ST. PAUL, Minn. -- All it took was one look at her new baby and Jontel Leek knew some things had to change.
"When I looked at her I'm like okay, some of the things I've been doing I can't do anymore," she said.
Things like shopping sprees at the mall. It was easy for her to transfer money from her savings account into checking and before she knew it she would drain her savings account. That habit made money tight sometimes.
So, when a $3,500 tax refund landed in her lap she knew she had to stretch it between her new baby and her bills.
"This year I didn't go in thinking that I would save any money at all," Jontel said.
Accountability Minnesota helped her see she could save. The non-profit files free taxes for nearly 13,000 low-income families every year.
This year they launched a program called "Got Some, Save Some."
"This campaign was designed to inspire people to believe that savings is possible, that a little bit can add up over time," Tracy Fischman, executive director of Accountability Minnesota said.
Putting just ten percent away in rainy day fund can make a difference, Fischman said.
"Think about your future. Think about an unexpected emergency that may be inevitable in the next couple of years," Fischman said.
Leek said with a newborn she knows she needs to be prepared for the unexpected so she put 30 percent of her refund into a savings and plans to put at least $300 each month from now on.
(Copyright KARE 2013. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)