Money Tips

I Really Need a Safety Net: What Do I Do?

It seems impossible to save, right? Or you save for a few months, and it all gets eaten up the next month. Here are some tools to help you save money without having to stress over it or do your own math.

Digit
Digit is an on-line program that figures out your spending patterns for you and track when you have a few extra dollars, then automatically puts them into savings for you. You access your savings when you need to — no fees — it's your money.

Here's what another website says about Digit.


Community Financial Resources
Community Financial Resources (CFR) helps low and moderate income residents by working to create affordable financial products and services structured to help you avoid unnecessary fees while getting services you need. The way to get to their products is to connect to a community organization that works with CFR. Here are the CFR products:

  • The CFR Prepaid Visa Debit Card offered in partnership with US Bank. Good starting point for consumers who are unbanked and would like a secure way to save money and receive money.
  • Secured Credit Builder Card offered through cooperative Center Federal Credit that combines building savings and building credit.
  • A Banking Menu developed with Alameda County Community Asset Network (AC CAN), an online tool that matches consumer needs with the "best-fit" entry level checking and savings accounts at banks and credit unions in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • A financial education intervention for the California Black Infant Health Program to improve black infant health outcomes. This program is in partnership with the Center on Social Disparities in health at UC San Francisco. This is with the intent to address financial issues and to build financial resilience and improve family well-being.

To learn more about CFR and their resources visit: Community Financial Resources


EARN
EARN is a non-profit organization that provides a free program to help you save. With their saving incentive program you will cultivate a savings habit to help you reach your goals.

How does it work?

  • Sign up and link your savings account to EARN, this simply so EARN can verify that you are saving monthly.
  • Pick a savings goal and monthly amount. Rainy day fund, a car, school, whatever you need to save for.
  • Save at least $20 a month, by putting in that in your existing savings account whether you do that online or in person, and earn $10 in rewards each month.

EARN is located in San Francisco, California. However, their program is based online so anyone across the country can sign up. All you need is an existing savings account with any U.S. bank and have access to it online to be able to link it to the EARN platform.

Utilize their platform to see how much you're saving monthly, and how close you are to your goal. The only rule is that for the 6 month duration of the program if you withdraw from your savings you will lose the EARN incentive for that month.

Go online to sign up and learn more!

We do not want you getting in credit card debt. But using credit cards wisely can be like having your own emergency loan program.

Here's a place to start to compare credit cards.

You want to look for low interest rates, and very low or no fees on the card.

NEVER do a balance transfer onto a credit card that you are using for emergency loans. You'll end up losing whatever great interest rate you had on your loan.

NEXT SECTION:  Getting Out of Debt Trouble