The YWCA of Greater Lawrence – A Voice for Women & Girls
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Budget Buddies – Success at YWCA Fina House!

DSCN3212We have now completed two Budget Buddies* workshop series, and are delighted to share that the programs have been overwhelmingly successful!

Over the two sessions, 26 residents and 26 volunteer Coaches completed 6-month long financial literacy workshop series between October of 2014 and March of 2016.  We have had 22 or our residents graduate from these series, and all have gained both knowledge and confidence in managing their financial profiles.

We credit the success of the program to the comprehensive and expansive Budget Buddy curriculum, but even more so to our wonderful Volunteer Coaches.  Without their commitment, dedication and rousing support of their Buddies, our residents would not have experienced the transformative results, such as:

Before the Workshop
* 16 out of 22 residents had no bank account
* 22 out of 22 residents had medium to critical financial problems
* 4 out of 22 residents understood the concept of budgeting
* 2 out of 22 residents managed their finances from a budget
* 0 out of 22 residents were working to fix past credit mistakes

DSCN3211After the Workshop
* 22 out of 22 residents have bank accounts
* 22 out 22 residents significantly improved 1 or more medium to critical financial problems
* 22 out of 22 residents understand the concept of budgeting – and have created a budget!
* 18 out of 22 residents are managing their finances from a budget
* 22 out of 22 residents are working to fix past credit mistakes, and now understand the importance of credit in managing finances.

One of the most significant areas of improvement for our residents through the Budget Buddies program has been the openness they came to feel in discussing their financial situations.  Virtually all of our residents are women steeped in backgrounds of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse.  Much to our amazement, by talking things through with their personal Volunteer Coach and attending workshops,  they came to realize that being open about the challenges they face is incredibly empowering in working to solve their problems.  Our Coaches have been patient, flexible, and understanding, but also learned when to really encourage their Buddy on their journey.  Our Buddies [residents] came to trust their Coaches.  This has proved to be a wonderful support as they work their Fina House programs toward self-sufficiency, with the goal of finding safe, affordable housing.

We plan to offer our next Budget Buddies workshop series in the fall.  If you’re interested in learning more about being a Volunteer Coach, click here.

 

* Budget Buddies is a local non-profit that provides financial coaching for low-income women.

 

Wants vs Needs Collage 1

 

 

 

 

 

Wants vs. Needs, Collage 2