Financial Coaching

At Cincinnati Works, we consider financial literacy as the missing link to establishing economic self-sufficiency. For every basic need – food, shelter, medical care, education, and retirement – financial planning has become an essential survival tool. Cincinnati Works has stepped in to equip the poor of this community with the long-term and repetitive financial planning tools needed to make better decisions about managing their money.

After nearly 18 years of working with the poor in the Greater Cincinnati region, we have found that in the culture of poverty, money is meant to be spent and any extra is shared. Disadvantaged populations are often distrustful of traditional financial institutions and many we serve have never had a bank account. "Fringe banking" provides an alternative to accessing money without a bank account but is highly exploitative. Significant numbers of the working poor live "paycheck-to-paycheck" in low-wage jobs which fail to meet their needs. With limited education and/or skills, and despite working full-time, they are often unable to make ends meet and must rely on public assistance.

In order to address this trend, Cincinnati Works has a full-time dedicated Financial Coach who, in addition to teaching a module on budgeting and saving during our weekly Job Readiness Workshop, offers our Members a full range of free financial services including:

  • Budgeting
  • Ongoing financial education/counseling
  • Understanding credit & how it relates to job selection
  • Debt resolution
  • Credit building
  • Asset building
  • Assistance with tax preparation
  • Opening savings/checking accounts
  • Accessing programs for low-interest home loans

Helping individuals become more aware of their spending behavior and educating them on fixed, flexible and occasional expenses has been an eye-opening experience for many. Utilizing our financial services Members are able to establish good credit and budget for major purchases. When a Member is able to purchase a car, it puts additional employment and education opportunities in reach for the Member and his/her family. A home allows Members to build equity while providing a safe, positive environment for family.