Candice’s Story: Getting Back on Her Feet

Meet Candice, a Baltimore native who’s looking to get back on her feet after a recent car accident.

What do you do?

Currently, I’m unemployed unfortunately. It happened right after a car accident. Prior to that, I was a medical assistant for four or five years. It’s really been my passion. Now I’m looking to further my education and eventually become a nurse. I’ve been doing some research on accelerated programs, and I’m exploring the different types of nursing careers.

What did your upbringing teach you about finances?

My mom was pretty frugal to say the least. She always taught me to keep certain food and toiletry staples stocked up. Oh, and keep $20 on me at all times just in case.

What are your lowest and highest financial points?

I haven’t really had a highest financial point mostly because when I get to a place where I’m stable, I end up losing close to everything. One example of this was my recent car accident. After the incident, I lost my money-making, full-time job as well as my part-time job. I’m pretty much homeless at this point. However, I can still get into the money saving mindset. When I do have money, I don’t blow it like some people might be tempted to.

When you don’t have a lot of money and all of a sudden start earning a paycheck, the want to spend recklessly is really high.

What’s the best piece of financial advice you’ve received?

I’d say it’s probably making sure all your bills are paid on time and that you have to keep up your good credit.

Don’t live beyond your means is a good one, too. For example, right now as I’m unemployed, it would be ridiculous to trade my car in or get multiple new credit cards. At this point, I just want to make sound financial decisions. I’m trying to be financially conscious, which is why I’m trying to save what I can right now.

What are your goals for the future?

I just want to be more financially stable and prepared. Additionally, it would be great to be financially independent and have multiple streams of income. One of my dreams is to open my own small business. I’ve heard from many people that it’s a lot more work to manage and whatnot, but I like that I can be independent. Right now, I’m just looking to build a foundation for all of it.

Tell me more about your independent business idea.

I’m interested in starting a fashion t-shirt and purse line. Running a business is something that I’d enjoy. Not everyone who has a regular 9-5 enjoys what they do day in and day out and I want to actually enjoy what I’m doing. I’ve had this dream of owning my own business since I worked at Rite Aid at the age of 17.

What’s one thing you’ve bought on sale this year that you’re happy with?

Definitely my car. I was saving up for one when I finally bought one in 2018. It was something I said I was going to do for a while, and I made it happen.

What does money mean to you in your life?

Money makes the world go around. Pretty much, if you don’t have it, you’re out of luck.

Here in Baltimore, the cost of living is constantly going up while the money for income is limited to a certain group of people with high education degrees.

There’s not much financial assistance for those who aren’t disabled or who fit into the typical government assistance programs for the elderly, retired, military veterans, etc. For the regular Joes and Janes that have fallen on hard times, there’s not much financial assistance—or financial education for that matter—to help them get back up and stay up.

How did you feel about winning $50 from the SaverLife Tax Time Pledge?

I was happy about it! I wasn’t expecting it at all! It was a good idea for SaverLife to have this competition.

I actually left the money in my PayPal. I’m saving it for a rainy day for sure.

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