Chapter House utilizes the True Link Prepaid Visa Card system with all residents at Chapter House. This is an innovative system that allows family to provide funds to their loved one in a secure way where there is accountability while residents are growing towards independent and responsible living. The True Link Card allows families and friends to provide funds to clients in a more secure and transparent fashion. With customizable spending parameters, you can help determine where, when, and how much money can be spent via the online dashboard – while clients are able to purchase what they need more safely, supporting their path to recovery. The card block ATMs and all access to cash, allows family and treatment team to control where the card works and where it doesn’t, allows a set daily, weekly, or monthly budget along with spending curfews, and the card can be shut down in the event of an unscheduled discharge. Additionally, once residents are receiving paychecks from their job, their paychecks are direct deposited onto the True Link to continue the accountability and safety that is needed once individuals have access to larger amounts of money.
Every resident at Chapter House will go through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University modules. This is an education program that assists individuals in implementing real life strategies to living debt free, budgeting, getting out of debt and saving. The following is Dave Ramsey’s 15 tips to budgeting.
1. Budget to zero before the month begins.
This means before the month even starts, you’re making a plan and giving every dollar a name.
2. Do the budget together.
And if you’re single, find someone who can act as your accountability partner and help you stick to your goals!
3. Every month is different.
Be sure to adjust your budget each month as things change. Make a savings fund you can stash cash in throughout the year. When you don’t have a plan, you’re going to be stressed. And that takes all the fun out of giving and celebrating.
4. Start with the most important categories first.
Giving and saving are at the top of the list, and then comes the Four Walls—food, shelter and utilities, basic clothing and transportation. Once your true necessities are taken care of, you can fill in the rest of the categories in your budget.
5. Pay off your debt.
If you have debt, paying it off needs to be a top priority. Dave Ramsey has a debt snowball plan that includes baby steps.
6. Don’t be afraid to trim the budget.
It might be time for some budget cuts in your life. If things are tight right now, you can save money quickly by canceling your cable, dining out less, and shopping at discount clothing and grocery stores.
7. Make a schedule (and stick to it).
While you’re making a budget part of your monthly routine, why not pick specific dates for other expenses? Set up auto drafts out of your checking account to pay bills, and buy your groceries on a set day every week or twice a month. When you know what to expect and when to expect it, you take a lot of stress and potential pitfalls out of the picture.
8. Track your progress.
It’s important to check your progress from time to time. Look back at your earlier budgets to see how far you’ve come.
9. Create a buffer in your budget.
Put a small amount of money aside for unexpected expenses throughout the month. Label this as your miscellaneous category in your budget. That way when something comes up, you can cover it without taking away money you’ve already put somewhere else.
10. Cut up your credit cards.
If you’re really committed to sticking to a budget and getting out of debt, you need to ditch those credit cards for good. Stop using them! Cut them up, shred them, or even make a craft project out of them! Whatever you do—get them out of your life.
11. Use cash for certain budget categories that trip you up.
If you’re constantly overspending on your grocery budget or fun money, cash out those categories and use the envelope system to hold you accountable. Just go to the bank and pull out the cash amount you’ve budgeted for that category. Once the cash runs out, stop spending! It’s the ultimate accountability partner.
12. Try an online budget tool.
You can focus on planning a budget and tracking your spending from the comfort of your smartphone! Plus, you can sync up your budget with your spouse, which is great for keeping that communication open.
13. Be content and quit the comparisons.
You have much more than you realize. Don’t compare your situation to anyone else’s. Comparison will not only rob you of your joy but also your paycheck.
14. Have goals.
Whether you’re paying off student loans, building up your emergency fund, or paying off your mortgage, you need to focus on your why. What’s the reason you’re making these sacrifices?
15. Give yourself lots of grace.
It usually takes three to four months to get a handle on this whole budgeting thing. It won’t be perfect the first time, or the second. But you’ll get there!