10 Minutes With… A Resourceful Provider

Aurielle Johnson got her own home with the help of Habitat for Humanity

Aurielle Johnson’s Story

At only 18 years old, Aurielle Johnson, now 26, was thrust into the role of a parent to her three younger brothers when illness forced their mother to move into a nursing home. Five years later, Aurielle got her own home with the help of Habitat for Humanity. With her brothers now attending college, Aurielle is focused on raising her 6-year-old daughter.

OYO: How did you feel about money growing up?

Aurielle J.: I didn't really have any money growing up. My mom gave me money when she could, but it wasn't all the time.

OYO: When you did get money, what would you spend it on?

AJ: I always wanted to get my nails done.

OYO: How did you learn to manage your money?

AJ: I started paying the bills when I was 18 and took my brothers in to live with me. Every month, I start with the total amount of [income] and then I calculate each bill I have to pay.

OYO: What was the process for you to move into a Habitat for Humanity house?

AJ: It took about three years for me to get my house. I had to submit all of my paperwork and tax forms and several years of my cellphone bills. Then I had to do 250 hours of community service and put down a deposit. I also had to take classes on home maintenance and managing finances.

OYO: What is one of the worst money experiences you’ve had?

AJ: My car broke down on me at the same time mortgage was due, which put me behind on my mortgage because I had to fix my car.

OYO: Describe your personal money philosophy.

AJ: Bills and the most important things come first, and then whatever is left goes to the things that I want.

OYO: What are your money goals?

AJ: I want to have money for my daughter to go to college. I didn’t have money to help my brothers when they went to school, and I don't want to run into the same problem with my daughter. I also want my daughter to have a car by her senior year of high school. That is what I daydream about, and that's really important to me. Also paying off my debt. If I can do those three things, I’ll be so happy.