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This month's Money Makeover

February 20, 2011

Who: Lisa Furry, 45, and Stephen Furry, 32

Assets: $900 in checking and savings; $4,300 in a retirement account

Liabilities: A $440,000 mortgage, a $40,000 home equity line and a $3,000 car loan

Goals: Follow a strict budget to live within their means. Negotiate a short sale of their home, if possible, and move into a cheaper apartment.

Advice: The Furrys need to stop overspending and begin saving so they aren't forced to go into debt when Stephen isn't working. An envelope budgeting system gives them instant feedback on their spending. They also must begin putting money into an emergency savings account and a separate account to pay bills for the times when there is no income. The couple need to deal with their house, which is close to entering the foreclosure process. Meanwhile, both Stephen and Lisa need to generate more income.

About the planner: Brad Hartman is a financial planner with offices in Glendale and Santa Clarita.

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