Smart About Money helps households acquire the tools and support they need to take control of their finances and put them on the road to financial stability.
SAM is a free program for low- to middle-income residents of New Haven, Hamden, West Haven and East Haven that is managed by United Way of Greater New Haven in partnership with Annie E. Casey Foundation.
SAM uses volunteer Budget Coaches to help educate, guide and encourage households to identify and work through specific financial concerns and goals. Depending on the individual’s goals, the coaching program includes monthly face-to-face sessions over a four month period. Budget Coaches use a curriculum focused on understanding households' income and expenses, creating and managing household budgets, and setting and attaining financial goals.
"No matter who you are, making informed decisions about what to do with your money will help build a more stable financial future for you and your family." - Alan Greenspan
SAM believes that households can be more financially stable when they are given the tools and skills needed to develop sound behaviors that lead to increasing net worth and building assets. SAM's design includes:
- Improving long-term financial behavior
- Facilitating clients to set and achieve financial goals largely on their own
- Helping clients practice new behaviors and monitors those behaviors over time
- Targeting clients with a minimum level of financial skills and experience.
SAM assists participants to budget their money, and connects households to services to build or improve their credit, get out of debt, and save for the future.