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The AICCCA 31-Day "Live Within Your Means" Challenge

7/1/2013 12:00:00 AM -

Fairfax, VA - For the month of July, the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is challenging consumers to put away their credit cards and live within their means.

"Learning to live within one's means is a valuable money management skill," said David Jones, president, AICCCA. "If consumers who may be struggling could accomplish this challenge for one month, they will be well on their way to a brighter future."

AICCCA offers three steps to get started with the challenge:

  1. Spend less than you make. Look at your net income versus your expenses. Your necessary expenses of mortgage or rent, food for your family, utilities, medical needs and transportation costs come first. Also account for credit card and loan installment payments. Remember that some expenses, like food and gas, can vary depending on the choices you make.
  2. Don't reach for a credit card. During the challenge, try not to use your credit cards at all. If you do, be sure that you can pay off the charge within 30 days.
  3. Start saving something. For consumers who are unaccustomed to saving, starting small is a good first step. Even $5 or $10 a month will add up over time. Your ultimate goal should be to save 10 to 15 percent of your net income. You should also save separately for periodic expenses that are not paid monthly but you know will come up, like auto tag renewals.

At the end of the month, evaluate how you did. If you had trouble meeting the challenge, you might benefit from the services of a qualified credit counseling agency. Call 866-703-8787 or visit www.aiccca.org to find an AICCCA member office to serve you.

AICCCA: Founded in 1993, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is a national membership organization established to promote quality and professional delivery of credit counseling services. AICCCA and its members are focused on financial education, efficient processes and advanced technology to best serve clients and creditors. AICCCA members are independent nonprofit agencies that advocate for debtors, annually counsel millions of consumers nationwide and provide debt management services to consumers with excessive unsecured debt. To contact an AICCCA member agency call (866) 703-TRUSTAICCCA (866-703-8787) or visit www.aiccca.org.