Meet Lara: “We were so poor growing up. We were just poor,” says Lara, a Fort Worth native. Lara grew up on government assistance and is determined to break her family’s chain of poverty
The first step was improving her credit score with help from Family Pathfinders and Mission Asset Fund’s credit-building program. That’s where she learned about SaverLife.
When she joined SaverLife, Lara had just started trying to save. Prior to that, her savings habits were “absolutely zero” for a long time. “Saving,” she says, “just wasn’t a value I was taught growing up.” But with SaverLife, she committed to save $20 a month. Her goals were building an emergency fund and eventually buying a car.
“I’ve never had an emergency fund in my whole life,” Lara says. “That’s why it’s my number one goal.” The match money from SaverLife taught Lara to be more consistent with her savings habits. The biggest change was cutting out everyday small expenses. Small sacrifices meant more money going to her emergency fund. It wasn't easy, but SaverLife helped her see clearly the relationship between her daily decisions and achieving her goals.
Having an emergency fund alleviates a lot of Lara’s anxiety. "Emergencies," she says, “aren’t a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’” Now she knows she’ll be able to handle a family emergency and avoid the cycle of debt that comes with being financially unprepared. “You can prevent that,” Lara says.
Lara, whose parents never owned a house, is now a proud homeowner and is saving to make sure her future is secure. “I’m trying to do things a different way,” she says. “A better way.”