Cheranda’s Story: Celebrating Sobriety and Achieving her Financial Goals

Cheranda is an Assistant Operations Manager at a local grocery store in Portland, Oregon.

How have you been?

I’m 42, and this past Monday, I’ve been sober for seven years. In June, I’ll have been at my job for six years. I started off as a prep cook. During the past few years, I got into a home buying program and that’s how I got connected with SaverLife.

I’ve been trying to get sober for a long time. I’ve got six months here, eight months there. But this time I had to detox before going to treatment. I’ll never forget landing in detox and I couldn’t eat or drink and I thought, “I have to change my life. I’m better than this.” It was at that moment that I decided to believe in myself.

Last year, I bought a condo. Before then, I was living in a REACH community development residence. I took a budgeting class there and got an IDA (individual development account) after I completed the course.

Did you learn any money lessons growing up?

I grew up in a foster home, so I didn’t have any money lessons growing up. My sister and I would collect cans for money. To be honest, I got the best financial training in the last three years with the home buying program, budgeting class, and SaverLife.

I grew up in foster care, started drinking when I was ten years old, and have been homeless for most of my life. I got connected with the Portland Housing Center and got into their first-time home buyers program.

What has saving looked like for you?

I needed to save up money to buy a condo. I now also have emergency savings! Right now, I’m looking to buy a car to celebrate seven years sober.

I also always save for SaverLife’s monthly Race to $100. Even though I only need to save $100 to be eligible for a cash prize, I like to try and push myself to save more than that.

How has SaverLife helped you?

SaverLife helped me start saving. I appreciate the helpful and informative emails. Everything SaverLife has is helpful actually—the emails, quizzes, articles, text reminders, the Scratch & Save cards, and savings incentives. I have a hard time remembering things, so those email and text reminders really help!

I also like reading the stories of how other SaverLife members have been able to save.

What financial goals has SaverLife helped you reach? What goals do you plan to use SaverLife to accomplish in the future?

Now that I bought a place of my own, my next long-term goal is to buy a small property on the coast. I love being by the water. Since I joined SaverLife, that goal seems attainable now. I know that if I keep doing what I’m doing I can do that.

I’m proud that I don’t have to finance my car and that I have a mortgage now. Before I got the house, one of my goals was to pay off my debts. I was able to do that and now I’m debt-free.

I’m glad that I have a checking account set up with direct deposit and automatic withdrawals. In order to reach my financial goals, I actually picked up a second job and buckled down on buying things. It was life-changing.

Now I weigh out my options and think differently about whether something I’m about to purchase is a want or a need. There have actually been times where I was going to buy something but then a tip from a SaverLife article would pop into my head and I’d put the item back. The Money 101 articles have changed my perspective on money.

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