I’ll give you three different roads to do this — Pick the one that best suits you.
1. in person counseling — Contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling by calling 800-388-2227. That connects you to the nearest local office. You don’t have to be buried in debt to use their services, which are free or very low cost. Go in and have a session on budgeting with them.
2. Go on Amazon and buy Judy Lawrence’s The Budget Kit — Common Cents Money Management Workbook. In fact, I’ll make it easy — I linked it for you! This is the best workbook ever, and I have recommended it for years.
2. Go to Quicken.com and download the latest version of Quicken. It will help you organize your financial life online and set up budget categories that you can easily track. (Or you can use their new app called Simplifi. Read my latest column on how it works.)
But I’m going to make one overall suggestion. You need a savings cushion so these unexpected things that ALWAYS crop up won’t derail you. You have a union job, so that means you have skills! Put them to good use — on weekends or evenings. Do some “side jobs” and save the cash so you can stay on track. It’s amazing what a little extra money can do to buy peace of mind.
Good for you for reaching out!