The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Modest Savings Can Make A Big Difference In People’s Lives

On May 23rd, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by

It’s interesting that I follow-up last week’s blog with this one.  As you recall, one week ago I introduced you to the new penalty for early withdrawal of a CD from Bank of America.  The new penalty skyrocketed 1700% — literally making it an extremely difficult decision (in the case of emergency) as to whether or not to take the hit to get your own money.  Really, should that be a decision one has to navigate (emergency vs. penalty) to pay for an emergency?

Unfortunately, that is the type of decision made by many of St. Louis’ residents every day on any number of levels.  Forget the idea that one may have a CD; that’s a pipe dream in the low-income households of our community.  Imagine having to make the decision between childcare, gas in the car to go to work, groceries on the table or refilling a prescription.  Imagine having to flip the coin on that decision – EVERY DAY!

There is a difference between a household’s subsistence and household stability.  There is a world teetering in that position every day of their lives.  A flat tire…a plumbing emergency…a sick kid…the increase in gas from $3.00 to $4.00 per gallon…and we’ve teetered the wrong way.  God forbid if the rent goes up $50 per month or utility costs jump.  What if auto insurance takes a hike upward?  What if, what if, what if?

Usually, any increase in the cost of living sends too many of our fellow citizens reeling.  The enormity of the problem seems to suggest that one can do little to nothing in the way of help.  Not really.  Don’t let apathy factor into the equation.

The BEST Index provides a broad view for achieving household stability.  BEST (Basic Economic Security Tables) was collaborated with Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and constructed by the Center for Social Development (CSD) right here at the Brown School at Washington University.  In essence, without discounting this magnificent study and the depth and breadth of data involved to gain a better understanding, it boils down to the need for assets to attain both short-term and lifelong economic security, i.e. savings.  Even modest savings makes a difference.

We concur.  That’s why St. Louis Community Credit Union continues to produce products that are properly priced to enhance St. Louis’ households with the ability to save.  Across the street from Wash U’s Brown School is the Olin School of Business.  The graduate students of Olin just completed a study in which they determined that the absolute value of belonging to our Credit Union provides members with hundreds of dollars per year in savings when compared to banks, payday lenders and/or check cashers.

Do me a favor.  Tell everyone you know that a good first step in accumulating wealth (assets) is to change your current situation into an account at St. Louis Community.  We’ll create cash flow that will allow for the hope of saving money to become a reality.  By talking us up, you may make a difference in somebody’s life.  The distance between someone’s subsistence and household stability just may be your referral to the Credit Union.

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