Budgets, Education, Counselors and Instructors

A budget is simply a plan for your spending. The goal is to spend less than you make and put some money away for a rainy day. Everyone can benefit from coming up with a solid plan for their spending. The plan should include balancing the budget and anticipating periodic expenses that do not occur regularly. Financial education can come in many forms. Many colleges and non-profit organizations have seminars and classes on money management. There are also many good books on the subject. Financial advisors and coaches are educators or investment professionals who help individuals with their financial lives.


  • Planning ahead means not being caught off guard by a periodic expense such as a car or home repair.
  • Having a spending plan can help you see the full financial picture and allow you to plan for the future, set goals and make priorities.
  • Money management classes and books can teach skills and provide useful tools to obtain financial health.
  • Some financial coaches may provide individual training.


  • Depending on the reasons for your financial problems, or the amount of your debt, budgeting and financial education may not be the solution to your problems.
  • A spending plan does not cover every scenario or emergency situation.
  • Some professionals or classes can be expensive, be sure all fees are fully disclosed to you in writing up front and shop around.
  • Not all classes, seminars, books or professionals will provide good information.
  • A financial coach may be costly

What to Avoid

  • Avoid high cost seminars or classes. Excellent classes are taught at many colleges and non-profit organizations for reasonable or no fees.

What to Look for

  • Ask for credentials and fee structures from professionals.
  • Research your source: What is the experience and educational background of your source?
  • Call the consumer protection department of your State Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints.
  • Ask local colleges for a list of their continuing education classes and seminars.

Potential Impact on Your Credit

Budgeting or seeking financial education is not reflected on your credit reports, but actions you take based on budgeting may affect your credit reports and scores. Actions to reduce debt through budgeting should have a positive impact on your credit, but always check advice you are given for the effect it may have. Any plan that results in late or unpaid bills will negatively impact your credit reports and scores.