Family Finance and Budgeting

Knowing what to do when you’re faced with an abrupt drop in income due to a layoff, salary reduction, illness or divorce can seem overwhelming. To help people find ways to make ends meet in the midst of turbulent economic times, UW-Extension Family Living Programs has developed an online financial management tool.

How to Cope With Rising Costs  (PDF 2 pages)

 Managing Your Personal Finances in Tough Times is designed to share proven resources used and developed by UW-Extension financial education professionals.

The site, focuses on five main areas:

–Talking with family and managing stress
–Creating a budget
–The balancing act: Cutting expenses and Increasing Income
–Keeping up with credit and debt
–Considering foreclosure and bankruptcy

Each category includes links to relevant information; for example, how to find a non-profit credit counselor; worksheets for creating a budget; sources of legal assistance for low-income households; and information for obtaining a free credit report.

The site also provides access to two publications with information for people facing varying degrees of financial stress.

Tools and Resources to Educate Children and Teens about Money  Knowing how to effectively spend and save money and manage credit can help children and you become successful adults.  The links listed in this document are proven financial education tools.

Make a Spending Plan  “A spending plan (also referred to as a “budget”) is simply a plan you create to help you plan to meet expenses and spend money the way you want to spend it. A good spending plan can help you stop “spending leaks”; in other words….”

Cutting Back and Keeping Up offers guidance for people who are experiencing a drop in income, have more expenses than before, or who are simply finding the cost of everyday life overtaking their paycheck. The publication suggests steps people can take to get a handle on their finances and the resulting financial stress.

Dealing with a Drop in Income is written for households that are facing an abrupt loss of income due to a job layoff, an illness, death, or divorce. This document walks people through everything they need to know to cope with the bills that keep on keep coming after income drops sharply.