1,000 families will receive cash incentives for saving money and building a financial cushion.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, San Francisco-based nonprofit EARN and Treasurer José Cisneros announced the launch of SaverLife, a transformative community movement aiming to increase financial stability and emergency savings in the Bay Area.
SaverLife will provide small cash incentives to 1,000 individuals to encourage families to build a savings habit and a financial cushion. Bay Area residents who join SaverLife will be eligible for $10 a month in savings incentives and receive online financial education. Savers enroll online at SaverLife.org.
“SaverLife is designed to help families weather financial emergencies that lead to eviction, medical debt, and homelessness,” says Leigh Phillips, CEO of EARN. “This simple online tool will help San Francisco communities start to save for tomorrow’s emergencies. Building savings in our community not only addresses individual financial insecurity, it also improves the economic vitality of the City.”
According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 47% of Americans are “financially fragile” and could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt. This savings crisis creates financial vulnerability for families and costs the San Francisco government an estimated $24 to $54 million from evictions and unpaid property taxes and utility bills.
“The SaverLife campaign will put more families on the path to prosperity, and reduce the cost of financial instability to government,” said San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros. “SaverLife fills a critical need for families at a time when many San Francisco residents are struggling to pay bills and build for their futures.”
The campaign will raise public awareness of San Francisco’s lack of savings and demonstrate how directly helping families save strengthens our community by preventing a family’s financial emergency from becoming a crisis.
Ravy Kong, a graduate of the program says, “I was never taught to save for emergencies before – the rewards program taught me to save for the future and the unknown. Since completing the program, I try to save even more!”
The campaign engages a wide range of nonprofit and employer partners to promote the importance of savings. Eric McDonnell, the COO of the United Way of the Bay Area, a SaverLife partner, says, “at the United Way, we see financially insecure families every day. We see how they are struggling to get back on their feet after an income disruption or unexpected expense. We are proud to partner with a campaign that brings all of us together to move the needle on this issue.”
The growing list of partners also includes the credit counseling agency BALANCE, Jewish Vocational Services, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel Council, and Levi Strauss & Co. The campaign is sponsored by Charles Schwab Bank, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Bank of the West, BBVA Compass, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
“Having a savings cushion for unexpected expenses is the first step to financial security,” says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. “SaverLife will help people take actionable steps toward saving so that they’re ready for an emergency, and can ultimately achieve a brighter future.”
For more information visit SaverLife.org.
EARN is an award-winning nonprofit that builds prosperity for working families by helping them save and invest in their futures. Since 2001, EARN has helped thousands of families save for a better future through innovative savings products. EARN’s vision is that millions of well-informed, low-wage American families will achieve financial success through proven strategies, fair public policy, and their own hard work. earn.org
About the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment
The San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment’s mission is to use City Hall’s strength and influence to equip poor and low-income residents with the knowledge, skills and access they need to enter the financial mainstream and achieve greater financial security. sfofe.org