Getting in - and out of - Debt

MoneyWork$ Participant Tells Her Story



Laurica fell into debt trying to help her father when his house was foreclosed on during the fiscal collapse. His death shortly thereafter created a combination of circumstances that convinced Laurica she would never be able to repay her debts in her lifetime. But seeing an ad for our MoneyWork$ Program on Channel 13 made her think she may have a chance.


Raised in Sacramento, Laurica attended segregated schools before going to work at Sacramento State University and now for 28 years for Sacramento Regional Transit. Before the housing bubble, Laurica was debt free, had a stable job, and had saved enough money to buy her own home. However, Laurica found herself in a financial crisis from which she felt she could never recover.


At her first counseling session with MoneyWork$ program staff, Laurica says they made her feel comfortable while sharing her difficult situation. Laurica explained that even with the overtime she was working there wasn’t enough money to pay her debts and make ends meet. Soon after beginning the MoneyWork$ program however, Laurica was developing a spending plan that provided enough money to do both.


Previously, Laurica had purchased over a dozen books about personal finance, but it was not until attending MoneyWork$ that she started to hold herself accountable for her spending habits. She discovered the importance of prioritizing needs over wants, or in some cases, competing needs. Because she provided for many of the needs of her grandkids, one of her biggest challenges was balancing this expense with managing her debt payments. When she joined MoneyWork$, Laurica was paying the minimum on her credit bills each month. After better understanding interest she began fully paying her credit bills, and she quickly saw a change. It was essential to make the debt payments first, but after doing so she found she still had enough money to provide for her grandchildren.


More importantly, Laurica feels that the MoneyWork$ program not only helped her change her relationship with money, but also her entire outlook on life. As soon as she started getting her finances in order, Laurica made other important changes, including exercising on a regular basis—equally committing to her health as well as her finances. Not only has Laurica’s credit report improved as she pays bills on time, but she also gets sick less often—not missing a day of work since making these lifestyle changes.


With the help of MoneyWork$, Laurica now sees herself retiring at age 62—debt-free, healthy, and ready for the next chapter in her life.