Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck
Reflecting on the $9,000 of debt she’s paid off, United Way Volunteer Budget Coaching participant Summer Spellman (above with her coach, Steve DeKeyser) says, “I feel so happy, just like a weight lifted off my shoulders.” Her sentiment isn’t just one of financial security, it’s also one she couldn’t have imagined months ago while living paycheck to paycheck, or “paycheck to three days before the paycheck,” as she describes it.
Summer always paid her bills and credit card payments on time, but the balance just didn’t seem to shrink. A change occurred, however, when she began to work with her volunteer budget coach,
Steve, who helped her examine her finances and develop a way to climb out of her financial hole.
Summer and Steve met twice a month for four months. They figured out when she could make payments, how she could pay off her debt quicker, and set up a savings account, which proved invaluable when Summer’s car broke down. “It only cost a few hundred dollars to fix, but I was able to cover it with money I wouldn’t have had before entering the program,” Summer recalls.
Since the program’s inception, 100 percent of participants improved their financial management skills while working by paying down debt, repairing credit, and saving for the future.
United Way Volunteer Budget Coaching is provided with support from gifts to United Way Community Investment, the Prudential Foundation and Citizens Bank, in partnership with Women’s Business Development Council and Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund.