Transforming “I Can’t Save” to “I Will Save”

You will not believe what it took to completely change my life. About three years ago, the HR Administrator of the corporation where I worked (as a temp with no benefits) forwarded an email to me. Fifteen seconds. One small act of kindness. That's it - that's all it took!

The headline in that email asked, "Tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck?" and my answer "YES!" was the loudest silent scream I've ever let out. Having lived that way all my life - through college, through ten years of marriage, through raising two boys as a single mom, through two corporate layoffs, through a career change at the age of 48 - I had come to believe living paycheck-to-paycheck was normal. The email was about a ten-month program called BankOn Virginia Beach. A free chance to learn about saving, budgeting, understanding credit, and to find the focus and accountability I needed to make a change.

I never, ever had a savings account - I never thought I could have one! During my first BankOn class, I pledged to save with the help of Virginia Saves and had a major revelation - my financial predicament had nothing to do with my hourly wage and everything to do with ME telling myself, "I can't — I can't get that...I can't go there...I can't do this...I can't have a savings account.” Once I stopped saying "I can't" and started saying "I will," the small percentage of my never-enough-paycheck automatically deposited into a saving account started building quickly - and it never even hurt! Now, I'm an instructor and volunteer financial coach for BankOn, driven to keep what I've learned as a Virginia Saver in front of me and to share it with others - hoping I can offer that one small act of kindness that just might change someone else's life for the better, too.

Today, I can say with gratitude for that HR Administrator, BankOn, and Virginia Saves, I not only have $1,000+ in emergency savings, but I now have a dream job (with amazing benefits) ironically in the financial industry - a desk chair this once hopelessly-living-paycheck-to-paycheck girl never dreamed of being able to fill! So let me encourage you to start small and it will make a big difference. That’s all it will take!

Take the Pledge

I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Let @AmericaSaves help you stay committed to your tax time #savings goal! Take the pledge today: http://bit.ly/2hbdQ46

Share Your Tip or Story

And if we feature you in our newsletter, you get $25.

Share

Saver Stories View all »

Jump-Starting a Financial Makeover

Nichelle Johnson, a single mom with two teenage children, knows what it’s like to stretch a dollar. When she moved back to Virginia Beach in 2008, she provided for her family with just a part-time library position.

Read more...

The Gift of Homeownership

Quaneka Willis, a single mother of three children, was receiving rental assistance through the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee when she decided to take control of her finances. So, in September of 2013 she attended the Make Your Money Talk program and pledged as a Wisconsin Saver. In less than 12 months, she had maximized her savings and was beginning the process of purchasing her first home.

Read more...

Taking Steps Toward Financial Fitness

Nicky Vasquez learned about Virginia Saves when she attended her first class with Bank On Virginia Beach. The instructor shared how important it was to have a written savings goal, and the entire class joined Virginia Saves as the first step toward financial fitness.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Sign up for Texts

Sign Up

Sign up for Emails

Get Emails

Take the Pledge

Start Saving