American Consumer Credit Counseling Provide California Residents with 5 Ways to Survive High Cost of Living

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While California has some of the highest gas prices, taxes, and unemployment rates in the Nation, ACCC offers financially savvy ways to overcome the obstacles.

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With high taxes, grocery prices, and gas, California residents must prepare a budget and cut back on unnecessary expenses that will break the bank.

With rising gas prices, taxes, and one of the highest unemployment rates in the Nation, the cost of living in California has made it extremely difficult for the average resident to pay bills on time. That’s why, this summer, American Consumer Credit Counseling is offering financially smart ways to survive California’s rising cost of living.

California was recently ranked the sixth worst place to make a living in the country by Money-Rates.com. Despite a median income of $27,749, higher than many other parts of the nation, that average wage is negated by high taxes and cost of living. On top of that, the unemployment rate and the frequency of workplace safety incidents are both higher in California than the national average.

The Golden State has also struggled with an ongoing drought, which has made fresh fruit and produce prices skyrocket. In addition, a recent study shows that California has the highest gas prices in the nation. The state was paying an average of $3.88 in the last week of July and some areas of Los Angeles were paying over $5.00 a gallon.

“With high taxes, grocery prices, and gas, California residents must prepare a budget and cut back on unnecessary expenses that will break the bank,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of Newton-based American Consumer Credit Counseling. “It takes commitment and time, but you can learn to manage your money even when there's not much of it.”

Here is a list of tips to keep your head above the water even with rising prices:

1.    Assess Your Financial Situation: Make sure you are not spending more than what’s coming in. If this is the case, make a plan to spend less or earn more. To figure out how to do this, first take an assessment of your income and expenses. This will help you develop a reasonable and realistic budget.

2.    Cut Back Your Spending: Eliminate unnecessary monthly expenses that you can live without. Whether it is unlimited texting, a Netflix membership, or even a cable subscription, cut the costs that are not essential to living and substitute it with another pastime.

3.    Save For Emergencies- Build an emergency fund to avoid having to take loans to pay for unexpected purchases. You never know when an accident or injury can occur, so save wisely.

4.    Stretch Your Meals- Peanut butter, frozen vegetables, and beans are all foods that fill you longer than other foods. Check out the New York Daily News list of foods to buy when you are broke.

5.    Do It Yourself- Instead of paying extra for services, learn how to do it yourself at home. One of the best ways to cut costs is to learn to do things yourself rather than paying for them. Instead of fast food, make your own dinner. Instead of paying for an oil change, learn how to do it on your own.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.

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Tony Catinella
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