Tamara decided to go to the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) because she was struggling to pay down mounting credit debt while managing a new monthly pay schedule from her job.  

“I came to the FEC because I started my first “big girl job” after school. At this point in my life, I was moving into my own place with no furniture and felt like I could finally “treat” myself, however, I was also several thousand dollars in debt- all on a high interest credit card. Receiving a monthly paycheck was definitely a learning curve for me. I found myself struggling to pay all of my bills on time without feeling the pressure of waiting until the end of the month for another paycheck.

However, in just a few sessions with her counselor, Tamara was able to set concrete financial goals, start a debt reduction plan and eventually eliminate her credit card debt. Since coming to the FEC, I have significantly reduced my debt by several thousands of dollars. I no longer have any credit card debt, and my credit score has improved by over 100 points! 

Since starting her sessions, Tamara’s relationship to money has considerably improved and she is now able to have more candid conversations with her partner and family about their financial priorities. 

“The best part about coming to the FEC is that I was able to build a more positive relationship with money. I learned to study my spending habits, without judgement; and eventually began to cut back on certain things each month."

“Best of all though, my partner and I have a shared understanding of our financial goals and the sort of financial future we want to build for our family together. I would have never been able to fully talk to him about these, if I had not gotten that thorough understanding of my own spending habits and financial priorities, said Tamara. 

Tamara plans to continue working with her counselor. “We have already crafted a clear plan to obtain my next goal of becoming a homeowner,” said Tamara. “Once I purchase my home, I hope to welcome my counselor to a Thanksgiving meal– I know I would not have been able to achieve financial progress this quickly without her tips and reminders.”