A few years ago Joan, whose name has been changed for this article, had to make a choice to start over and leave an abusive relationship. As a mother on her own, trying to provide a safe future for herself and her children was an overwhelming task.
Joan believed that purchasing a home would be essential to providing a secure future for her family. This desire led her to the IDA (Matched Savings) Programs
designed to help hardworking individuals obtain an asset. Recently Joan graduated from two IDA programs that matched her savings - BSAFE and Helena Community CU First Time Homebuyer. With her dedication to saving and commitment to the programs she was able to turn $4,000 into $15,000 that she used for a down payment for her first home.
Joan completed a Budgeting and Money management class as well as a First Time Homebuyer workshop which she said was "intrinsically valuable
" in preparing for her home purchase. These classes taught her many valuable techniques, including using cash whenever possible and utilizing the "envelope system" for budgeting. She is now teaching her children the lessons she has learned during this process in hopes to prepare them for their future. She has also actively engaged her children in saving by opening savings accounts in their names.
For a woman raised in a low income household that has faced many adversities throughout her life, purchasing her home has given her great confidence. "I feel like I can change my life now, I can accomplish goals
," Joan said. For many Montanans trapped in poverty, making a change in their lives can seem impossible. Yet, as in the case of Joan, the opportunity provided by these programs, combined with the strength and will of the participant, can brighten the future of an individual, a family, even an entire community. For more information on Individual Development Accounts please visit our website at www.montanacreditunions.coop
(click on Match Savings Programs/IDAs).