Why you should build an emergency savings fund

Have you ever felt like you just can’t catch a break? Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck, working full-time while trying to further your education, or just trying to stay out of debt, life can be a series of never-ending challenges.

The phrase “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” implies your success is a result of your personal efforts, without help from anyone. This is often not the case. You may not start on the same economic level as others due to factors beyond your control.  But upward economic mobility is possible by setting smaller goals along the way that build towards a larger objective.

Regardless of personal goals, an emergency savings fund is foundational to the financial well-being of anyone. Without personal savings or a supportive network, life’s unexpected emergencies can cause setbacks. Look at Justin for example:

Justin is not in the habit of saving money and is therefore without emergency savings. His car, which he relies on to get to work, unexpectedly needs $500 in repairs. With no savings and poor credit, Justin resorts to a payday loan, which will give him the $500 he needs immediately, but require him to pay it back with his next paycheck. He will pay a hefty fee of $75 even if the money is paid back on time. If he cannot pay back the money on time, he will be charged much more. If he could find a way to save regularly, he will be able to stay in control and avoid financial decisions that are not in his best interest.

Participants in MindSet are enrolled in a matched savings program where each dollar saved is matched with an additional two dollars, developing a secure emergency savings fund of $10,000. They are also incentivized with monetary rewards for goal attainment.

Episcopal Community Services has developed MindSet, a program to help residents of Philadelphia address life’s challenges, with resources dedicated to making economic independence more achievable.

How does it work? MindSet offers one-on-one coaching and resources to support the advancement in the key pillars of life:  Family Stability; Health and Well-Being; Financial Management; Education and Training; and Employment. 

Coaching is paired with group trainings to help contextualize personal goals. While coaches will help guide through identifying and achieving goals in those areas, specialists take a deeper dive  into housing, financial, educational, and employment goals. 

MindSet participants are dependable and motivated individuals seeking positive change. If this sounds like you, complete our eligibility quiz to take control over your financial situation instead of letting it control you.

If accepted, we will coach you towards a savings plan so that your financial safety can last beyond your time in the program.