“Qualitas has had an major impact in our lives. I came to this country to find a better way of life. And in Qualitas I found the guidance I was looking for in order to plan ahead, know how to distinguish between a need and a desire, and prioritize. After some time I opened a bank account and started saving and investing. I am currently going through the process of becoming legal, and I’m studying to become a massage therapist and acupuncturist in Traditional Chinese Medicine.”
“The most important part of the program is the knowledge that I acquired and the self–confidence that such knowledge brings: now I know that in a not-so- distant-future I’ll be able to send my son to college, with the certainty that I have the money to do so.”
“Qualitas was a great propeller for me. I had always tried to be organized with my money, yet I hadn’t been successful. It was very useful to learn to distinguish the things I need from the ones I want. This way I can tell my girls that if they are organized they can do whatever they want in their lives.”
For me the most important part of the program was not just the information I received. but also the way in which the staff of Qualitas makes you feel at home, as a family.
“With the knowledge that I learned with Qualitas, I want to grow my business and, with my husband’s support, help my girls get ahead in life”.
“I am a contractor, I had my own business with 30 people who worked for me, but with the crisis I had to close my business and it was not easy, I wanted to learn how to save money for an emergency fund and avoid the crisis I had, knowledge that I acquired in Qualitas, now I am more prepared to start my business again”.
“What I appreciated the most about the workshops was to find people who are dedicated to helping fellow Hispanics receive financial education. In the workshops I also learned that to achieve what one wants in life, one must have character, determination, and the will to foresee and plan for one’s future. With what I have learned at Qualitas, this is exactly what I will now do to ensure the best possible future for myself and my family.”
Luis y Mariela Carbajal
About attending the full course as a couple they commented: “It definitely helped us to attend as a couple because we received the same information that helps us balance our household finances, follow a budget and take decisions on our expenses and income together.”
Mariela added: “This Qualitas’ course gave me the opportunity to address all my financial doubts and concerns, in addition to gave me the necessary tools and information that has helped me manage our bank accounts much more effectively.”
“When I first heard of Qualitas and what they were doing in New York I thought it was a great idea and a win-win situation for everyone involved. I never realized how important this work is, and how much financial education can actually help people improve their lives, until I attended the workshops and the participants shared their experiences with me.
They made me realized how much immigrants are willing to work and fight for a better life. They were eager to ask questions and always ready to learn. Oddly enough, I am the one who learned the most out of this experience. I’m was really happy to volunteer with Qualitas”.
She shared her Qualitas’ experience with us: “When I arrived to New York I was working hard and was very careful about saving money. I managed to save quite a bit of money but, for some reason, I started spending all the time, buying things I felt I needed and that made a significant dent in my savings. That left me feeling sad and defeated. It also brought me a lot of problems with my husband because he complained about how much I was spending. I realized that I was creating a vicious cycle: over-spending, feeling bad about it and defeated, and going out to spend again. I felt hopeless.
When I found out about the Qualitas financial education course offered at my community center, I knew I had to take it. And it did, it helped me tremendously and I made important changes in my financial habits. For example, I started planning my weekly expenses and identify what truly are my family’s needs. I feel very proud when our expenses are less than our income and we can save that money for things we need or for our family emergency fund. With Qualitas I have learned to say: Yes I can achieve my financial goals!”.
To start this project I had to put everything I learned in the workshops I have taken at Qualitas into practice: creating a budget, using a weekly budget, giving out quotes on my products and services, inventory, insurance, policies, bank accounts and so much more. I was a lot of work, but it was worth it. I hope to be an inspiration for all those undecided people who have an idea and have not been able to make it a reality. As I always say, by dreaming you can fulfill your greatest ideas.”
Qualitas also helped me with a very serious problem I encountered: I fell victim of a fraud and I lost a significant amount of money. This caused me to have a debt amount on my credit card that I was not able to pay. But the Qualitas courses taught me how to better manage my money and not to buy things that I did not need so that I could, little by little, pay out my debt. Qualitas also referred me to other organizations that helped me lower my credit card interest rate and create a payment plan for my card debt. My situation today has improved tremendously. I feel more in peace and I sleep better because I know that my debt is now stable and that I have the tools, knowledge and support to avoid another financial scam”.
Maria Concepcion Lozano
Qualitas of Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial education to Hispanic individuals and their families, in order to foster their financial security and improve their standard of living.