Family First: Darius’ Journey With LIFT-Chicago

By Laura Rothenberg on June 30, 2018

Categories: Financial Strength, First Person Perspective, Our Work, Real Stories


Darius’ journey with LIFT-Chicago began in October 2017, and in the short time that has passed since then, he has already made significant progress toward his goals!

Darius wants what all parents want: the best possible future for their family. He came to LIFT looking for smart ways to track his spending, increase his savings, reduce his debt and advance in his career – all proven ways to put your family on the path to economic mobility. After his first meeting with a LIFT coach, Darius downloaded the popular MINT app to track his spending. Proactively, he came with that information tallied for his second meeting, where he and his coach drafted a budget together.

Over the next few months, we helped Darius identify areas where he could cut down on spending. We took a look at his spending on things like streaming services, cable, the gym and partnered with him to prioritize areas where he could cut back or find more cost effective versions (like family bundles). He also increased his meal planning and shopping at grocery stores like Costco where he could buy in bulk for cheaper prices. He also plans to increase his use of coupons and to buy a deep freezer in the next month so that he can continue to decrease grocery spending.

The next step was to reduce his credit card debt and to increase savings. We helped Darius setup payment plans with his credit cards to pay that down. He joined the SaverLife campaign and opened two separate savings accounts, one for long-term emergency savings and one for short-term savings. He also opened up two savings accounts through his job that are paid out seasonally at times when spending may increase (such as around the holidays and in the summer around vacation time).

When unexpected car repairs ended up costing him nearly $2,000, he was able to pay for them entirely from the emergency savings he had built up. His better financial habits are already paying off!

He is now in the process of updating his resume in hopes of continuing to advance his career in the culinary arts.

At the core of every goal that Darius has is his love for his family. Darius says he wants his family to be in a position where they don’t have to worry about the things that his mother had to worry about and what he finds himself worrying about now. As long as his children and wife have what they need, then he is happy.

Darius’ coach woke up to a text message from Darius in February filled with exciting updates about the progress he’s making. His message ended with, “So there is light at the end of the tunnel and in the midst of struggles I feel really great about how things are going. A huge THANKS.”

And a big thanks to Darius for LIFTing us up, too.

About the Author

Laura Rothenberg

Laura’s job at LIFT is to provide management, support, training and direction to LIFT-Chicago staff with special attention to member service quality and local volunteer management, training and service delivery. Laura works with LIFT’s national team and LIFT-Chicago leaders to work and track progress toward ambitious annual goals in line with the strategic growth plan. Read More