Why we hired a financial coach

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For many years I felt like a hamster in its cage, going around and around on the wheel getting nowhere.  When I felt like we were getting somewhere, payday would come and I would end up being in tears after I was through.  It wasn't until the beginning of this year that we decided to get some help and hired a financial coach.  It was the best decision we made.

At the beginning of the year, all of our credit cards were maxed out and we were having an extremely hard time paying our bills on time.  I knew that we needed to start doing something different because what we were doing was getting us nowhere.  I decided to contact my friend, Jen, over at Family & Finance Success to help us get out of the mess that we had gotten ourselves into.

Our first month with Jen was basically gathering up all the ugly financial information that we really didn't want to fully acknowledge.  After we got Jen all the information, she created a monthly budget with the way things were at that moment.  We sat down and went over everything line by line.  Basically seeing if there was anything that we could cut out.  This was something that we had done several years ago so, most of our monthly spending had already been cut down as much as they possibly could be.

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went - Dave Ramsey

We learned that our biggest problem was eating out and paying for it with our credit cards.  Jen came up with a budget to help us be able to pay for all our eating out, groceries, and gifts with cash.  We decided to increase the grocery budget from $50 a week to $100 to help make it easier to make dinner every night, including the weekends.  We also decided on a $125 bi-weekly eating out budget and basically been delegating these funds for breakfast and lunch on the weekends.  We've also created a $15 bi-weekly gift budget, this includes buying cards for birthdays, anniversaries, mothers day, and fathers day.

Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge.  - Dave Ramsey

That quote is so true.  I knew what to do, but had such a bad habit that needed to be broken.  Since having Jen as our accountability partner, it really helped with breaking it.  We created a spending tracker that we would put all of our spending and how we purchased it on.  We all had access to this tracker and could see what and how our money was being spent at any time.  I think this is the way that we were able to break it.  Since we knew Jen was keeping an eye on our spending, if something seemed out of the norm we knew she would contact us.

Over the past four months of this cash budget for eating out, groceries, and gifts we have not added to our credit cards.  With the help of some over time at Jon's work, our tax refund, and some negotiating with credit cards we've been able to get two credit cards paid off and pay all of our bills on time.  After paying bills, I don't feel like crying and am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.  - Dave Ramsey

If you feel like you're drowning in your bills and having a hard time paying them, I highly suggest that you find a financial coach.  I would love for you to contact Jen, but she has decided to step back from being a financial coach at this time.  She does have some great information on her Family & Finance Success blog that might just be the guidance you need.  If you feel you need more one-on-one guidance, I would highly recommend finding a financial coach through Dave Ramsey.  I know that if it wasn't for the one-on-one guidance we received with Jen, we would probably be on that same financial hamster wheel we were on at the beginning of the year.