INTRODUCTIONUnited Way for Greater Austin is a local nonprofit providingresources to low-income individuals and families since1924. At United Way, we give everyone in Austin the chanceto be a philanthropist through volunteer opportunities withlocal charities.The intent of the guide is to assist individuals in makingpositive choices about their financial well-being. This guidedoes not purport to be exhaustive, but rather aims to providebasic guidelines. Individuals should consult with aprofessional for specific advice.We inspire, lead and unite an eclectic community ofphilanthropists, including individuals, nonprofits, businessesand government to overcome barriers to economicopportunities and ensure Greater Austin continues to thrive.This toolkit provides simple, useful information to empowerindividuals to improve their financial well-being.UWATX does not assume any legal liability or responsibilityfor the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of anyinformation, product or process disclosed in these examples.Reference herein to any specific commercial product,process, service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer orotherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement,recommendation or favoring by UWATX or any entitiesthereof.This publication was made possible by a grant from theFINRA Investor Education Foundation through a partnershipwith United Way Worldwide.The views and opinions of the originators expressed hereindo not necessarily state or reflect those of UWATX, UWW orFINRA Foundation. 2016 United Way for Greater Austin

FINANCIAL STABILITYBUDGET TOOLKITMAKINGYOURBUDGETFIND BALANCE!Is it a science or an art? We know one thing - a budget isn’t a rigid template, it’s an evolving spending plan that is based on theway you spend money, make choices, and the goals you want to achieve. What is important in your life? What are you top priorities?Is that where your time, money and attention are going?This toolkit is designed to bring awareness around the decisions and planning that goes into your monthly budget. If you don’thave one yet, today is a great day to start. A budget should work for you, help you see your financial picture and enable you to planfor goals that are important to you. We hope these exercises and resources bring mindfulness to your money habits and you learnsomething about your finances.Activity: Check yourself. How are you doing? Fill out this money wellness quiz to find out howyour finances are doing, where you can improve today and what you can do in the future.Types of budgets: Your budget will vary depending on your income, household size and financial goals. The good news is thereare more ways than ever to keep track of them. There’s traditional pen and paper, you can keep money in different accounts fordifferent goals, label coffee cans or envelopes to allocate your spending for the month, develop a spreadsheet, or use an app,website or software program to track everything, sometimes automatically. TIP: Make a safe place to keep track of your important documents.GOALSSetting and thinking about goals is part of the awareness that can help define what is important to you and why. SMART goals aredetailed and can help you see the steps toTermrealizing your success.GoalTotal CostMonthly Commitment Ways to ReachSMART Goals: “SMART” goals are specific,measurable, actionable, realistic and timebound. Try out an example like this foryourself X: Start anemergency fund15 months 3,000 200Pack lunch 3days a week,downgrade cableMaximizing your resourcesIt’s hard to stick to a budget if it feels like there’s not enough to start with. Consider a few ways to keep more of your money orincrease your household resources: Do you pay upwards of 100 to get your tax return filed?o Free tax prep services are offered in the Greater Austin area during tax season and at a few specific sites year round, justin case. (See Community Resources) Does your household qualify for other assistance?o Call 2-1-1 for referrals to community resourceso Online: Worko Join in the “sharing economy” – since the rise of ride-, home- and errand-sharing platforms, there are more opportunitiesthan ever to have a gig on the side.o Part-Time Jobs – worried about going over a certain limit and keeping your benefits? Don’t fear, there are counselors andcase workers available to work with you and figure out the right option – see our community resources!Penny for your thoughts: Support systems are an important (and necessary!) part of sticking to your spending and financial plan.Who is your support network? Friends? Family? Faith or other local community?

FINANCIAL STABILITYBUDGET TOOLKITTOOL 1: Make a list of all the things & activities you spend money on during the week. Label each item or activity as a need or awant. Estimate how much money is spent in a week on each category.I have to spend money on I want to spend money on this TOOL 2: Sample Budget TemplateYour Family Budget for: (Month), (Year)Income & ResourcesActualBudgetDifferenceIncome from JobIncome from Part-Time Job(Other Resources)TOTAL:Total Uses of Income and ResourcesDebt PaymentsBudgetActualDifferenceCredit Card PaymentsPersonal LoansStudent Loan PaymentsSavingsShort term: Regular Car Maintenance, Home& Car Repairs, Emergency Fund, Other:Long term: Retirement, Home, EducationHousingRent or Mortgage PaymentUtilitiesHome Insurance & TaxesTelevision, Movies, CableInternet ServicePhone and Cell Phone ServiceGroceriesEating Out (Meals and Beverages)Car PaymentGasAuto InsuranceChildcareMisc.TOTAL Uses of Income and ResourcesDifference in Income and SpendingReflection Questions: What categories are predictable? Which ones change month to month? Which categories are hardest to keeptrack of? Is there anything that surprises you? Which of these categories are most important to you?

FINANCIAL STABILITYNonprofitsUnited Way for Greater AustinWe inspire, lead and unite an eclectic community of philanthropistsincluding individuals, nonprofits, business and government toovercome barriers to economic opportunities and ensure GreaterAustin continues to thrive. We apply in-depth research andstrategic thinking to social issues, creating improvements in threemain areas: early childhood education, dropout prevention andfinancial stability. UWATX connects the community with localresources through the 2-1-1 hotline. Call for assistance locatingfinancial empowerment, like financial coaching, credit counseling,free tax preparation services, benefits assistance, financialassistance and more. Use our bank locator tool to find a convenientbank near you: CommunitiesCommunity Financial Center - South2600 W. Stassney LaneAustin, TX 78745512-610-4026www.foundcom.orgCommunity Financial Center - North5900 Airport BlvdWorks with individuals and families, empowering them to achievefinancial stability and long-term success through one-on-onefinancial coaching and classes offered in both English and Spanish.Coaches provide clients with the tools to create household budgets,save money over time, reduce debt and improve credit scores.Classes cover credit, debt reduction and savings. Also offers freetax and FAFSA preparation. Eligibility criteria: Households earningless than 50,000/year.Cornerstone Financial Education2806 Flintrock Trace, Ste 101Austin, TX 787381-800-336-1245www.csfedu.orgMeets with individuals one-on-one to provide financial counselingand education specializing in debt management.Goodwill Industries of Central TexasLocations throughout Greater ializes in workforce assistance, job training and careernavigation. Financial empowerment services also availableincluding financial coaching. Complete a screening to enroll - call512-637-7580, email [email protected] or visit oneof their locations during walk-in hours.Austin Habitat for Humanity500 Ben White BlvdAustin, TX 78704512-472-8788www.austinhabitat.orgCOMMUNITY RESOURCESOffers classes and one-on-one counseling on money and creditmanagement, home care and safety, purchasing a home, postpurchasing and foreclosure. HUD-approved. Call extension 100 forclass registration and ex. 122 to set up an appointment for one-onone housing counseling.Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC)2200 E Martin Luther King Jr BlvdAustin, TX 78702Toll free: 877-508-4611www.tsahc.orgProvides access to fixed-rate mortgage financing, down paymentassistance grants and mortgage credit certificates to qualifyingfirst-time home buyers, as well as repeat home buyers andexisting homeowners. Offers home buyer education to programparticipants. Check out their Texas mortgage calculator.Central Texas Food Bank6500 Metropolis Dr.Austin, TX 78744512-684-2550 or toll-free 855-684-2550www.austinfoodbank.orgOffers assistance with food stamps and other benefits enrollment.Schedule an appointment online: www.austinfoodbank.orgPeopleFund2921 E. 17th Street Building D Suite 1Austin, TX 78702www.peoplefund.orgProvides small business loans for new businesses, establishedbusinesses and start-ups in addition to business assistance andeducation.Texas Legal Services Center815 Brazos St., Suite 100Austin, TX 78701512-477-6000 ext. 114www.tlsc.orgOffers free legal information to low-income Texans on a widerange of legal issues– including consumer matters – in bothSpanish and English languages. Also operates the free legalwebsite, which provides a wide range of legalinformation on consumer, family and other civil legal issues.Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc.4920 North IH 35Austin, TX 78751512-374-2747www.trla.orgProvides free training to low-income persons on their rights andresponsibilities, with respect to federal income taxes. Topicsinclude: the basics of the U.S. tax system, reasons to file a taxreturn, how to file a tax return if you do not have a valid SSN, howto select a tax preparer, dangers of refund anticipation loans, filingstatus, dependent exemptions, Earned Income Tax Credit, ChildTax Credit, claims for innocent and injured spouse, taxpayers’rights regarding the IRS and how to appeal an IRS decision.

FINANCIAL STABILITYCity of AustinNeighborhood CentersVarious Locations: or call 2-1-1 to find the Neighborhood Center nearest you.Provides a variety of social services to low- and moderate-incomefamilies in need in east, central and south Austin. Services includefood pantry, clothes closet and employment assistance, notary,seasonal and other case management and counseling services alsoavailable. Free tax preparation and health services available atsome centers. If you are interested in receiving assistance, pleasebring your proof of address, proof of income and a photo ID.Neighborhood Housing & Community Development1009 East 11th St., Suite 103Austin, TX es homebuyer counseling for home improvement, andpre- and post-purchase. Also provides mortgage delinquency anddefault resolution counseling. HUD-approved.StateTexas Office of Attorney General (OAG)www.texasattorneygeneral.govThe OAG provides guidance with disputes and legal issues forTexans. The agency protects consumer rights and helps consumerswith crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursinghomes, possible consumer fraud and other topics.Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC)1-800-538-1579 (Consumer Hotline)www.occc.texas.govHelps Texans understand their rights and responsibilitiesas consumers; “assists consumers who have experiencedmisrepresentation, fraud, and deceptive practices on the partof OCCC-regulated businesses including finance companies,pawnshops, home equity lenders, retailers providing financing fortheir goods and more.”FederalConsumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)www.cfpb.govThe CFPB’s role is to educate consumers and enforce federalconsumer financial laws. Through the website submit a consumercomplaint about a financial product or service, get answers to yourfinancial questions, and explore additional resources includinginformation on paying for college and planning for retirement.COMMUNITY RESOURCES

NEED HELP?Call 2-1-1 now, or search the 2-1-1 online database: www.211texas.orgDid you know 2-1-1 can help you enroll for healthcare today! Call tofind out more details.2-1-1 is Free and confidential Available 24/7 Multilingual; 230 languages available Accessible from cell phones2-1-1 call specialists are Skilled, certified professionals Culturally sensitive advocates Compassionate problem solvers2-1-1 provides information about Housing Clothing Health Care Child Care Education Employment Counseling Government Resources Volunteer Opportunities Disaster Information 2016 United Way for Greater Austin


with crime victims' compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud and other topics. Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC) 1-800-538-1579 (Consumer Hotline) Helps Texans understand their rights and responsibilities as consumers; "assists consumers who have experienced