Goal leads to successful saving

Quintin Smith wants to buy a house. He says having this goal has made him a saver.

That hasn’t always been true for the 30-year-old family development specialist who helps low-income families get assistance with their utility bills and navigate the social services system.

Living check-to-check

In his first job out of college, Quintin was a desk worker/bellman for Hotel Fort Des Moines. Not only was he trying to get on top of debt he had accumulated as a college student, he was also helping support his grandmother and mother, who were both sick. Consequently he barely had enough to pay bills and buy food and other expenses.

“I was living check to check,” he says. “I didn’t think about saving because that’s something for the future, and we had too many immediate needs.”

The future is now

But by his mid-twenties, Quintin had his debt under control and began to think about the future. “My dream is to own my own house,” he explains. “I am tired of renting and want to build an asset and have something that’s mine.”

Originally Quintin wanted to buy the house for his grandmother. He credits her with teaching him the value of a dollar and wanted to pay her back. Sadly, she recently passed away and won’t see him reach his goal.

Goal changes his life

Quintin says having a specific savings goal has changed his life. “It tailors how I look at everything,” he says. “For example, I don’t like spending money for car insurance, but if I don’t and my car gets wrecked, I would have to use my savings to pay for a different car. So I buy insurance. ”

To ensure that his savings grows quickly, Quintin follows these steps:
1) Saves first by having money from his paycheck deposited directly to savings
2) Pays bills on time so he doesn’t get late fees
3) Always considers the effect on his savings when considering a purchase
4) Makes careful choices when deciding what to purchase
And while Quintin says he borders on being obsessive about saving, he’s also obsessive about his favorite pastime—video games. “I used to buy new games a lot,” he says. “I still buy some new games, but I’ve cut back so that I can reach my savings goal sooner.”