Post-Pandemic Financial Renewal

As the end of the pandemic hopefully comes into sight, many are beginning to think about how we want to emerge from this chapter. For those who have been barely holding on financially over the past year, the return to an economic normal is a welcome relief. Yet to truly shed this stressful time, now is a powerful opportunity to take a look at our relationship with money, asking ourselves, how is my spending aligned with my goals and values? How are my financial habits serving me or not?

At HomeSource of NeighborImpact, we have been helping clients across the income spectrum weather the economic effects of the pandemic. Through NeighborImpact joins NeighborWorks America, (a national network of over 240 organizations—including NeighborImpact) and other nationwide organization in Celebrating Financial Capability Awareness Month in April. Financial capability is a useful tool to help each of us evaluate our financial health. It asserts that we reach financial wellness when we have both freedom of choices and a safety net for the present and future unknowns. As one NeighborImpact client shared, “I had never heard the term Financial Capability before, but I had felt the effects of the lack of it all my life.” Indeed, most of us know what it feels like to lack financial capability. At HomeSource of NeighborImpact, our goal is to help clients find what wellness means for them.

At HomeSource of NeighborImpact, we have been helping clients across the income spectrum weather the economic effects of the pandemic. Through workshops and budget counseling, we have witnessed first-hand how individuals of all incomes can find more freedom and choices when they actively engage with their finances. This year has highlighted how much our finances are entangled with every aspect of our lives. Many of us have watched our stability unravel with lost wages or unexpected expenses. When this stress builds up, it is tempting to not think about it—to leave the bills unopened or keep our credit cards handy.

Yet creating a plan for financial stability can relieve so much stress. For some, that means sitting down and creating a budget, and then tracking spending to match that budget. For others, talking to an expert at a financial institution or agency like NeighborImpact can help. Among our clients, 71 percent of those who engaged in financial capability services saw an improvement in their financial life. Even those living paycheck to paycheck find ways to save. Setting aside $20 from each paycheck adds up quickly when savings becomes a habit. Our clients who were able to build small emergency savings (through this savings technique) before the pandemic found that they were better able to endure the financial turbulence of the past year. In this way, we have witnessed how income is not the greatest predictor of financial stability; rather it is the ability to engage with your spending habits and actively make a financial plan that aligns with your values. This is a time of regrowth; it can be an opportunity for financial renewal as well.


Reflections from the field is a co-created article by Sonia Capece, HomeSource Director at NeighborImpact & Kelsey Freeman, local writer and educator passionate about social justice.