Meet Stephanie: After losing her job and going through a separation from her fiancé four years ago, Stephanie found herself unable to keep up with rent and other bills. Eventually, she and her six-year-old daughter lost their apartment. Stephanie was lucky to have family in Florida willing to take her in – and, she says, lucky to find EARN, which encouraged her to save money for her future with her daughter.
The past four years for Stephanie have been about rebuilding her life. She got a job at a property management company, and living with family made it easier to make ends meet and pay off debt. Still, she says, saving money didn't come easily for her.
When Stephanie learned about EARN through the Fresh EBT app, she was struggling to save enough so that she and her daughter could move out. She found that whenever she would save money, she'd end up spending it on something. A self-described "compulsive spender," Stephanie's biggest problem was that if she felt like she had money, she'd spend it.
That's where EARN came in.
EARN "gave me the motivation I needed, and made it easy" to prioritize saving, Stephanie says. She set a goal of saving $50 a month, then set up her bank account so that part of her paycheck would go directly into her savings account, where she wouldn't think about (or spend) it. Stephanie describes EARN's saving program as "informational, helpful, very easy to use," and, most of all, "rewarding."
Stephanie's savings habits have paid off. She's saved up enough money so that she and her daughter, now 10 years old, can move out. They're already all packed for the big day next week. Her daughter is elated about having their own home - "probably even more excited than I am," Stephanie says.
Next up, Stephanie's saving for an emergency fund so that she'll never have to worry about losing her home again due to a financial shock.
Ultimately, her goal is to buy her own home. She knows it won't be easy – especially because her credit has been impacted by her past problems. But seeing the success she's had with EARN "gives me that boost to know I can start again" and helps her believe in her ability to create the future she wants for herself and her daughter.