Maryland CASH, (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Campaign is bringing MyBudgetCoach™, a new FREE online financial coaching program, to Maryland as part of a national evaluation study through Solutions for Progress and Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The MyBudgetCoach™ program helps low-to-moderate income working families and individuals improve their ability to budget, set and achieve goals, and make well-informed financial decisions. To apply to become a MyBudgetCoach ™ member, contact Sue Rogan, Maryland CASH Campaign’s Director of Financial Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, view MyBudgetCoach on www.mdcashacademy.org. Printable handout describing the program: MyBCOneSheet
“Would you like help to create and maintain a budget? We are currently seeking participants who would like to become members of this incredible free program. Contact us today,” comments Sue Rogan, Director of Financial Education, Maryland CASH Campaign. “There is no cost for this program but members must be motivated to reach their goals, have access to a computer and basic computer skills, and have an email address.”
How does MyBudgetCoach™ work?
• The MyBudgetCoach™ program matches a trained budget coach with a member.
• Online meetings occur once a month for 12 monthly sessions, with each session covering budgeting techniques, financial management and goal attainment strategies.
• The program’s online tools allow the member to track expenses in real-time, keep track of their budget, track progress towards achieving important financial goals and communicate with their coach and program staff members.
• The coach tracks the member’s progress in real-time and encourages members to stay on-task and on-track in-between sessions.
Why is budgeting important? Understanding the importance of budgeting is generally recognized as the first step in successful financial planning. Despite having the third lowest rate of income poverty in the nation, the average Maryland borrower carries $12,651 in credit card debt (ranked 45th in the nation) and 4.31% of borrowers are 90 days or more overdue on debt payments (ranked 42nd), a sign of severe financial distress.** MyBudgetCoach™ hopes to assist working families and individuals improve their ability to budget and make well-informed financial decisions.
**Source: Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) 2014 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard for Maryland
Previous financial coaching programs included a Small Group Financial Coaching Pilot. To learn more, read on.
Maryland CASH held three cohorts of financial coaching small groups in Baltimore City and Montgomery County from 2011-2013. Group members selected a financial goal and met every week for 8 weeks to work on that goal and learn about financial topics such as developing a Spending Plan, understanding credit reports and ways to build/rebuild credit. Maryland CASH Campaign coaches worked with each group to identify key steps to achieving each person’s goal, and provided support and encouragement along the way.