Last week I sent out a survey to my subscribers to really understand what they wanted to learn more about, and also what they wanted to see on my blog that isn’t currently there. One person requested:
“Can you add some personal testimonies from people that you’ve helped or from people who have been in our shoes before.”
Ask and you shall receive. Below is a testimonial from the winner of the organize your finances contest. For those of you who are new you can read the full post on the contest here. Essentially I chose one person and helped them organize their money for three months FO’ FREE!
Download your free goals and credit card tracker workbook here!
What were you struggling with before you signed up for the organize your finances contest?
To put it simply I was struggling to pay my bills. I didn’t have enough money. I kept digging into my savings and getting hit with overdraft fees. Remember my email?
Subject line: ” Help I’m Drowning!!!”
It read: ‘I am struggling between my needs and my wants. I also have four weddings this year. I was hoping to have money saved up to move out. This doesn’t seem realistic anymore. Any help or advice would be awesome. I’ve tried the automated splitting, but I am finding that I am dabbling between accounts to make ends meet.'”
How Candice helped me
Candice, you assured me everything would work out just fine and I’m about to approach my final wedding that I’m walking in this year.
The Discovery Chat
Before finding out that I won you had us do a 20-minute hang out session. This was basically a discovery chat to learn exactly what I needed help with.
Things I needed before the Discovery chat:
- cell phone
- car insurance
- other transportation
- Student loan
- Credit card
- Any other debt:
After the Discovery Chat
You gave me resources to get started and also gave me some action steps to take. This was helpful because even if I didn’t win the contest I was still walking away with resources and a mini action plan.
Resources + Mini Action Plan E-mail
“Thanks for reaching out to me I hope today’s chat was helpful for you. As discussed in our chat:
- You’re going to work on spending less money on food. You don’t have to get rid of it completely because having things you love in your budget is important.
- Don’t forget about that $180.00 you owe sprint. You should first eliminate this debt before putting extra towards your credit card debt.
- Spend $175 for the wedding coming up in April
- Look into Airbnb as an option instead of staying in a hotel.
- Create free sub saving accounts for weddings, investing, and moving out. If you can try to put $100 into your wedding account each pay period.
- Work on knocking down that credit card debt instead of the min. start adding $10.00 more each time to get rid of it faster. Once this payment is gone you can put the extra money towards your wedding and investing fund.
Here are the links that you will find helpful for the wedding.
Here is the student loan debt article.
Let me know if you have any questions, Don’t get discouraged you are doing a great job getting your finances in order and have come such a long way.
Putting the plan to work
On my lunch break I went and signed up for The Budgetnista free Live Richer Challenge. I went through her 30 day program.
Can you go over some of your financial goals at the beginning?
At first I wanted to start investing, but after talking to Candice, I realized I needed to lower eliminate my credit debt. I needed money for emergencies – which always seems to happen (For instance today I had to purchase a new tire for my car) and finding ways to cut down my student loans.
Did your goals change towards the end?
Not really, just the focus.
I still want to invest and I have found other smaller tools to do so, like a 401k savings, acorns, and just learning about stocks.
Though my money isn’t going to investing at the moment, educating myself now is a good start and can be done for free with the Internet and the library –do people still use those? If not they are missing out big time; forget amazon prime and free two-day delivery.
My major goal
My major goal is to owe no one. I want to be debt free. I’ve seen my mother struggle for a long time and she has a hustler’s spirit. Things always end up being ok in the end, but I don’t want my future to be this way.
What was your biggest aha moment?
I’m not too sure that I had one. Perhaps I’m not sure what type of aha moment you mean.
I know that having someone I needed to report to each month to let them know my progress helped keep me accountable. I didn’t want Candice to feel like she was wasting her time with me. Time is precious and I wouldn’t want her to dismiss me nor would I want to disappoint her.
Maybe an aha moment was when I recently read a post – your 9-5 won’t help you become a millionaire.
I know this but hearing it through your periscope videos and reading it on your blog, something clicked.
For some time now I’ve been working on building my blog in hopes to gain passive income through designing logos, and hand lettered pieces over at www.doniastudio.co.
I’ve even considered talking about what I’m doing about eliminating my debt (looking for ways to entwine the story).
Or perhaps another aha moment is that financial literacy isn’t taught to everyone. I was born to immigrant parents. I didn’t learn to balance a checkbook until I started working at a bank. How sad is that?
These are the life skills that need to be taught in elementary and high school. Students need to learn ahead of time what they are getting themselves into especially with the student loans. Let me not get started about the education system, and how easy it is to get a credit card or student loans.
So many people are struggling to make ends meet today. Students are leaving college with $60,000 to $100,000 in student loan debt with a job that pays $30,000 a year. With rent, food, entertainment, transportation, and other necessities how would you ever pay $100,000 back?
My mom always told me to figure it out – and I realize she just didn’t have the answers. I’m going to figure out how to retire and not have to still work a job I’m not fond of.
Did you feel that meeting with me each month was helpful?
Absolutely, I was nervous and scared when we were coming to an end. While I know what to do, having someone to check in on me, see where my money is going, and give me tips on what to improve helps.
I still feel the need at times to check in by letting Candice know what’s going on with my finances.
While money isn’t everything, I just don’t like the feeling of owing anyone. It’s like someone waving this dark cloud over me. Throughout out the entire process Candice was very encouraging which was also helpful.
What have you changed about your finances since the contest?
My mindset. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the seanwes podcast, but about a year ago is when I first heard of the no debt mentality in episodes 41 and 97 or the one where he talks about the scarcity mindset these were eye opening to me.
Delaying my wants
Delaying my wants is another big thing. We live in such an instant gratification world. What ever happened to focusing on what we need? I can’t remember the last time I purchased a pair of shoes (other than the wedding). Last weekend I purchased a pair of jeans- because I needed them. As in I only had one other pair and nothing else.
My boyfriend and I have found other ways to go on less expensive dates and I am on a frugality challenge. I just needed to cut back and invest in other places like my savings and my health.
One of the biggest changes was paying Amex twice a month. I can avoid the accumulated interest which at times is anywhere between $15-25 depending on the balance.
I’ve knocked so much more down towards my credit cards. Now, I no longer have an outstanding bill with Sprint.
I realized that there are so many things we can do for free and still enjoy ourselves because of this I cut back on eating out.
My biggest take away
If I don’t have the cash to purchase what I want, then I don’t need it. Credit cards are a tool, and they are great when you know how to use them. You can get that 50% off with out the interest rates, by charging the card and paying it the same time you charged it. If you don’t have the money don’t spend it.
Lastly let your friends know your situation. Maybe they are in a better financial place, and they can help you out.
Thank you Candice
My interest has peaked with financial literacy, business, and understanding of how this all works. Thanks for the book recommendations and thanks for taking the time to work with me.
My goal for 2016 is to live off of one paycheck out of the month and put the rest in savings. I will keep you posted on how that goes.
Well, there you have it folks a full testimony. These are the biggest money mistakes that were keeping my client living pay check to pay check. She was fed up and decided something had to change her mindset and her habits. She had to decide that her goals were more important than her instant gratifications.
Download your free goals and credit card tracker workbook here!