This summer I had the joyful and life-altering experience of becoming a first-time mom. Our precious daughter Evelyn is now five months old.
Amidst the daily wonders of parenthood – the first smiles, tiny fingers, the sleepless nights – there were stressful financial decisions to navigate, such as finding affordable childcare, covering seemingly endless medical expenses, and paying for our baby’s health insurance. I was shocked at the complexity of the paid-parental leave process, all the while knowing I should count myself lucky to live in one of only three states that even provide these benefits.
For most of our Savers there is no greater inspiration than their children. As one SaverLife member from Atlanta, Georgia put it,
“For me, saving is about more than emergency funds, college tuition, and retirement. Those are byproducts. Saving is about creating a new way of being, doing, and living for my son. It’s about overhauling generational poverty. For us, saving reinforces more than our livelihood, it reshapes our legacy.”
The majority of our Savers are women, and many are single parents. They sacrifice every day to build solid lives for themselves and their families. And they are doing so with far too little support from policymakers.
At EARN, our goal is to support these incredible moms in achieving their individual dreams. But we have another, even bigger goal which is to join together to advocate for stronger policies to support working women and their children. We are 110,000 voices strong, and we are about to get loud.
Amongst my many blessings, I count wonderful and supportive colleagues, who continued to do amazing work while I was on parental leave. Some recent highlights include:
- We launched SaverLife Nevada, our first state-wide campaign, in partnership with the Nevada Bankers Association and many more incredible supporters
- We completed our pilot of Savers Win, our tax-time savings program that helped almost 10,000 tax-filers increase their tax-time savings. We are launching a bigger and better version this year, so stay tuned for partnership opportunities
- We implemented the CFSI Financial Health Score on our SaverLife platform to better track the financial well-being of our Savers and measure the impact savings has on their overall financial health. Our next Big Data on Small Savings on early results of this work will be released next week!
- The nLIFT coalition, of which we are proud to be a founding member, released our first publication “Fulfilling the Promise of Fintech: The Case for a Nonprofit Vision and Leadership”
Leigh is the president and CEO of EARN.