Before beginning financial counseling, I had balances on ten credit cards, car payments and I was paying on student loans. The rest of the budget consisted of rent, food, medical care, toiletries, laundry, with little to negative room for other items.
Without judgment, my financial counselor guided me on creating a realistic budget. She encouraged me to add items I thought I had no choice but to do without. I was encouraged to keep my primary pleasure(s) (whether I smoked, employed housekeepers or a daily trip to a coffee shop).
During my less-than-10-year journey in learning “to fish”, I regularly 1) felt more empowered, 2) prioritized, 3) found creative resources (whether money, food, or other needs) 4) cut expenses, 5) set aside funds for unexpected, yet likely to happen expenses, then 6) moved from renting to a starter home 7) increased my “guilt-free fun money”, and 8) became debt-free (poof!); 9) I began saving, 10) investing and, 11) moved to a larger home in a great neighborhood; 12) soon I began paying it forward.
When I took a connected course (at that time at no cost) I was told about the originator of the training. He was a financially ruined man. He contemplated suicide but at his darkest moment, he changed his mind. One man’s choice to live, is now universal empowerment.
Here’s the course I recommend here:: www.goodwillncw.org/financial-and-debt-solutions
Also, here are “fishing” ideas for low-income and homeless:
I have had some financial challenges in recent years, and recently moved from Edmonds to Arizona. But with more people in financial distress due to the pandemic, I wanted to share these resources with people in the community I used to call home.
I think if it wasn’t for what I learned in that program back in the 1990s on spending, saving and cutting corners, it’s likely I would be homeless right now.