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Apr 17, 2020

Before COVID-19 forced everyone to take a microscopic look at their finances — Leigh Phillips was helping Americans save. 

As unemployment claims skyrocket, it’s clear just how fragile Americans’ personal finances are. Roughly 40 percent of Americans don’t have an emergency fund of even $400. 

So how can anyone think of retirement savings when the day-to-day budget is already a struggle? Enter Leigh Phillips and her nonprofit SaverLife.

Starting in local government, Phillips served as director for the office of financial empowerment in San Francisco, spearheading programs for the “unbanked” like “Bank on San Francisco,” which has taken off nationwide. 

Phillips also oversaw the implementation of the nation’s first publicly funded universal children’s savings program, through which 100 percent of public school elementary students have a college-savings account in their name.

Now, as CEO of SaverLife — a nonprofit organization whose mission is to establish savings habits and incentives for the under-served and for employers — Phillips continues to try to improve the financial lives of people everywhere. 

On this episode of SheVentures, listen as Phillips discusses the systemic setbacks many face, the spirals of poverty, challenging yourself to pivot careers, and so much more.