Meet Adrian: “When it rains, it pours.” Adrian learned this first-hand when, in quick succession, the South Napa earthquake destroyed a lot of her belongings, her beloved cat Gizmo got very ill, she got divorced, she had to replace the tires on her car, and she had to have dental surgery.
Adrian thought she was prepared for bad luck like this: she maintained insurance on her teeth, her health, her home, and even for Gizmo, but the deductibles were so high that she couldn’t pay for them all at once. Eventually, she had to take out a loan.
The experience taught her a valuable lesson: an emergency fund is critical to protect her in the future. Adrian is on disability retirement, and living on a fixed income makes saving difficult.
As all this was happening, Adrian learned about SaverLife on the news and decided to sign up, hoping it would help her start a habit of saving. First, Adrian set up a savings account so that she could save into a dedicated account. Then she set up an automatic transfer, which she says has been crucial because she never even sees this money. “I just pretend it was never there to begin with,” she says.
To make her savings goal of $45/month, she quit smoking. Formerly a half a pack a day smoker, she’s now putting that money toward saving and paying down loans. Quitting has been challenging, she says, but she’s learning techniques to manage it.
The impact of having savings has been huge. Adrian, who has struggled with PTSD and anxiety since she was a child, says that “saving is about peace of mind.” Knowing that she’s better prepared for the future has been a boon for her mental health and has even improved her physical health.
Adrian hopes that SaverLife will reach people when they’re first entering the work world. “You think you’re invincible, that nothing can happen to you,” she says, “but then something does always hit” and savings can help keep you afloat.