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.

 

Jobs were hard to find, and she was grateful for the work. When she heard about the Virginia Beach Mayor’s Action Challenge for 500 Families Financially Fit for the Future, she thought it was a   great way to jump-start her financial makeover.  By attending 10 monthly classes and meeting with her personal financial coach, she was able to create a financial plan to see her children through college without debt and to complete her own degree in the future. During the first class, which focused on the importance of having goals and establishing savings, Johnson signed up for Virginia Saves, making a commitment to saving and gaining the encouragement America Saves offers to develop new saving habits. 

One of the components of the financial challenge was to establish an emergency fund of at least $300. Johnson said that when she began the challenge, saving was hard, and there was almost no money available to save. After joining Virginia Saves she reported that saving had become a priority, and she began saving automatically each payday. 

Johnson credits her personal financial coach, Bridgette Calloway at her local credit union, with keeping her on track toward her goals and encouraging her when decisions were difficult. “She continues to reach out to me and make sure that I am doing OK,” said Johnson. Her coach encouraged her as she implemented the steps to financial fitness and began to see results from her efforts.  

Johnson was the first to complete the Mayor’s Action Challenge for 500 Families Financially Fit for the Future.  In this challenge she established emergency savings, increased her credit score, reduced her debt, and is growing her long-term savings. Johnson admits that the challenge is not always easy and change doesn’t happen overnight.  She reports, “I have not completed my goals, but I am on my way and making good progress.”

Take the Pledge

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

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Are you looking for an effective way to establish a budget? Beginning on the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack and review receipts at the end of the month, and you will clearly be able to see where your money is going. 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 »

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!

Read more...

Challenging Herself to Save

It all started when Marchale Burton overheard Alabama cooperative extension colleague Isaac Chappelle, coordinator of Alabama Saves, explaining how saving just a little bit – even change – is all it takes to become a saver. “I thought about that,” Burton said, “and wanted to see if it would work.” So, she challenged herself to see how much change she could save.

Read more...

Developing a Savings "Game Plan"

Eunice Diaz, a teacher in Colorado Springs, had been noticing a pattern. Despite the fact that she and her husband were “making good money,” they were spending their entire earnings and “were still struggling at the end of the month.”

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Sign Up