Learning How to Build a Budget Paid off for Local Family
When Carmen Midence started having car problems and needed to buy a new vehicle, the money she had been saving came in handy.
“This money in savings is helping to buy a new car,” said Midence, explaining that her husband was pleasantly surprised at how much she had been able to save. “It’s good. It makes me feel happy.”
How did she do it? Last year Midence began attending a Financial Life Skills class funded by Rappahannock United Way. After filling out a budgeting worksheet for the first time, she decided to make some changes to reduce her family’s household expenses.
“I was paying $50 for the phone, but now I pay $20,” said Midence, who found ways to cut monthly bills during her class held weekly at Stafford Junction. “I save money using coupons and I buy for two weeks, not every week, so I don’t buy extra I don’t need.”
For students like Midence, making small changes and getting in the habit of putting money aside is key.
“Always pay yourself,” said Jose Torres, of Wells Fargo, after co-teaching a session on budgeting to Midence and a group of other women. “Anytime you get paid, transfer money into a savings account. Even if it’s five dollars, eventually you will see results.”
Wells Fargo Personal Banker Andres Mercado encouraged the class to think about where they want to be financially a year from now and then in five years.
“Saving a little bit is better than saving nothing,” said Andres, who said some people in the class had never thought about writing down their expenses and appreciated the budgeting worksheet that broke their spending into categories. “You can see on paper where you can trim the fat. It’s an eye opener.”
Midence was thankful for the opportunity to attend the free financial classes with a group of her peers.
“I am very grateful for this program because it helps you grow,” said Midence, who is able to attend the classes while her 3-year-old son plays in an adjacent room. “I don’t know where else I can find a place like this. I love it.”
Would YOU like to get a FREE financial check-up? Rappahannock United Way would be happy to help you with that. Call us at 540-373-0041 ext. 321 to set up an appointment or click here for more details.
Jose Torres and Andres Mercado (left to right) discuss a mobile bank app with Carmen Midence after class.