Four Local Resources for Financial Success

Taking home the first paycheck is a proud moment for Transition Network students. It’s a sign of success and of becoming more independent. How can students learn to manage their money wisely, and how can families help them be prepared?

Learning how to save money, pay bills, and use credit can be hard. It’s a big topic, but help is available for students and for their families. NeighborImpact is a local organization that works to support Central Oregon families, and teaching money management is part of their mission.

“If you never learn about money, it’s like playing Monopoly without knowing the rules,” said Sonia Capese, of NeighborImpact. The earlier teens start learning how to make the most of their paycheck, the better. NeighborImpact offers four classes that can be useful to special needs teens as they begin bringing home a paycheck.

Money on the Mind

Money on the Mind is a class that teaches the basic concepts of using money responsibly. Anyone over the age of 16 can take the class, and parents can attend with their students. The cost is $100 per household (some scholarships are available) and includes all the materials. The class meets weekly for one month, and clients can repeat the classes at no cost. Dates and locations are posted online, or call NeighborImpact at (541) 323-6567 for more options.

The topics that are covered include…

  • Lifestyle and Money: Learn how to set goals, how to recognize peer pressure and social media pressure, and decide what is important for your life and future.
  • Saving and budgeting: Start the habit of paying yourself first, as a way to save for long-term goals, then set a budget that fits your spending needs each month.
  • Learn about banks and credit unions, why you may need insurance, and how loans work.
  • Learn about credit and credit scores, and about protecting yourself from fraud.


Ready to Rent

Ready to Rent is a workshop for young adults who are getting ready to live on their own. This class can help make sure that a move out of the family home and into a rental apartment goes smoothly! Parents are encouraged to attend with their student.

Ready to Rent is a four-part series of classes taught over one month. The next session is scheduled for April 2019.
Topics include…

  • How to budget for deposits and monthly rent payments
  • Tenant rights, and Fair Housing information

To register, call Neighbor Impact at (541) 323-6567 or email


IDA Matched Savings

A paycheck opens the door to bigger dreams, like going to a trade school or college. NeighborImpact’s Matched Savings program can help make those dreams come true. This state-funded program helps people meet their goals for getting ahead in life, by matching saving for things like tuition or buying a car.

  • Participants must be 16 years or older, and must show proof of earned income.
  • Each person will also need to attend the Money on the Mind workshops.
  • At least $25 per month must go into a special savings account called an IDA. That money cannot be taken out until the goal amount is reached.
  • Once the full goal amount has been saved, the program gives a 3:1 match! In other words, a person who saves $1000 will be given $3000 more in their account, to use toward their goal.

To see if you qualify for this program, use the online form. People who qualify are chosen by a lottery to be part of the Matched Savings program.


Goal Savers Matching Program

Like the IDA Matched Savings, this program helps people save toward important goals. The matching money for Goal Savers is given by the Northwest Area Foundation, and can be used for goals that help people move ahead financially.

  • Goal Savers offers a 1:1 match, which doubles the amount that a person has saved towards their goal.
  • Each client in the program sets his or her own goal, such as buying a car, moving into an apartment, or buying tools for a job or business.
  • This program aims to help rural Oregonians of diverse backgrounds. To learn if you or your student may qualify, call (541) 323-6567, or fill out the online form.