Over the years I have developed simple money habits which have become a part of my everyday life. Time and time again, I have reaped the benefits of those simple habits. Personal Finance (nerdy term for one’s money) is a passion of mine. It’s why I spend hours on the train, and more than a few on the weekends, reading personal finance books and blogs, and listening to podcasts. It’s why I volunteered as a financial coach for a local non-profit. It’s my answer to the question: what do you want to do with your life? I want to help others realize that managing money doesn’t have to be complicated and that they too can achieve financial independence.
As a money coach, I leverage my degree in finance and management, and 17 years of experience in corporate finance to inform the coaching process. But more than anything, I rely on my 20 years of personal experience with money to expand your financial knowledge and help you develop positive money habits to transform your financial situation. These days, I have emergency savings, retirement savings, college savings, multiple passive investments, comprehensive insurance policies, and an estate plan in place. But I certainly didn’t start out that way.
Like many young adults, I graduated college with student loans and credit card debt. I had to choose: continue racking up debt like some of my friends or figure out a way to get out from under it. I chose the latter. I chose a way out and created a plan to accelerate paying off my debt. It took a few years, but I was consistent and kept at it. And by the time I was 26, I had paid off several thousand dollars worth of debt and saved enough to pay for a wedding and a down payment on a new condo in Chicago.
Unfortunately, I bought at the peak of the housing bubble in 2005. By the time my wife and I tried to sell, its value plummeted—by a whopping 40 percent. Between 2005 and 2011, I had continued to manage money carefully, knowing that our family was growing and we would eventually want a house. I had that going for us, so we didn’t have to foreclose or resort to a short sale, like so many who bought at the same time we did. Instead, I saved up more than $45,000 to pay off the difference between what we owed on the mortgage and its decidedly much lower market value. It was a financial kick in the gut.
Having wiped out my savings, I went back to renting, once again with the goal of buying a house for my family. Then 10 months later, I lost my job. Although I was fortunate enough to receive a severance, I was the sole provider for my family and needed to keep us afloat.
I tracked my spending closely, saved my severance, and hit the ground running in my job search, leveraging every contact in the industry that I had. Within eight weeks and with a little negotiating, I landed a better-paying job. The better pay coupled with the severance enabled me to buy a house six months later.
By saving money, rather than squandering it, I was able to turn a potential emergency into an opportunity. Overcoming these challenges further reinforced my resolve to take control of my money by maintaining positive money habits so I could achieve my goals.
As a money coach, that’s what I want for you: to be in control of your money despite life’s inevitable hurdles. That’s financial independence.
Contact me today to set up your free 30-minute consultation to learn how I can help you Get on the Right Track to Financial Independence.