Meet Tamonie: Tamonie, an Oakland native and mother of four, says she always meant to start saving. She’s had a savings account for years, but kept her money in a checking account. “It seemed so complicated” to use her savings account – having to deal with the bank all the time, transfer money, and pay from different accounts.
After hearing about EARN’s flexible savings program at her son’s school, Tamonie immediately signed up. The program’s rewards, she says, motivated her to actually use her savings account – she started putting away money every month and being careful not to touch it except in emergencies. She even set up her bank account to automatically move money from her checking account to her savings account every month so that she didn’t have to think about it.
Tamonie says that the key to her success with the program was that the goal she set for herself – saving $25 per month – was doable. She chose $25 per month because “I wanted to set a goal I knew I could accomplish.” Tamonie works for in-home supportive services in Oakland, and knew that this was an amount she could reliably take out of her paycheck every month without putting a strain on herself or her family. Because her goal is reasonable, saving is “becoming a habit.” Plus, she is sometimes able to save extra money beyond her goal!
Since starting to build her savings with EARN, Tamonie has only missed one month of savings. And even her modest savings are making a difference in her life, allowing her to get extra help with her kids so that she can take on more work when it’s available. Overall, having that extra cushion of savings has made her life “a lot easier.”
Through EARN, Tamonie says she’s “learned that it’s actually rewarding to use savings.”