Philadelphia Saves Week

February 21, 2011 10:39:43 AM PST
A few years ago, Barbara Bredell owed 8-thousand dollars on her credit cards.

After attending a money-management workshop for women, sponsored by the non-profit Consumer Credit Counseling Service, she began to turn her finances around.

"I started with the the smallest credit card and just started paying that until I finished that one off," Bredell says. "And then I went onto the next."

Now, Bredell is out of debt, and saving as well.

"Actually, I have opened two saving accounts in different locations," she explains. "One account is for an emergency fund. Just in case if I get laid off or get sick, I have that money. And the other account is for my long-term goal of saving for a home."

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service has declared this week "Philadelphia Saves Week." And they're challenging everyone in the area to take control of their spending and start saving, just like Bredell did.

"This is the week that people are to focus on getting their financial house in order," explains CCCS Education Director Kim Cooper. "Meaning, let's focus on savings, let's focus on retirement. We're also focusing on reducing debt, because reducing debt is also a form of savings."

Cooper suggests taking baby steps to curb spending, like brown-bagging instead of eating out one day a week, saving all your receipts to keep track of what you're really putting on those credit cards, and asking for help if you're deeply in debt.

Cooper explains, "We have certified counselors that are able to come alongside of each client and work them through an action plan, so they walk away with a budget and they walk away with an action plan, a personal action plan for that peson to implement."

To find a CCCS office near you to make an appointment or attend a workshop, click here.