From Overwhelmed to In Control

In 2017 Debi felt overwhelmed. Her credit cards were maxed, and she wasn't exactly sure how to handle it. When asked how her credit issues started, her answer sounded like many Savers that we've spoken to: making too many impulse purchases. “I was driven by feelings like ‘That sounds good,’ or ‘I am too tired to cook.’” Then she attended a university extension program that introduced her to America Saves. That’s where she heard the tip that set her on her savings journey - stop accumulating debt.

Debi's Saver Story
Debi signing the paperwork for her first house!

That may sound simple, but it was the boost Debi needed to steel herself against impulsive spending. Using the information she learned through the extension program, Debi made a plan: chip away at the debt, starting with the credit cards with the highest interest. Then move on to the next card and then the next. While paying off her credit cards, she worked diligently not to incur any additional debt. “I wrestled against the impulse to spend money on going out to eat and buying little things as fiercely as I had wrestled against the urge to smoke years ago,” Debi told us. She took the America Saves pledge. With her renewed commitment to her financial health, Debi changed her spending habits, and she started to pay down her debt.

Debi’s #1 Savings Tip: Impulse purchases are emotional decisions. To combat impulse buying take a lap around the store. Spend 30 minutes or more to think about your purchase. This will help you make a thoughtful decision and not an emotional one.

Seeing her debt go down was the snowball that started an avalanche of saving. Debi took pride and joy in her improved financial health. She recalled, “I found satisfaction in not giving in to impulses, but making wise choices, thinking through my options. I still went out to eat, but not 20 times a month, and I found it more enjoyable.” It took quite some time, but Debi eventually paid off all her credit cards. With her debt gone, Debi’s credit score rose dramatically, and eventually she saved enough to purchase her first home.

Debi didn’t stop there. She set new financial and savings goals. She maintained her hard-won healthy spending habits. We asked Debi how her savings habit has affected her life: “Not only has eliminating credit card debt relieved stress, working on my savings goal has empowered me to realize I have more control over decisions. There is a humble pride in being responsible and focused. It’s actually FUN!”

Debi recently took the America Saves pledge again. She is building an emergency fund and is only a few hundred dollars away from her goal!

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Save your loose change. Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40% of a $500 emergency fund. http://ow.ly/sj972 

Share Your Tip or Story

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

Share

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

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...

Don’t Laugh at Saving Spare Change

Virginia Saves saver, Brittany, decided to start saving again when she became a single mother. She thinks many women, and men, can relate.

Read more...

Saver Story: Set a goal, make a plan!

America Saves believes that saving money starts when you set a goal and make a plan to reach it. Putting your goals at the forefront of your savings journey makes it easier to visualize and focus on what you're saving for. That's why we chose Shannon as our Saver of the Month! Her approach to saving for her family’s dream home is a great example of how #ThinkingLikeASaver can look different for everyone but has great payoffs and rewards.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Sign Up