Illinois Legal Advocate Conference
“Build Wealth, Not Debt:
Strategies for Helping Clients Out of Poverty”
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Client’s Monthly Spending Plan (2 pages)
Notes from client’s file (1 page)
Monthly Spending Plan
Income Total income: 1395
Rent or mortgage 0 Clothing 25
Second mortgage 0 School lunches 0
Property taxes 250 Cable / internet 50
Housing insurance 30 Holidays / gifts / tithe 10
Gas / Electric 150 Alcohol / tobacco 20
Phone 40 Laundry 0
Daycare 0 Meals out 100
Water / Garbage 15 Subscriptions 0
Car payment 200 Postage 5
Auto fuel 200 Bank fees 10
Car repair / oil change 100 Entertainment 50
Car insurance 50 Allowances 0
Medicine / co-pay 0 Retirement savings 0
Health insurance 0 College savings 0
Groceries 200 Tuition / books 0
Household items 40 Hobbies / lessons 0
Emergency savings 0 Vacation 0
Child support 0
Total expenses: 1545
Value of other assets
Home equity 90,000 Total income 1395
Emergency savings 0 - Total expenses 1545
Retirement savings 0 = Cash flow (+/-) -150
Bonds / stocks 0 Cash flow (+/-)
Vehicle - Debt repayment
Life insurance 0 = Cash flow
Creditor name Interest rate Balance Monthly payment
Aspire credit card 29% $2000 Balance is due.
Check into Cash $700 Balance is due.
Wood Forest Bank $250 Balance is due.
Car loan 20% $4000 $200
Client Action Plan
Notes for client John Lafond
11/7/08 – Staff Secretary
Client John Lafond called in with the following facts:
Aspire credit card is suing him. He has no garnishable income but is very nervous about
going to court. The credit card interest rate was supposed to be 0% financing for 6 months
but the rate went up to 29% when his payment was late, but there wasn’t enough time to pay it
on time because of the short payment due date.
Check into Cash payday loan final balloon installment payment was due November 1, but he
renewed the loan for another 4 months.
He plans to get a Rapid Refund in December or early January to pay off the payday loan. He
expects to get around $4000.
He has no active checking account or savings account. He owes money to Wood Forest Bank
and has many unexpected fees. Now he works for a company with a credit union but the
credit union will not let him open an account because of his Check Systems history.
He has benefits at his new job but he cannot afford the medical insurance premiums. He has
not enrolled in the 401(k).
His car is in bad shape. He has a high interest rate loan; he still owes thousands. He is
thinking about using one of the checks that came in the mail from a finance company to pay
for a needed repair.
In the alternative, he is thinking about getting a home equity loan. Currently, he owns the
home outright; he inherited it from his mom.
11/7/08 – Staff Secretary
In-person appointment set for 10:45 a.m. Friday, November 14, 2008.
11/10/08 – Staff Attorney
Reviewed notes and John Lafond’s monthly spending plan. It appears that John is running a
$150 deficit each month after paying monthly living expenses. Here are possible action steps:
1. Consider getting a renter to help pay for living expenses.
2. Attend Get Checking class. Pay off bank debts. Open checking and savings accounts.
3. See if credit union can refinance your car loan at a lower interest rate.
4. Use tax refund to pay off Aspire credit card and Check into Cash debt.
5. Do not use credit card unless you can pay off the balance each month.
6. Do not get a loan unless you can get it from a mainstream bank or credit union.
7. Save the rest of your tax refund for upcoming property taxes and homeowners insurance
8. Save $50 each month in your 401(k) and $50 each month in your emergency savings fund.
9. Consider getting health insurance. If you cannot, then at least consider catastrophic health