling including budget counseling, credit counseling, debt counseling, and financial planning.
There are three phases of financial counseling that may be beneficial to you: Remedial, Preventative and Productive. What phase is your financial picture? Be honest with yourself if you want to make improvements!
Remedial: This is a short-term crisis intervention. Many people fall into this phase. Their immediate need is how to pay this week’s car payment or utility bill or how to buy groceries. It is not necessarily the income or the expense that may be an issue, but the lack of a spending plan. Many people in this cycle have no idea where they spend their money and have no idea how to fix it. Do you know where your money goes paycheck to paycheck? Tracking your expenses on a monthly basis is a great way to start.
Preventative: This type is developing a plan to stop problems before they occur. People in this phase pay their bills on time but need a plan to prevent them from borrowing from lines of credit or depleting savings to pay a bill. In this plan you develop good money management skills, budgeting, and record keeping.
Productive: This phase deals with identifying the best ways you can use your resources. People in this phase do not have day-to-day concerns about their money. They want to focus on making their money work smarter for them.
Abri Credit Union currently has nine Certified Financial Counselors to guide you in developing and implementing a plan to achieve your goals. They have been trained to have a clear understanding of money management and the elements of creditworthiness. Best of all, it’s free to members!
Sessions with a Financial Counselor are confidential. The first meeting is usually about one hour to do a budget analysis; identifying problems, goals and solutions. This is sometimes followed up with a second session to create a spending plan. We encourage you to come back until you feel secure and understand you’re not in the process alone.
You may also visit our website and access “Debt in Focus”, a free and anonymous financial analysis service. When you answer a few questions about your income and current debts online, a simple financial analysis will provide you with a wealth of information including:
- Debt to income ratios
- Debt payment schedules
- Suggested personal action strategies to help keep your finances moving forward
With Debit in Focus, you have the ability to print the results page and request an appointment. You may also contact us at 815-267-7700 to speak with a Certified Financial Counselor. Take control of your finances today and develop a plan for a brighter tomorrow.