Two years ago, United Way introduced ALICE, which represents the population of individuals and families who are working, but have difficulty affording the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care, and transportation.
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. Furthermore, according to the 2016 ALICE Update, 39% of Connecticut households lack the liquid assets necessary to survive a financial shock. This vulnerability means that that a medical emergency or unexpected car repair has the potential to cripple an ALICE household. Community conversations held by United Ways across Connecticut with ALICE households echo this struggle.
EARN is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping people build savings 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 (Download: Helping ALICE Families Access Good Jobs and Save for the Future).
To participate in EARN, you must make at or below 80% of your Area Median Income. Click HERE to see what this income is for your county.
Founded in 2001, EARN creates prosperity for working families by helping them save and invest in their futures. EARN is a leader in the emerging nonprofit financial technology sector. In 2015, EARN launched America’s first online flexible savings program, becoming a pioneer in the growing field of nonprofit fintech. In 2016, EARN was identified by the Financial Solutions Lab as one of the most promising innovations to help Americans increase savings and manage financial shocks.
About the EARN Starter Savings Program
Built on a simple online platform, the EARN Starter Savings Program kickstarts a habit of saving. Offered in English, the 6-month program promotes positive financial behavior through an easy-to-use tool, backed by monetary incentives. It is the first step in developing financial stability.
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.
Savers enroll in the program online or via their mobile phone, link their own savings account to EARN’s platform, set a personal savings goal, make deposits, and earn rewards. EARN’s online platform links to accounts at 15 financial institutions including Ally Financial, BB&T, BoA, BBVA, Capital One 360, Chase, Citibank, Navy Federal CU, PNC, Simple, Suntrust Bank, TD Bank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo. Since 2001, EARN has helped thousands of people start saving. EARN’s mission is to help individuals and families reach greater prosperity by building lifelong savings habits and increasing financial capability.
Download the EARN Press Release
Download the Connecticut United Ways EARN Flyer
View the Connecticut United Ways EARN “What would you do with 60 dollars?” Video
Visit: https://www.earn.org/ctuw for the complete EARN Starter Savings Program details and sign up to start saving!