When Caroletha Morant’s child entered kindergarten, she heard about a program in the school called Fund My Future. The program would allow her child to bring money into school that would be saved in a bank account for the future.
Ms. Morant knew nothing about saving and banking at the time, but she was convinced this was a great opportunity to start. Now, three year later, Ms. Morant has over $600 saved in her daughter’s account, she has opened her own savings account, and she fulfilled her lifelong dream of purchasing a home.
From Paycheck to Paycheck to Home Ownership
Prior to participating in Fund My Future, Ms. Morant lived paycheck to paycheck, and she never understood the importance of a credit score. Like most people across the state, Ms. Morant did not learn about personal finance in school.
However, Fund My Future opened her eyes to the importance and ease of saving. She set a goal of $5 to $20 each week, hoping to accumulate enough money for her 5-year-old daughter to attend Carnegie Mellon University upon graduating.
With her new savings mindset, Ms. Morant realized the importance of opening her own savings account. She opened an account with Dollar Bank and immediately started saving for her home. Along with funds she borrowed from a family member, she was soon able to make a down payment.
“I could always finance a car, but I never thought I could buy a house.”
On May 5, Ms. Morant will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the purchase of her first home.
Small Lifestyle Changes Lead to Big Savings
Ms. Morant ensures that she still has money for savings even after paying her mortgage and utility bills. She does this by decreasing her expenses and working an additional part-time job with Uber. She explains, “I don’t need cable. I have the lowest paying phone. I unplug my appliances when I leave the house. I buy things on sale. I use coupons.” She also emphasized avoiding fees from banks by paying bills online and going to ATMs that do not charge a transaction fee.
Though these techniques may only save a few dollars per day, Ms. Morant says, “You know what I can get for $3.50? A lot of stuff!” These techniques help Ms. Morant save enough money to deposit into her daughter’s saving account every week.
Ms. Morant’s daughter Kevana, now eight, is thrilled to be a part of the Fund My Future program, and she always reminds her mom to give her money for her account. She keeps piggy banks around the house, each of them filled with change. Though as a second grader, Kevana does not yet have plans for after graduation, her mother envisions her studying robotics or engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Morant hopes the money saved in her Fund My Future account will be enough to completely pay for college, without the need for student loans.
Although Ms. Morant has never won a prize with the Fund My Future program, Ms. Morant stresses that the true prize is her daughter’s future.
“I am not in it for the prize. If I won a prize, that would be nice, but it’s really about Kevana’s future.”
Everyone who enrolls in Fund My Future opens doors to new opportunities for children and gives them powerful financial tools for their future.