Literacy Connections recognizes our programs often work best when we partner with other organizations working toward similar goals. The partnership between the Bank On Wayne program and Habitat for Humanity clearly illustrates that it does indeed take a village! This is how the journey of prospective Habitat homeowner, Brittany, brought her to Literacy Connections.A long time renter, Brittany dreamed of owning her own home and investing in her future with real assets. With only her income to depend on, she knew this was a lofty goal, so in 2018 she filled out an application for Habitat for Humanity. Initially, she was denied because her debt-to-income ratio was too high. Not to be deterred, Brittany found another stream of income and addressed the problem. She reapplied in 2019, and SUCCESS! This time she made the cut. All prospective Habitat homeowners must complete eight hours of financial education through Bank on Wayne as part of their required sweat equity. Brittany signed up and enthusiastically participated in the classes, eager to learn about budgeting for home maintenance, as well as new strategies to add to her existing budgeting skills.
Shortly after completing Bank On Wayne, Brittany’s brand new home was completed. Her home was dedicated on June 11, 2020, and she proudly received her keys. Recently, the new homeowner stopped by the center to provide an update on how she is using her newly acquired skills. She is saving each month to create an emergency fund and making decisions on home maintenance, such as paying someone to mow her lawn or investing in a lawnmower. She no longer has a landlord to call. It’s all on her.
She also mentioned employing some of the energy savings tips discussed, such as setting the thermostat at a consistent temperature and not leaving lights or the TV on when not in use. Even though her new home is energy efficient, every little bit helps.As expected, Brittany is eager to fill her new home, but she is careful to plan her purchases and avoid impulse buys. She learned from Bank On Wayne that before making a purchase, she should consider the cost of the item and divide by her hourly wage to calculate the number of hours of work needed to buy the item.Sometimes, the purchase is just not worth it. Brittany said the most useful thing she learned was the importance of tracking her daily spending, even the small, seemingly insignificant things. This really allows her to see where her hard-earned money goes and to make changes if needed. Brittany also talked about the importance of having a built-in pause to prevent her from impulse purchases. So, what’s her pause? Call Mom!
Brittany said she would recommend Bank On Wayne to anyone hoping to purchase a home, not just participants in Habitat for Humanity.
This self-sufficient, hardworking, young lady’s journey is just beginning as she works to build a future of financial stability. Next up for Brittany is her four year degree in Human Resource Management.
Friends like you open the door for people like Brittany.
Together we are building a literacy rich community.