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4 Steps to Take When Your Finances Are Out of Control

Columbus, Ohio - March 7, 2011 - Apprisen Financial Advocates is a national nonprofit consumer Financial Services agency that provides personal Financial Services and financial education. Many people feel as though their personal finances are out of control, with no hope of ever recovering from the financial mayhem in which they find themselves. With jobs lost, mortgages underwater, and retirement accounts still on life-support, this feeling of hopelessness is understandable. For those who think that financial stability is out of reach, Apprisen reminds consumers that even if their current situation seems hopeless, there are steps they can take now that will put them in a better financial position. Each tip in the following list can be implemented at little or no cost, and put you on the road to solid financial ground:

1. Live within your means – Simply put, don't spend more than you make. To accomplish this, put the credit cards away. Many well-meaning people resort to living off of credit when facing a financial crisis, digging an even deeper financial hole. Instead, try living on a cash basis. People who do this typically spend 20 percent less, and they do it without feeling deprived. They buy what they want, but since their level of awareness has increased, they don't spend as frivolously.

2. Get financially organized – Sometimes people become so overwhelmed that they bury their head in the financial sand. Not only do they neglect paying their bills on time, they don't even open the monthly credit card statements. Such habits result in late fees, a tarnished credit report and a lower credit score. Become financially organized by creating a cash-flow calendar where you record each payday for everyone in the home who earns money. Next, write down which bills are to be paid out of each check. Get into the habit of keeping all bills in one location so that you can easily put your hands on them, and review your finances at least once a week.

3. Know where your money goes – Have everyone in your household track their spending for 30 days. At the end of the month, come together to review the findings and determine where the leaks are. Jointly decide how to plug them. Make adjustments so that your budget reflects exactly how you want your hard-earned money to be spent. You will never be fully in charge of your finances until you complete this exercise.

4. Create a rainy-day fund – Many people say they can't afford to save. Neither can they afford to be ill-prepared for the inevitable money emergency.

If you've suffered a financial set-back, know that it is possible to restore financial stability to your life. Consumers do not have to face the journey alone, however, as there is legitimate help available. The sooner you reach out for assistance, the sooner you will be on that road to recovery." If you need help recovering from a financial set-back, reach out and call 800.355.2227.

About Apprisen
Apprisen Financial Advocates, a national nonprofit Financial Services agency, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt since 1955. Certified counselors provide money management, debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling and financial education. Services are provided in- person in 10 states through local offices and nationally by phone or via the Internet. The oldest nonprofit Financial Services agency in the country, Apprisen Financial Advocates is known in its local communities as Consumer Financial Services Service (CCCS). Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), Apprisen is a member of the National Foundation for Financial Services (NFCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and AICCCA. Information is available 24/7. Call 800-355-2227 or visit the website, www.apprisen.com. You can also follow CCCS/Apprisen on Facebook and on Twitter.

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