This story comes from the most recent issue of the American Saver newsletter.
Mary Brown was already a disciplined individual when she came to Wisconsin Saves coordinator Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) in last summer. She had successfully completed her bachelor’s degree with the assistance of her husband and son, and was now ready to tackle her next big dream – homeownership.
Mary had been a resident of public housing in Milwaukee for more than seven years. She first learned of WWBIC’s matched individual development account (IDA) while attending a homeownership workshop and saw her opportunity to further her financial education and significantly increase her savings for a down payment. Mary began planning for her goal of homeownership in 2009 when she became a Wisconsin Saver, and now she had the opportunity to accelerate her savings goal through the IDA.
Mary attended the four-week financial series Make Your Money Talk and learned many skills to ensure she would be a successful first-time homeowner – creating and tracking her household spending plan, the importance of an emergency fund, and how significantly her credit would impact her ability to purchase. Mary said,
“Learning to budget and being mindful of my spending habits helped me save, and more importantly, see the benefits of saving.”
Upon completion of the financial series, Mary was able to open her matched savings account, and in a minimal amount of time, reach her goal of $2,000 which was matched with grants of $2,000 each from Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee and Assets for Independence.
Since Mary’s family has moved into their first home, she has spoken to a new generation of savers at a semi-annual graduation event for Make Your Money Talk and has begun the search for her next big achievement to conquer!