Lucia, 36, is married, mother of two and works as a housekeeper in Jacareí, a municipality in the Paraíba Valley, Metropolitan Region of the state of São Paulo. She has spent the last few years with financial difficulties and emotional problems resulting from an amount of debt that has accumulated with the arrival of her children. This lack of financial control made it impossible for her to fulfill some dreams, such as having a wedding party, buying her own home and providing more leisure time for her children.
Lucia's story is not an isolated case. She is among the 63.4 million Brazilians in default, as data from the Credit Protection Service (CPS) shows. According to the survey of Impacts of Debt in the Emotional State of Brazilians conducted in August 2015 by the CPS, indebtedness tends to bring problems such as insomnia, low self-esteem, unhappiness, irritation and loss of productivity at work. Verbal and physical aggressions are among the behavioral changes that manifest in four out of ten indebted consumers.
“It's difficult to feel well with debt collectors calling you. I was so worried, that it compromised my income at work. It affected my health: I could not sleep well and spent the day very nervous.”
Her concern began to change when Lucia accepted the invitation to receive the Save +, Movva’s nudgebot for the formation of healthy financial habits. She started receiving text messages (SMS) twice a week, with motivational content and simple activity suggestions - which she can do alone or with her family - drawing attention to the risks, impulses and misinformation linked to everyday financial decisions.
As she received the messages, she began to rethink her day-to-day actions and to do the suggested activities, such as writing down what she spent and what she received during the month, which helped her keep track of her home expenditure. In addition, she opened a savings account and began to save a small amount periodically.The new habits made a big difference in the month-end balance and in her life as well.
I had 12 different booklets to pay and I had a bad credit record in the market. With the help from Save +, I was able to open a savings account and raise money to clear my name. I got a message that said 'Turn off the light every time you leave the house'; I'm even learning how to do that - I didn't do that much at home. I also made a piggy bank for the kids. We put the pennies there, so they already learn that it's important to keep every penny as well.
Almost a year later, Lucia still follows all the tips she received from Save+ and learned the best way to organize her finances, thus settling her debts and clearing her name at CPS. In addition, she realized that she feels better about herself and that her job performance has also improved.
I was more focused on paying my debts and having my name cleared. Now I can sleep and work better.
In May 2018, Lucia was able to make one of her big dreams come true: she finally organized her wedding party, with the money she kept in the savings account since she started receiving Save+..
I was able to make the wedding thanks to the savings! I kept saving, saving ... then I started slowly paying for everything I needed, and I was able to fulfill my dream. For me it was an achievement. And I could only do that because I could pay those bills. [...] I still have the messages stored in my phone, and I even put it in a USB to keep it registered.