Op/Ed

Opinion: Saving your way to security

She is a single mom with a toddler who was living at the Lund Family Center. Brittany was surrounded by people who were pulling for her to succeed. Making a $50 a week stipend, though an extremely small amount, didn’t stop Brittany from looking for a way that she and her daughter could make a secure future for themselves. She knew that education was a way out and her first step was to take CVOEO’s Spend Smart and Keys to Credit classes. 
“I learned a lot from the classes. I learned ways I could build my credit. I learned about tracking money. I think one of the biggest things was saving money. Before I started this program, I could not save a dollar. I was able to save enough money to pay my first months’ rent before discharging from LUND. I was able to pay off my restitution. One of the main things was saving money for my future and learning how to do that and ways to start.” 
The Vermont Reach Up Program offered Brittany and others incentives to help them realize the importance of saving. Brittany was able to leverage $700 in incentive funds when she participated in financial capacity building activities like pulling her credit report with a financial coach and attending CVOEO’s Keys to Credit classes. She was able to learn, earn and save. 
The mantra of CVOEO’s Financial Futures Program is to “Learn, Earn, Save and Own.” This is accomplished through a comprehensive array of services. 
Growing Money focuses on building skills in spending management, learning how to repair or increase credit and studying ways to invest for long term goals. A suite of three classes are led by experienced facilitators and is a foundation for future success. 
Financial Futures offers one-on-one individualized coaching sessions to help support participants achieve their financial goals. 
Interpreted Programs bring money management, credit workshops and familiarization of local financial processes and institutions to those whose language may be Arabic, French, Karen, Nepali, Somali/Maay Maay and Swahili. In this way CVOEO focuses on financial empowerment for new Americans. 
Micro Business Development helps to create or expand a small business and investigate self-employment opportunities. Components of the training include the fundamentals of writing a business plan, addressing start-up challenges and introducing topics such as IRS requirements, marketing and use of accounting tools. Simeon and John, CVOEO Micro Business coaches, work with individuals and facilitate seminars. 
A Matched Savings Program helps participants go back to school, save for educational expenses, repair or purchase a vehicle and repair or purchase a home. 
There is no cost for these services for income eligible individuals. It is CVOEO’s way to make financial wellness is a reality for everyone. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” This is a quote by Alan Lakein and was life changing for Brittany and the 959 others that worked on their financial futures in 2018. 

Share this story:

More News
Op/Ed

Editorial: Sheriff reform needed; not so easy to do it

A bill introduced last week to reform the way Vermont sheriffs operate is a step in the ri … (read more)

Op/Ed

Ways of Seeing: Reflecting on Dr. King’s dream

Equality is not equity. Dr. King made this point repeatedly. He argued that while white Am … (read more)

Op/Ed

Building the library of the future: Libraries enhance our workforce

I’ve noticed that many politicians talk about the importance of preparing America’s labor … (read more)

Share this story: