How Financial Coaching Helped Jenny and Bo Get and Finally Stay Ahead of their Credit Card Debt
Coach Jaclyn recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny, a financial coaching client who has made a lot of progress and had a lot of ah-ha moments over the past six months of coaching. She and her husband Bo came to Fiscal Fitness in 2020 and have been working to pay off their credit cards, get a handle on their business finances, and of course, get a plan for their money. Within six months of financial coaching, they have been able to accomplish a lot and are most proud that they were able to break the cycle of credit card debt for good.
The clarity and direction Coach Jaclyn has provided has been life changing, according to Jenny. Read parts of our interview below or listen to the whole thing on this episode of the Fiscal Fitness podcast.
Q: What made you originally reach out to Fiscal Fitness?
I was feeling really overwhelmed and frustrated. I just felt like the debts were piling up. It was daunting. This was my last-ditch effort before we just sold everything and started over.
This actually ended up being life coaching. There was more than encompassed it than just financial help. Had we sold everything and started over and not done coaching, we would have been right back in the same position, and it would have been devastating.
Q: How did you feel going into the Eureka session?
I thought it was a little bit of money to do this session, and I thought it was going to be a repeat of all the free financial podcasts. I went into it skeptical, but hopeful. I wasn’t expecting a lot.
You had such detail and such information. It was so much more in depth with what we were expecting. I did not expect it to be SO personal. You obviously spent hours and hours of your time preparing for that call. I had no plans on continuing coaching after that call until we had the call.
I didn’t think I had trouble following through. I just thought you would give me some pointers, and I didn’t need to pay to have someone to hold my hand and hold me accountable. I didn’t realize how much help you were going to offer.
“I think a lot for the financial stuff out there is the same. It’s like pay off your debts, make a budget, and I understood all that, and I did all that AND we were still struggling so bad. I learned through our coaching why, and I wish I would have done it 10 years ago.”
Q: How would you describe your situation today?
I think the biggest thing is I have is a clear picture of our money. You taught me how to build it out 12 months, so I can go out 12 months and tell you how much money we’re going to have in a year.
I used to be so proud of how much money I would put to pay off my credit cards every month. But I would overpay so much. Here I thought I was making great strides in paying off my debt, and then I would just turn around and have to reuse it anyways. The hardest part about coaching was you not letting me pay off a lot on my credit cards.
We have not used credit cards since we started coaching. We had a lot of big expenses come up in our life in the last 7 months, and we were able to cash flow all of them.
Q: Instead of using the CC we talked about having savings to cash flow some of those whammies. Tell us a little about that.
You can’t have just one big savings account. That’s what I was trying to do before. Now I’ve got $17,000 in savings, but it doesn’t feel like I have a lot because it’s all earmarked for something specific. I got out of the vicious cycle of just using it to pay my credit cards down and then running out of money.
The old me says it’s extra money, but the truth is none of it is extra money. If anything, I learned from this how much money it takes for us to live our life, and that was incredibly surprising. If you don’t earmark it, it’s just going to come up and surprise you and turn into the credit card cycle again.
Q: What would you say have been your biggest mindset or mental shift?
I used to think I had to put all my extra dimes onto my debt. When I started with you, I was paying over on all my debts because that’s what I thought you do. You try to pay down your debt.
But what that was causing was not enough money at the end of the month, and then more debt. So my biggest mindset shift was the fact that, that’s not the answer. Throwing all your money at your debt is not the answer. The answer is creating these earmarked safety net accounts so you can stop the bleeding.
I still have a really clear idea of the road I’m on and when stuff is going to be paid off, and because of that, it’s preventing me from getting in more debt. We are finally making smarter decisions because we can see down the road and see what those payments are going to look like.
I thought the problem was debt, overspending, and the problem is really we didn’t have a clear picture. We didn’t really know what was going on. Everyone thinks they’re ok and then they wake up one day like, “Oh, how did we get here.”
Another big shift was I used to feel really guilty to like get my nails or hair done or anything that costs money. But because now I have an account just for that with money just for that there is no guilt. There is zero guilt.
Q: What things that we did together or parts of coaching felt more like life coaching to you?
You asked a lot of questions that we would not ask ourselves:
- what do you value the most
- what do you wish you were doing more
- what do you wish you were doing less of.
Like not just financially, but in life. Those are all questions unless someone asks you, you don’t usually answer those questions.
It surprised me how much your coaching is not at all about getting out of debt. It’s about communicating and your values and is the money going where your values are and are you going in the direction you want to be going in your life?
It changed a lot of things with us, like what are we doing in our free time, do we have free time, are we creating free time?
If you were a pilot and you’re one inch off course and one inch is not very much but in 4 hours you’re in another country. And so what happened is I woke up one day and I was like, “I’m in another country. This is not where I want to be, and how did I get here?” Because it’s so small along the way, you don’t even see it happening. That analogy really struck a chord with me.
The truth is they only have to get a little better every day, and in 100 days it’s just a massive change in your life.
Q: As business owners, how has your income and revenue increased since starting coaching?
I think it helps when someone besides your spouse tells you something. At the very first session I think you said some things to Bo that really struck a chord with him. I think he realized he needed to make some changes in his business, and he did.
We used to not take any money out of the business. We never touched the business account. So what that means is the business was really making no money.
One of the first things you had us do was pay ourselves every 2 weeks out of both businesses. I thought that was just ludicrous, and it was like the greatest thing because our business is actually profitable. It makes us a lot more proud. It makes Bo a lot more proud to see that his business is actually helping the family. I think a lot of small business owners can relate to that.
We were scared to do that because we had to pay employees and we were scared the money wouldn’t be here if we did that.
I think the bigger mindset shift was I thought that any day I could get a phone call and lose my job. I felt like I was holding all these plates in the air, and the day that phone call came, all those plates would fall because the other businesses were just trying to make it.
It was a lot of stress on me to feel like I had to be SO good at my job because if I lost it, our kingdom would come falling down around us. But you helped me make a doomsday budget for if that really happened, and we weren’t going to lose everything. I was floored. I would have bet you $1 million that if I lost my job, we would have lost everything.
The fact that I did that budget, and I saw that, you have no idea the weight that came off my shoulders. Now I know if that happened, we would be ok. And that has probably been the biggest change. I don’t have that weight on my shoulders anymore, and it was really heavy.
Q: How would you say that coaching has changed your relationship with each other?
I think that’s been massive. We didn’t talk about a lot of things. There was probably a lot of resentment built up. I think he felt like his businesses were not contributing enough to the household. I felt like it was all on me. He was very stressed about money, and it really took a toll on him. It’s been a huge weight off his shoulders not having to wonder every day, “Can I pay my guys?”
It opened up a high line of communication, but more than that, the resentment is gone from both of us. We aren’t resentful of each other about things. I think he can see he is an equal partner, and I can feel like he is an equal partner.
Q: What is your next big goal or dream?
Our short-term goal would be paying off the last credit card, and it keeps getting delayed because things keep coming up, but that’s ok.
Thank you, Jenny, for letting us interview you. It gives us all the feels to see the ways coaching has helped you, your job, your marriage, your business, and your mindset. We will keep cheering you on as you make progress and work toward your goals, big and small, short and long term.
If you’re an FFP client who has experienced a similar shift with your finances after financial coaching, we’d love to interview you. Get in touch with us.
And more importantly, if you’re interested in financial coaching, it all starts with a Eureka session.