Saving Toward a Better Life…and a Bike!
Not long ago, Adrian Alphonso felt he was coming apart. Newly separated and troubled by addictions, Adrian found himself deep in debt and with few resources to support himself and his young daughter Elyse.
To deal with his financial issues, Adrian went to Community Financial Counselling Services, where the staff recommended SEED’s Saving Circle program, which combines ten weeks of money management training with a 3:1 matched savings component. In total, participants can access a total of up to $1,000 toward the purchase of an asset to help improve their lives.
In training, Adrian learned the language of money, something he didn’t have the chance to learn when he was young. “My father was an immigrant, and became an automotive painter,” Adrian explains. “He sacrificed to pay bills and put food on the table. My mother came from a big family, and money was very scarce. They worked very hard and went without. I never learned about money – they didn’t want to burden me with it. Talking about it would have been stressful.”
When you are down and feel like you have no more options, it’s so nice to know that there are things to help you. Saving Circle is one of those important programs that people should hear about.
Adrian lives a car-free lifestyle. When making the decision on what to save for, Adrian chose specialized cycling boots, a bicycle frame, and new wheels. These purchases help ensure his ability to cycle in winter, and keep his bike in good working condition throughout the year.
Today, Adrian has changed his life, working full-time at a cycling shop, picking up an occasional DJ gig, and spending time with daughter Elyse, who lives with him part-time. “When you are down and feel like you have no more options, it’s so nice to know that there are things to help you,” he explains. “Saving Circle is one of those important programs that people should hear about.”