Calabasas, CA (Vocus) February 5, 2008
As we approach tax season, it’s a perfect time to make a commitment to achieving personal financial goals. Start out by setting goals, then create a spending plan that helps you manage money, identify potential savings and get on the right track to achieve those goals. Consumers eager to access online tools and information about money management, budgeting, saving and more, can do so at Basic Finance, a component within Countrywide’s comprehensive no-cost, no-obligation Home Ownership Mortgage Education program (H.O.M.E.).
It’s much easier to manage your money when you have a goal in mind, and budgeting and saving is easier than you may think, especially when you use tools that help you keep track of spending, savings and progress toward your goals. In the Basic Finance component of the H.O.M.E. program, consumers can access tools, such as:
- Sample Spending Plan — a downloadable worksheet that helps you identify monthly income and monthly expenses, so that you have a realistic idea of your financial circumstances. This plan can serve as a blueprint to help you understand what you need to do with your money in order to be on track to achieve your financial goals.
- Daily Spending Diary — a downloadable worksheet that helps you track your spending and identify areas where you could save. The worksheet can show small, miscellaneous purchases, such as coffee and snacks that add up over time. It also inspires you to save by eliminating or cutting back on just one or two of them.
- Savings Strategies — tips on how to save money each month, a crucial step to achieving your short-term and long-term goals and dreams.
Following are some additional spending and savings tips from Home Ownership Mortgage Education program (H.O.M.E.):
- Develop your spending plan. Make sure that your spending plan is customized to your needs and is realistic so you can stick with it over time. Don’t try to force your lifestyle and personal situation into a one-size-fits-all budget by making sacrifices that are not realistic for you.
- Look for easy ways to trim expenses, such as taking your lunch to work, cutting back on daily expenses such as buying coffee, candy, soda, or cigarettes, or bringing these items from home instead of buying them at work. Shop for necessary clothes only on sale and at outlet shops instead of mainstream department stores.
- Pay your bills on time to minimize costly interest charges and late fees.
- Think of savings as an expense. When you pay your bills, allocate an amount to deposit or transfer as savings.
- Don’t give up. Sticking to a spending plan may not be easy at first. You may be tempted to fall back into your old spending habits, but it will get easier over time.
These helpful insights are just a few of the many valuable ways to boost knowledge offered through Countrywide’s no-cost, no-obligation Home Ownership Mortgage Education program (H.O.M.E.).
The H.O.M.E. Web site (http://www.HomeByCountrywide.com) offers an interactive learning center which includes comprehensive information about the following five topics: Basic Finance, How Credit Affects You, Preparing for Home Ownership, Steps for Buying a Home, and Life as a Homeowner. Also featured are extensive tools and resources, including downloadable checklists, worksheets and quizzes that assist home buyers and new homeowners.
Portions of the H.O.M.E. program have been produced in cooperation with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and are based in part on the NFCC publication “Keys to Home Ownership,” © National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Founded in 1969, Countrywide Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services provider and a member of the S&P 500, Forbes 2000 and Fortune 500. Through its family of companies, Countrywide originates, purchases, securitizes, sells, and services residential and commercial loans; provides loan closing services such as credit reports, appraisals and flood determinations; offers banking services which include depository and home loan products; conducts fixed income securities underwriting and trading activities; provides property, life and casualty insurance; and manages a captive mortgage reinsurance company. For more information about the Company, visit Countrywide's website at http://www.countrywide.com.
About The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
Knowing the Difference Can Make All the Difference
Founded in 1951, the NFCC is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to set the national standard for quality credit counseling, debt reduction services, and education for financial wellness, through its member agencies. With nearly 1,000 community-based offices nationwide, NFCC members help two million consumers annually. For free and affordable confidential housing advice through an NFCC member, call 1-866-845-2227 or visit http://www.nfcc.org.
For media inquiries:
Amber V. Cousins or Christa Keivan
pressroom @ countrywide.com
# # #