Every year the resolution to get rid of debt and save more money makes the cut to the top ten New Year’s Resolutions list, and it’s frequently ranked in the top three resolutions that people make. However, the sad fact is that many people will unknowingly sabotage their ability to achieve their goal. And after a few weeks, or at a best a month or two of failed attempts – many give up. Read more
When couples work with me often one of the first things they want to tackle is getting rid of debt. As married women entrepreneurs we often have some form of debt from investing in our businesses. Usually we carry that debt in the form of credit card debt. I want to give you some tips that you want to keep in mind for creating a debt pay off plan. Read more
It’s amazing to recall all the struggles I used to experience around money. One of my biggest challenges was my overall lack of knowledge about finances—I felt completely inadequate and money management seemed very complicated… Something other people were capable of succeeding at but not me.
I believed that I would never be successful at balancing the constant onslaught of money demands and needs for our large family (my husband and I have four girls).
I was afraid that if I took an honest look at our family’s expenses in relation to our income, I would feel like we had nothing to hang our hats on. I also experienced a lot of resentment. I blamed my financial inadequacies on my girls—my excuse was that I was too busy taking care of them to sit down and create a budget.
I also blamed my husband for not making more and managing better. I resented that he made the majority of the money decisions in our family.”
Through our work with Leslie I realized that the reason my husband had more say with our finances was because I gave him more say. He made the money decisions because I wasn’t willing to step up and assume more responsibility! And yet I was secretly afraid that if I assumed more financial responsibility our situation would get worse and I would feel overburdened.
I experienced a breakthrough when through Leslie’s coaching and support I realized that I actually suffered more when I didn’t step up and assume financial responsibility. Ironically, when I started taking on more responsibility around money I felt lighter, freer, and more empowered.
The Financial Freedom Light at the End of the Tunnel
Working with Leslie has brought me the confidence and peace around money that I never knew I could have. Learning to create a spending plan was especially empowering for me. A spending plan gives us the flexibility to decide how we’re going to spend our money each month based on our needs and wants for a given month.
Instead of being locked into a budget that remains the same month after month, we decide each month exactly how we spend our money. We base our decisions on our past month’s spending (which we track closely, looking at how much we spend in each area of our lives).
Creating our Financial Headquarters
One of the actions we took that made the biggest impact on our lives was creating what Leslie refers to as our ‘financial headquarters.’ We now have a specific place we keep our mail, our bills, our ‘bill pay calendar’ (which lists all our bill due dates) as well as an organizer that contains all the necessary items for paying bills like stamps, staplers, envelopes, pens and post-it notes.
During the week I open the day’s mail and sort it in the proper place, making sure the bill due dates are recorded correctly on our bill pay calendar. I recycle the day’s junk mail. Every week my husband and I sit down together and look at our bill-pay calendar to see what bills we need to pay. We have truly created order out of chaos.
I used to equate spending money with love. I thought that if I began to take control of my finances and reign in my spending habits I would be withholding love and freedom from my girls, our family, and myself. But much to my surprise I discovered that love is really about being more conscious about my money decisions.
I realized that I’m not being loving when I randomly purchase things and don’t have a clear sense of how much I’m spending and what impact it will have. I’ve learned I can say “no” from a loving and supportive space. Saying “no” to an unplanned dinner out means that I get to say yes to something else that is more meaningful to me – like paying down our debt.
Creating a Break Through With Money
This work has been an amazing transformational process for me. Just this last Christmas my teenage daughter told me that this had been one of the best Christmas’s ever. Instead of fighting over money, my husband and I had a clear plan for our spending and were working together as a financial team.
Our commitment to our financial journey and working with Leslie has not only resulted in us getting rid of over $3,000 in debt but it has improved our relationship. And because of that my husband and I are able to be role models of true financial responsibility for our girls. I can’t imagine a better legacy to pass on to our children.
. Click here to sign up for my FREE webinar onWed., March 31st, “Personal Transformation Through Money: How to Consciously Achieve Your Money Goals And Create Financial Success in Your Life.”
I came into this work shortly after my husband and I were married. Like many newlyweds, we did many things that caused us to go into debt. I quit my secure job to spend time on the road with my husband, who is a professional singer/songwriter.
This was an amazing time for both of us. We then honeymooned in New Zealand and had some wonderful adventures that still cause me to laugh and fill me with joy when I think about them.
Eight months later, when we came home, I remember walking back to the house after collecting the afternoon mail. I started flipping through the envelopes. I saw a credit card statement, another credit card statement and our bank statements. It was in that moment that I felt a deep tension in the pit of my stomach.
I realized that even though I had married the man that I absolutely loved and adored, I really didn’t have a clear sense of how he handled money and how the two of us were going to blend our different approaches to handling money in our marriage. I was very organized, detailed and more frugal with money. He was more of a laid-back free spirit type. I also knew that getting on the same financial page was a key factor in creating a successful marriage and financial future.
Going Out On a Limb
I asked my husband if he would be willing to set up a time each week to talk about our finances and develop a plan for getting rid of our credit card debt (we had acquired over $43,300 in credit card debt over a three year period). My husband said he would be willing to do this. He was skeptical—but willing.
We came to refer to our weekly meetings with each other as our Financial Dates®. After we would complete a Financial Date, both of us felt surprisingly uplifted and empowered.
As a result of having our Dates we completely paid off all of our credit card debt within two years, started funding our retirement accounts, quit arguing about money, gained a solid understanding of our cash flow and created a spending plan that both of us were motivated to stick to. That was just the tip of the iceberg. And you know what—those changes didn’t really surprise me that much.
What completely surprised me was the synergy that my husband and I experienced when working together to achieve our financial goals and dreams. We wouldn’t have experienced this in our relationship had we not come together with a unified goal of improving our finances as a team—not individually, but as a team. This added an entirely new dimension to our relationship. I began to think of these Financial Dates as our own holistic approach to money and marriage success.
“Leslie, It’s Imperative That You Share This with the World!”
I was sharing the details of one of our Financial Dates with my mentor coach at the time, and she stopped me in mid-sentence, and exclaimed, “Leslie, you have so much excitement and passion around this Financial Dating concept and it’s an amazing idea. You have got to share it with the world!”
So with her encouragement, I completed my training to become a professional certified coach so that I could teach this process to others. I received my credentials through Coach Training Alliance, which is accredited through the International Coaching Federation. I then began to teach our Financial Dating Process to other couples.
Financial Dating® Created Financial Success for Other Couples
I remember one particular call I received from a man on a cold Montana day. He sounded overwhelmed and frustrated. He said, “Leslie, I heard about you through a friend of mine and you sound exactly like the person that we’re looking for. I really want to talk to you about finances and how to make this work in our marriage.” I invited him to attend a Financial Dating class I was teaching.
After the class he walked me outside and said, “You are the person that we’ve been praying for. I walked out of the house last week and it was the worst fight that my wife and I had had, and I swore to her, I promised her that I would find somebody who could help us, and you’re that person.”
I put together a Financial Dating class and he got together several other couples and I started teaching them how to have Financial Dates. One year later he shared with me that for the first time in 14 years he and his wife had finally put a clamp on the internal hemorrhaging in their finances. They willingly changed their destructive money behaviors, stopped charging to their credit cards, paid off $13,779 of debt, put $4,879 into an emergency savings account and saved over $51,200 in interest by transferring a personal loan. He also shared that he felt significantly closer to his wife. If they could do it, you can too.
Living a Fulfilling Life that’s in Alignment with Our Deeply Held Values
I have come to realize that successful money management is so much more than just paying off debt, buying a new home and stashing more money away in our retirement accounts. True financial success is about living a life that is in alignment with our most cherished values. It’s easy to say that we value our health, marriage, children, friends and family. But when we step back and look at how we spend our time and money, we’ll see that we often don’t spend it on the things that are most important to us. There’s nothing like money to easily pull us off track.
We have to stop and define what financial success means to us. I believe that true financial success is about having a life that is filled with life enriching experiences and time for the relationships that really matter. That means slowing down and not working so hard. Financial success is about the lives we touch and the lasting memories we make. It’s about spending less, giving more and living more.
Discover how you’re creating your current financial situation with your spouse…
Click here to sign up for my FREE webinar onWednesday March 31st, “Personal Transformation Through Money: How to Consciously Achieve Your Money Goals And Create Financial Success in Your Life.”