“Saving money enables me to be more self-reliant and gives me greater peace of mind.”
That’s what was on Tara’s mind when she filed her taxes this year for free through The River Center in Peterborough, NH’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (or VITA) program.
As a waitress, saving hasn’t always been easy for her. A chronic illness left her unable to work at times. But motivated by the example of a family member—and wanting to set a good example herself for the young people in her life—she set out to start saving even if it was only a small amount at a time. So when she received a windfall through her tax refund, it was a perfect opportunity to save a little. She now has an emergency fund, and her next goal is saving for retirement.
Around the same time, and just about 90 minutes away, Cassandra was filing her taxes at a VITA site run by Granite United Way in Laconia, NH. Like Tara, she saved some of her tax refund at the encouragement of a volunteer tax preparer, and like Tara, she won $10,000 after entering SaveYourRefund.
Cassandra, who worked the night shift at three jobs as a nursing assistant while putting herself through school and raising her son, has a dream to open her own hair salon business. She says, “Today what’s important is owning things, having assets. I’m saving money toward my dream and to help me be more self-sufficient and create more assets for myself. I want to have something to pass down to my child.”
Cassandra and Tara were selected among nearly 700 submissions to the grand prize photo contest, which asked savvy tax-time savers to share their motivation for saving through a captioned photograph.