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Making financial goals achievable for youth

"Even though they might not seem like it at first, small little steps and little investments build up to the bigger picture. That for me was amazing,” - Dali

  • Article
  • Money management

Thu Aug 31, 2023 by Momentum Staff

Dali immigrated to Canada from Mexico with his family when he was very young. Life was difficult. They were brand new to Canada and didn’t have anyone familiar to turn to for advice or support. They didn’t have English literacy skills and required translators.

“We grew up pretty poor to be honest,” he said.

Dali’s mother worked to support the family at a minimum wage job in the food industry, and his father found an entry-level job in the graphic design field, even though he owned a print shop back in Mexico. They both had to start from the bottom when they moved to Canada.

They lived in a basement suite with two rooms and one bathroom. They had no access to reliable healthcare, and food was sparse, as community resources for food were also difficult to access. The family struggled with little to no savings. Because the family’s financial situation included so many barriers, Dali saw no clear path forward in terms of what he wanted to study or what he wanted to do for work.

Over the years, Dali’s parents gained more experience and were able to earn more consistent incomes with better wages. Things began to improve.

Dali could now think about his future. He enrolled in a Matched Savings for Youth program at Momentum, one of the organization’s many programs that teach people from all backgrounds and circumstances how to save and manage money. In the Matched Savings for Youth program, the money participants save is matched at a ratio of 4:1 and can then be put towards a life-changing asset, like school or starting a business.

Dali’s main take away from the program was the idea of automating your savings. “All these things are really achievable. But even though they might not seem like it at first, small little steps and little investments build up to the bigger picture. That for me was amazing,” Dali said. 

Whereas before, setting savings goals like purchasing a car, a home, or saving for an education seemed out of reach, Dali had gained the knowledge to build savings habits and set achievable financial goals.

Dali expressed that his understanding of money really changed after the program. He had some funds saved, but he didn’t really know what to do with them. “I was really afraid to touch them. Because I was under the impression that maybe if I spent any of it, I maybe would have put my whole financial situation in jeopardy,” Dali said.

Dali can now purchase things he wants without guilt about spending his money. He can also set his financial goals and dreams knowing they are attainable. His financial knowledge (and savings!) will only continue to grow.

Want to learn more about building valuable money management skills? Explore our programs here

BONUS: Anyone who signs up for an in-person, online, or on-demand money management class will be automatically entered to win a $200 grocery gift card!