Household budget paves way for debt reduction

FamilyForward helped single mom "Vicky" achieve financial stability, and that stability benefited the entire family unit.



Creating a household budget paved the way for debt reduction
Stock photo from Pexels

“Vicky” applied to FamilyForward (then known as Faith Community Homes) when she and her children were living doubled up with family members. Although Vicky was working full time, she did not earn enough to get her own apartment, and her debt was mounting. FamilyForward worked with Vicky to get a modest, affordable apartment and paid the security deposit. Once settled into her apartment, Vicky began weekly meetings with her volunteer mentors.


The first priority was to work on a household budget. Vicky’s mentors helped her make a list of all her bills and their due dates. Looking at bank statements and credit card bills, Vicky’s mentors helped her identify where her money was going and where savings could be had. This was the first time in her life that Vicky created a household budget. It took some time for her to get adjusted to her new spending plan.


Reliable work schedule makes all the difference

Next Vicky was ready to tackle the job search. Like many single moms, her employability was restricted by her childcare. She could only take a job that offered shifts compatible with her childcare restraints. So many vacant jobs require evenings, overnights, weekends, or other shifts that a single parent has difficulty working.


Vicky considered a possible job that would pay significantly more, but that employer could not guarantee 40 hours per week or a consistent schedule. After talking through all the pros and cons with her mentors and mapping out a new possible budget, Vicky decided to pass on that opportunity in favor of something more reliable. With ongoing guidance and encouragement from her mentors, Vicky eventually secured a new job earning $4 per hour more than when she entered our program. Moreover, the new job offered a consistent, reliable schedule.


Rent subsidy frees up funds to pay down debt

Vicky’s mentors also helped her develop a plan to take advantage of the FF rent subsidy and use that money to pay down her debt. Because of her new, detailed household budget, Vicky did not accrue any additional debt while in our program. During her time in the two-year FamilyForward program, Vicky used her tax refunds to pay off some old loans. When she graduated from our program, Vicky’s debt was almost totally eliminated, her credit score improved, and she was earning enough to pay all her bills on time.


FamilyForward helped Vicky achieve financial stability, and that stability benefited the entire family unit. During Vicky’s second year in our program, her daughter graduated high school and went on to take classes at the local community college. This daughter is the first person on either side of the family to pursue postsecondary education. When they entered our program, Vicky’s family was in crisis. After two years of hard work, they have a plan for a brighter future.