Freeing Up Money from Services

Worried man and woman.

Utility Budget Plans

You can work with your service provider so that your monthly bill is based on an average of the previous year’s monthly bills. This is usually called “level billing.”

However, if you exceed the budgeted amount, you could end up owing money at the end of the current year or your fixed payment will increase next year. In some cases, a utility company may make an adjustment during the year, if useage is greatly exceeding the estimated …

What is Your Net Worth?

A net worth statement, sometimes called a financial statement, measures wealth or how much we are worth – at one point in time.




What are your assets? Assets include cash and other items of value that can be converted to cash. Some assets are more difficult than others to convert to cash. Be careful not to overvalue personal belongings, such as televisions and furniture as these often lose value over time.


• How much do you have in cash or …

Keep Lines of Communication Open

Importance of Communication

• When the family is facing tough times, family
members need to lean on each other more
than usual. Talk to each other respectfully and listen to
each other’s concerns.

• Conflict and disagreements are normal, especially when family members are stressed. Give each person a chance to share his or her view of things, without interrupting or judging. Keep an open mind and listen for new information and good ideas.

• In tough times, family schedules …

Accepting Your Feelings


People respond to a personal crisis with many feelings: anger, anxiety, outrage, self doubt. They may be hostile – lashing out at those closest to them. Or, they may become moody and depressed. Their tension may show up as restlessness, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, insomnia, and feelings of apathy and exhaustion. While some of these symptoms may be unpleasant, they are normal, predictable reactions of people experiencing a loss or critical change in their lives.…

Tips for Teens: How to Contribute to Family Needs During Tough Times

If your family is going through tough times
financially, consider ways you can contribute.

Asking your parent(s) to talk with you the family budget and being
willing to take some action to help is the first
step to gaining respect and to demonstrate
responsibility as a family member.

teen with cash

Cost?savings things that you can do to help with family expenditures are:

• Turn off lights, televisions, or other
electronics when not in use.

• Take shorter showers to cut down on …

Doing Things Together as a Family for Less

Doing Things Together as a Family
…for LE$$

Man and boy

Take advantage of local public resources:

• Spend time together at the park or local community festival.

• Go for hikes or bike rides.

• Go for a family picnic.

• Go swimming at the local pool, lake, ocean, or

• Take advantage of free programs offered by
the library, museums, and community bands
or orchestras, or other free community events.

• Check out books, music, and videos for free
from …

Adult Children Moving Home

Adult children move in with their parents for a number of reasons, including economic hardship. As this move will change the parents’ household expenses, adult children have a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the household. It is important to talk openly and honestly about money arrangements before the adult child moves home. Be as specific as possible and put the arrangement in writing for all parties involved.





Costs of Maintaining Household

What is the current monthly cost for …

Working Teens as Contributors to the Family

Many teens work for extra money but rarely are
their earnings used as a contribution to the
family’s economic wellbeing. Research of teen
employment reveals that costs for
transportation, clothing, and food away from
home actually increase with teen employment.
Involving teens in family problem?solving helps
teach them the reality of managing money and
distinguishing between needs and wants. Asking
teens to help with household expenses will need
to begin with an open sharing of a family budget,
income, and …

Having a Spending Plan is Critical

A spending plan or budget is a plan for spending and saving family resources to meet identified goals.

money and records

What is the type of expense?

• Fixed expenses occur on a predetermined
schedule and are for a set amount (such as a car
payment or rent).

• Variable or flexible expenses usually occur on a
predetermined schedule, but may change in
amount (such as a cell phone or utility bill).

• Discretionary expenses are ones that are
totally up to you …

When Prices Rise: Living on Your Income

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An increase in the price of goods and services can be traumatic. When you have to pay more for things like gasoline, food and health care, other difficulties may arise, especially if you are retired and/or are living on a fixed income. Realizing that your income does not go as far as it used to, even in covering the basics, can be alarming.

An increase in the price of one essential product may trigger an increase in the price of …