Helena, AR - “I want to be better off financially, at the end of this year than I was last year.” That was the sentiment that ignited the birth of the Delta Circles’ women savings group, Women Increasing Net-worth (WIN).

The ladies of WIN are very proud of their accomplishments in 2017, and rightfully so. They started the year off with a plan, they followed through, and they reached their goal. By December of 2017, the ladies of WIN had collectively saved almost $10,000, increased their credit scores by an average of 89 points, gained additional income of over $6000, and eliminated the debt of two credit cards.

The plan was simple: commit to setting a savings goal for the year, open a savings account with Hope Credit Union, whose team was eager to work with them, and attend a weekly meeting led by Delta Circles, Founder/Executive Director, Patricia Ashanti. Delta Circles’ mission is to support families to end poverty.

Through the partnership of the Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy, Delta Circles supported the women savings group by increasing their financial knowledge and skills. “I must say, as far as budgeting…that was so not me. My mind was set on spending my money “recklessly”, at that time, the way I wanted to. Now, I have learned to budget.” Sharon Washington. The ladies made commitments to establish new habits.

One of the most effective commitments was the agreement that once funds were deposited into the savings account, they could not be withdrawn without providing a detail explanation to the entire group. Although some individuals did not save all that they had hoped to save, no one withdrew their savings before the agreed upon date.

During the weekly meetings, the ladies also read and discussed the principles of the book, The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller. The ONE Thing cultivates professional development skills that enable the most powerful form of focus—priority planning and achievement.

The ladies of WIN identified savings as the lead domino to topple in order to reach their goal of ending poverty in their lives. “As a result of being part of the WIN Savings Group I have become more aware of the importance of formulating and sticking to long and short-term goals. It has sparked the importance of being able to process through barriers that may be keeping me from attaining the one thing that is most important for me.” Rhonda Laster

Although most of the ladies are graduates of Delta Circles’ workshop training, Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World, they like so many others, had never quite mastered the art of savings. WIN has helped them to focus on their future and creating financial security in their lives.

As 2018 begins, the women are eager to see what their efforts will bring. Their savings accounts are already in place, and the habit of savings has been established. Their goals have been set, increased a little from the previous year, and they are once again committed to watching their money grow.

“The habit of savings is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind.” T.T. Muger