My personal finance story…
In my last post, I shared my personal financial story (errr nightmare). I was a single gal, drowning in student loan debt, car loans, credit card debt, medical bills from back surgery, financed furniture, financed appliances, oh my! I am guessing many of you can totally relate. All things leading up to my becoming a financial coach. What is a financial coach you ask? Let’s dive in.
While I believe in taking full ownership of the mistakes we make (because we ALL make them), I also believe that a lot of the financial issues facing a lot of us are a product of the culture we live in. We live in a social media age, where everyone shares their new houses, new clothes, new shiny cars, and amazing vacation pictures. It is so easy to feel like we are lacking, missing out, or that we deserve the same things. I mean, after all, we work just as hard as they do, don’t we?
The Reality of Finances in America
What those pictures don’t show are the fights couples have behind closed doors about money, or the credit card bills they are struggling to pay after that amazing vacation, or the fact that they are completely strapped by that new huge mortgage, and the stress and despair they feel when a set-back (COVID, anyone?) rears its ugly head in the form of job loss, layoffs or pay cuts.
Friends, I tell you all of this because I have been there myself. We just do what everyone else is doing. When I went to college it looked like this…
“Congratulations, Miss Dowell, You’ve been accepted!”
“Yayyyyyy! OMG, I’m so excited!”
“Your tuition is going to be $7500 per semester”
Clueless, no concept of money me “Great”
“Fill out your FAFSA to get your student loans”.
Graduates with $40k in student loan debt.
Graduates ten years later with another degree and another 35K in student loan debt
Another Twist to This Story
And, while I might be dating myself, let me add another fun twist to this story. In those days, at the beginning of each semester, all the credit card companies would show up on the quad with these awesome little booths with free pizza, swag, and credit card applications. “Well of course I need a credit card! What if I have an emergency” (like, I don’t know, these cute boots are definitely an emergency. Just sayin’).
Let’s get married! (Lordy weddings are expensive!) Let’s buy a house! Now we need furniture for said house, oh crap the washer went out…. Sound familiar? Yes folks, this is the American Nightmare. And before you know it, you wake up one day wondering where all of your hard earned cash is going because at the end of the month you still have bills to pay and no money left to pay them (oh, and those friendly student loans hanging around that just never seem to go anywhere despite paying on them for, Oh, I don’t know, ten plus years)!
What is a Financial Coach?
Financial Coaching is a program for motivated individuals who are tired of DIYing their finances, who are ready to get on a budget, get out of debt, and take control of their finances. Coaches are a mentor, teacher and trusted advisor who meet you exactly where you are financially. There is no blame and no judgement.
Your persona finance coach will sit down with you and get a snapshot of your overall financial picture and identify what is working, what is not working, and what your goals are. We start with your hopes, dreams and fears, and create a plan that works for you. A great coach will walk with you as you navigate the twists and turns of your financial journey and provide hope and encouragement for your wins!
The road to financial success is a marathon, not a sprint. Ideally, you’ll meet with your coach a few times early on, to identify your goals, get a clear plan and get your budget dialed in. Then you roll-up your shirt sleeves and get to work with grit, discipline and determination. Additional drop-in appointments can be scheduled as needed as you navigate the twists and turns of life, or enter new seasons of your financial journey.
Will you sacrifice? Yes. Is it always easy? No Way. At the end of the day, is it worth it? Absolutely!
What Financial Coaching is not?
While some coaches may have a background in investments or accounting, financial coaches are not investment counselors or advisors, legal experts, accountants, debt consolidators, marriage counselors, tax or insurance professionals. When appropriate, referrals will be made to these experts.
How a Financial Coach can Help You
In this day and age, everyone is a self proclaimed money expert and they are all too happy to tell you what you should be doing with your money. There are articles everywhere online which only adds to the confusion about whether you are doing it right or not.
Consider this, according to Career Builder (2017), 78% of people live paycheck to paycheck. Translation- 8 out of 10 people are broke! Are these really the “money experts” we should be taking financial advice from?
A financial Coach will get you on a budget, help change your money mindset and habits, get you aggressively paying off your debt in a systematic and clear way, help you begin saving, begin making smart money decisions, eliminate confusion, and point you on a clear path to financial success so that you can go confidently in the direction of your dreams!
You don’t have to live stuck! You work hard, and you deserve to keep that hard earned money and put it to work for you! You deserve those vacations and that gorgeous house you are dreaming about when you are financially secure. We can get you saving for those things so that they are a blessing to you and your family, and not a burden that adds to your stress and anxiety.
My name is Jenna Dowell. I’m a registered nurse and a project manager. After graduating from college with more than seventy five thousand dollars in student loan debt, and all of the “normal” debt such as car loans and credit card debt on top of that, I knew I had to make a change. I worked way too hard to be that broke. I chose to not live like that anymore, I started following Dave Ramsey, and became a Dave Ramsey Certified Master Financial Coach and Compass Finance Coordinator.
Working with me is Easy!
If you need a financial coach, working with me is easy! Check out the website for newsletters, resources, tips and tricks, and tools I can’t live without! I’m in the process of developing a TON OF FREEBIES to help you get started. Book a free discovery call, a single coaching session or a coaching package on the website. Check us out at JennaDowell.com.
I can’t wait to hear what you are dreaming about and help you get there!
PS- In the next post, I will be sharing a Budgeting Workbook to help you get started! Oh…. And did I mention it is 100% FREE! Join me next time, won’t you?
Jenna Dowell is the owner of Elevations Wellness & Financial Coaching, Nurse Exec, Mountain Girl, Dog Mama, Adventurer and Fellow Dreamer.
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