Social change work is hard and frustrating and wonderful and terrible; it is also, at times, funny, quirky and just plain fascinating. With this blog we hope to capture all that goes into what we do at Capital Good Fund, and we invite you to join the conversation!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memo: Joy

Photo Credit: Alice Popkorn

Dear faithful (I hope) readers,

I hope you will indulge me in my new favored approach to conveying ideas: the memo.  I know, memos conjure up images of paper-pushers in faceless bureaucracies, but I promise these will be different!  I view these as an opportunity to concisely share my thinking and, I hope, get your feedback. So here goes:

I remember the first time I flew Virgin Atlantic, I couldn’t help but think that the people in charge of the airline a) actually gave a shit about its customers and b) weren’t boring people in suits.  Compared to other airlines, the colors were different, as were the attitudes of the staff, the music, even the rote passenger safety video.  And yet this zaniness in no way made me question my safety, even though flying is, at its core, a life-and-death business: stick a bunch of people in an aluminum (or carbon fibre) tube, fire up some engines, and get them somewhere else on the planet (ideally an airport).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Financial Coaching Client Story

I have had the pleasure of working with an employee of a partner employer, whom I will call Julie so as to protect her identity, for several months. From our initial conversation, I learned that her mother had recently passed away and, largely as a result, she wanted to sell her old house so that she could purchase a new one—something small, affordable and in a good neighborhood  The more we spoke, the more I realized that she was ready to move on to the next stage of her life, and we framed all of our one-on-one sessions around that goal.

In order to help facilitate her transition, we began by constructing a budget analysis that forecasted what her spending would be after moving into the new house. By looking at her income and expenses, we were able to paint an accurate picture of her inflows and outflows.  The outlook was not optimistic, however: her monthly expense exceeded her income by $916.