Taz A. worked long hours as a taxi driving as he pursued the American Dream for his wife and three children. He aspired someday to own his own home. Yet despite all his hard work, he struggled to make ends meet.
He’d never been taught anything, either formally or informally, about managing his finances. As a result, he had taken on a large and growing amount of debt. It appeared that his dream would never amount to much more than that.
“I was in tough times,” he says, looking back on it now. “I was barely getting by.”
One day, feeling desperate and running out of hope, Taz signed up for a local program in Northern Virginia, funded by the Foundation for Financial Planning. The pro bono program paired him with a volunteer financial planner. They worked closely together, meeting regularly for more than a year. “Over time,” Taz says, “he really helped me turn things around.”
First, the planner helped Taz understand and improve his spending patterns. Because many of Taz’s cab customers paid in cash, he always had money in his pocket that he too easily spent on things he didn’t really need. So the volunteer planner showed Taz how to use the “envelope method” to set aside cash for a special fund and to reduce his discretionary spending.
Meanwhile, the volunteer helped Taz set financial goals, create a budget, flesh out a plan, chart his progress and be accountable for results. Slowly and steadily, Taz accumulated enough savings to pay off his creditors.
Eliminating his debt, in turn, brought Taz’s longtime dream within reach. And then he made it come true. “At age 60,” says Taz, beaming with pride, “I was finally able to make a down payment on my first home.”
“At age 60, I was finally able to make a down payment on my first home.”
— Taz A., taxi driver
- Worked with a volunteer financial planner to address financial situation
- Found a workable way to reduce discretionary spending and begin saving
- Paid off accumulated debt
- Saved enough for a down payment on a home