Family Development Accounts

 

Accounts are now available! With Maine Family Development Accounts, you can save towards first-time homeownership, small business development, or your own education (i.e. associate degree, bachelor’s degree, certificate program, or coursework that will improve your earning potential).

 

Here’s how it works: You save up to $1000 in your Family Development Account, and your savings get matched 4:1 (up to $4000). You can save over as short a time as 6 months or as long as three years, depending on your budget and your goals.

 

If you are interested in opening a Family Development Account with New Ventures Maine, please contact our staff in the region that is closest to you for application materials and guidelines. Statewide program availability is very limited, so apply soon while accounts are still available.

 

New Ventures Maine is especially fortunate to have dedicated funding for education savings accounts in Knox County. If you live in Knox County and need further education to increase your career potential, contact Melinda Wildes via email melinda.wildes@maine.edu or via phone at (207) 593-7942, to see whether you are eligible to fund your education with support from a Family Development Account.

 

See what Sarah Steele, a recent program graduate, has to say about her experience using her Family Development Account for her education:

Sarah Steele, Camden, Maine

Sarah Steele, Camden, Maine

“I would never be where I am today without the Family Development Account. I couldn’t not take this opportunity since it seemed like such a ‘deal.’

 

[As a current student], I wanted to get as much money in the account as I could and as quickly as possible. My goal was to save $50 a month for 20 months to get the total of $1,000.

 

I started in the spring. But throughout the summer, I earned more and therefore placed more into my account. I was just a couple hundred dollars away from reaching my goal when my spring semester bill came. I scraped up some money and finished my account so I could close it to use for the spring semester.

 

Throughout the summer, I took a wonderful class hosted by New Ventures Maine, called My Money Works. I can’t express how much I learned throughout that class, and it was so great to see the variety of ages. I expected to have a lot of younger people there to learn how to budget and learn how to save and what not, but it was surprising to see how many older people needed the help too. I still to this day use a budget tracker to see how much money I spend to how much I save. It’s nice to see where my money goes (clothes, food, gas, etc.) and how much is spent in each category.

 

My future goals are the same as they are today. Just save, save, save! Pay off as much debt as possible and accrue as little interest as possible. Save money and put down a significant down payment or save it all to pay it in full.

 

If I had any words of wisdom for people, absolutely sign up for the FDA account. The amount you put into the account is very flexible. You can save as much as you want to, and for every $1 you put in, they will match it with $4.

 

You learn so much by doing this program and taking the classes. No matter where you go in life, you have to save, budget, and sometimes splurge. But it’s important knowing what to do when.

 

I saved my money for my schooling, and I can’t express how much it has helped in this spring semester. I now don’t have to take any federal loans out!