Case Manager Jamie Hebert recently worked with a disabled woman in her fifties who wants to go back to work after having graduated with an associate’s degree. The woman cares for an adult daughter, who is also disabled. Jamie helped her develop a money management plan to eliminate unnecessary spending, such as buying McDonald’s ice tea every day. This habit was costing about $33 a month, which equates to a tank of gas.
After visiting a local career center and applying for multiple jobs, the woman returned to Jamie excited to report she had changed her spending habits. She had cut down on her ice tea and had taken a further step to save the money in a pickle jar. Her savings amounted to $27, and her daughter had managed to save $12, as well! This seemingly small accomplishment gave Jamie’s customer the encouragement she needed to take further steps toward coming out of poverty. She no longer wants to be on food stamps and is doing everything she can to move away from government assistance. To celebrate, she is planning a “girls’ weekend” with her daughter with the money they save.
For this customer, it was a “light bulb” moment that allowed her to make a change – one she decided for herself. Saving $27 empowered her to make the necessary changes that will allow her to become economically independent. One small step can create the momentum needed for greater ones!