I guess you could say that my wife and I fell in love with each other the day we met. We were engaged less than 4 months later and married less than 11 months after the day we met. For the first four years of our marriage, we traveled together, went out for dinner, and to concerts very frequently. We enjoyed doing things together and every night was “date night.”
We were both advancing in our careers and we were making more money than we ever had. We were also spending more money than we ever had as well. Sometimes we did not always have the money to pay all the bills at the end of the month, so we would put what we could not pay on the credit card. The truth was that we were increasing our spending faster than our income. We felt that since we were working so hard that we deserved to spend our money on whatever we wanted.
We rented this entire time and really wanted to buy a house, but there never seemed to be enough money left over each month to build up a down payment… until I received a one-time bonus from work.
We used the money from the bonus as a down payment and with some creative financing, we bought our first house.
Just one month after moving into our house, my wife was pregnant with our son, Alex. It was a very exciting time. We were looking forward to being parents and building a family.
Reality Hits Us in the Face
One night, my wife and I were sitting on the couch and turned to me and said that she “wanted to stay home and raise our son.”
That is when our financial reality hit us in the face.
- We just bought a house
- We had 2 car payments
- We financed furniture and a tv for the house
- We had credit card debt
We could not afford to live on one income. We were spending more than we were making with two incomes!
We were crushed… My wife was crying… We were hurting and I felt like I was a failure because I could not provide everything that my wife and I wanted.
And to add insult to injury, a little research uncovered that it was going to cost us about $8K per year for daycare! $8K that we did not have.
Suddenly, we were regretting the way we had been living. We realized that were no longer in control of our lives. Our decisions about how we were going to live were being dictated by our debt, not by what we actually wanted in life. Something had to change.
Getting on the Right Track
My wife and I got crystal clear on what we wanted in life. If we did not have our current financial challenges, what would we be doing with our life? What would that look like?
Once we defined where we wanted to be, we put together a plan to get us there. We became intentional with our money and worked our plan. It was difficult to stick to the plan at first, but we stuck with it because we knew it would pay off.
When faced with a financial decision, we asked ourselves “how does this impact our plan” and made the decisions that were in alignment with our long-term goals.
Three years later, when we were pregnant with our second child, Annika, we were in a much better place financially. Our plan included getting out of debt (except for the house) and to cut our living expenses to the point where we could live on only one income. We had achieved that!
In just three years, we went from putting things on our credit cards to survive and barely getting by, to my wife being able to quit her job to stay home and raise our kids.
Our new reality felt awesome! We were now confident with our money any were truly in control of our own destiny. Money did not stress us out, even though we went from two incomes to one. We were so excited and proud of our new reality.
Over the years, we continued to modify our plan as our lives change so that we can achieve what is important to us and our family.
It means so much to us to be able to live life on our terms. Not to have to worry about money anymore because we control it, instead of it controlling us. This experience has changed the trajectory of my life and the lives of my family.
Why I Became a Financial Coach
Through our experiences, my wife and I learned that if you are not intentional with your money, you end up leading a “default life.” Your life becomes a result of what you are spending your money on every day, rather than what you may really want. Your “default life” may not align with your goals and ideals and may end up costing you your dreams.
I want to help working parents who live paycheck to paycheck organize their money so that they can get out of debt and provide financial security to their family.
America is facing a personal financial crisis.
- 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck
- Only 37% of Americans have the savings to handle a $500 emergency
- The average household has a credit card balance of $6,591
- The average household has auto loan balances of $27,978
- The average outstanding student loan balance is $46,954
- The average 65-year-old has $192,877 in retirement savings, the mean is only $58,035
Americans are forfeiting their futures with overwhelming debt loads and a lack of savings. They need help.
I became a financial coach to help people be intentional with their money, so their actions and behaviors are in alignment with achieving their long-term goals. I educate my clients on the basics of personal finance and help them to create financial plans that reflect their goals. I empower my clients to take responsibility for their decisions and provide accountability as they work to implement the lessons that they learn. I do not sell investments or insurance. Rather, I offer individualized planning to guide my clients to their desired outcome.
I know can help people change the trajectory of people’s lives. I have changed mine…
Does money stress you out?