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This month's Money Makeover: Details

June 19, 2011

Who: Jerry Tejeda, 39, and Josephine Tejeda, 45

Income: $64,000

Assets: $250 in savings

Liabilities: $14,000 in car loans, $5,000 in back taxes, $650 in credit card debt

Goals: Learn how to manage money. Devise a budget and a financial plan for the future. Pay off debt. Save for retirement and long-term goals.

Recommendations: The Tejedas need to work as a team to create a household budget. They need to track their spending so they can build emergency savings, pay off debt and save for retirement. The couple also need to increase their income. To keep spending under control, the couple should use an envelope budgeting system, which would give them feedback on how much money is going out.

They should save $1,000 as soon as possible for emergencies, then work toward paying off the credit card debt. When Josephine returns to work, they should use the additional income to pay off back taxes as well as whittle down their car loans. Meanwhile, they should make it a practice to save every month, with a goal of amassing at least six months of living expenses in a savings account.

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

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