b&b184 AFCPE Summer Red in Da Art of Storytelling
Summer Red, Rural Dynamics, Inc., Financial Literacy Program Manager, has been teaching financial education for over five years, with a focus on creating innovative and interactive curricula. She spoke about her favorite savings and credit-building strategies (revolving savings account, snowball savings and credit builder loans), as well as how she motivates and keeps students interested through the personalization of storytelling.
Summer Red: There’s no subject other than financial education where eight hours can literally change the rest of your life forever.
Summer Red: Revolving Saving Account: Instead of borrowing money with a credit card to pay for things like tires which you know are coming…start saving that money every month and then when it comes, you borrow it from that savings account, and you keep paying it back every month until it’s paid off–interest free.
Summer Red: A lot of Native Americans will come to training and say “This is white man’s stuff. Why does this apply to me?” And so what this training does is it says “You know, when our forefathers fished and didn’t eat all of the fish but dried some of it, that was savings.”
Summer Red: The Northwest [bay area tribes] created an entire credit system based on shells. They had a whole currency system.
Summer Red: The first thing you have to do when you’re budgeting is figure out why you’re budgeting.
Summer Red: [Pretend] You have a million dollars….whatever you want to spend that million dollars on, that’s what you’re working towards.
Summer Red: Do you know how much I had saved up [to buy a house], after seven years? $300…because I realized right now it’s not relevant to me. I travel 60-70 days a year. I don’t have time.
Summer Red: Start with one paycheck’s worth [of savings], because they had a glitch in England sometime last year and everything that was supposed to process on Friday processed on Monday, and people were in danger of losing their homes, because they were gonna get paid on Friday and turn around and send out that mortgage payment. You do no want to be in a position where a 48 hour delay in getting paid means you could be homeless.
Summer Red: Credit Builder Loans: You’re building credit by putting money away each month as a loan payment, and then you get the money back at the end.
Summer Red: Storytelling is the most ancient form of education.
Summer Red: I’m not saying not to have fun, I’m saying prioritize. I make $16,000 a year and I have $30,000 saved for retirement.
Summer Red: So there I was, I had an $80 speeding ticket, and I had no savings, and I just, I didn’t know how I was gonna pay it….that was for me my turning point…I did not want to have $80 be the end of my world.
Summer Red: Don’t let other people dictate what you can afford. It’s your life. It’s your budget.
Summer Red: A client…was transitioning out of prison [and] his credit was ruined as it often is when you’re shipped off without being able to pay your bills.
Dyalekt: Always pay attention, especially when you’re working with finances, to what the incentive the person you’re working with has.