When you work hard―maybe even up to 60 hours a week―it can be difficult to get a handle on your finances.
It’s easier to pick up a drive-through meal than prepare something less expensive at home. You may not have the time to shop around for the best price on a major purchase. Or you just may have never learned about good financial habits from your parents.
Troubling or difficult domestic situations can also leave people in dire financial straits. A single mother may have to learn how to cope on just one salary when child support payments are late or nonexistent. A former spouse may have run up credit card debt in a situation beyond your control. Or a job loss may have put you behind on your mortgage payments, leaving your credit score in tatters.
Free one-on-one budget coaching and workshops, funded by United Way, help people get back on their feet. Coaches in these programs work with clients by confidentially reviewing their income and expenses to find ways to save money. They work with creditors to reduce credit card debt and develop plans for paying cards off. They’ll also work with clients to develop short-term, achievable goals that help them plan for a brighter future.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
- Clients requesting budget coaching and/ or workshops call our United Way offices and are referred to one of our three One-on-One Budget Coaching partners, depending on their particular needs or situation. Partners are Catholic Charities in Danbury, Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Stamford, or TBICO in Danbury.
- Clients set up a meeting with a financial coach and begin to work on developing a household budget, setting a financial goal, and/or improving their credit scores.
- Depending on their needs, clients may be connected with community resources and obtain job skills to improve their chances of getting a job and their overall financial situation.
One of our funded program partners explains how the process works at her agency:
“Learning the basic tools to ensure consistent finances is the first step. In some cases, we identify ways to free up funds to afford a small loan for a vehicle or security deposit for safe housing. This can open the doors to opportunity and self sufficiency. Families that qualify value the opportunity to make payments and improve their credit score. Most clients are impacted during the first session of financial education and almost always leave with a statement to change their behavior. The goal is to keep their money in their own pocket and start a savings plan. This is the most gratifying part of the teaching process for me.”
For more information about One-on-One Budget Coaching, contact Casey Levene at 203-297-6246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
520 clients received free budget coaching and financial advice in 2018
51% achieved at least one financial goal
35% improved their credit health