Connecticut United Ways are partnering with a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization called EARN to bring a matched savings program to ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households in the State of Connecticut.
The EARN Starter Savings Program is a six-month matched savings program in which individuals earning no more than 80% of the median household income in their region agree to save at least $20 per month and in return earn $10 in matched savings. At the end of program, they will have built up at least $180 worth of emergency savings. EARN reports that 80% of graduates from the Starter Savings Program continue to save beyond the six months of the program.
Savings is a core component of financial health. A savings habit – and the stability it brings – is as important as income. Savings address financial instability by providing a way for families to save for short-term emergencies and long-term assets, like a college education or a home. Lack of savings is the financial challenge American families’ worry about the most. In fact, one in three households nationwide have no savings. Community conversations held by United Ways across Connecticut with ALICE households echo this struggle.
EARN is a national nonprofit dedicated to asset-building and microsavings that the Connecticut United Ways have partnered with to address this critical issue. This asset-building initiative will complement the great financial stability work that all United Ways across the State of Connecticut support in their local communities.
In partnering with EARN, Connecticut’s United Ways hope to help struggling families make saving and financial planning a priority. “Saving creates prosperity because we see its power to transform,” EARN says of its savings programs, like the Starter Savings Program United Ways are bringing to Connecticut. Further, 92% of EARN Savers develop a strategy for managing financial emergencies and 83% continue to save after program incentives end.