How I can help you – Case Study

Nancy and Jeff are typical of the type of Steve’s money coaching clients.

In their mid-thirties, they have a 6 month old daughter, own a home and are both employed fulltime earning good incomes. In the last few years, their debts have only increased and they are unable to consistently save, despite their best efforts to get things under control. For example, Jeff attempted to improve things by developing a budget but for various reasons they couldn’t stick with it. In time, they fell into a paycheque to paycheque lifestyle, reacting to financial setbacks as best they could, but all the while losing ground

Mounting money pressures increased marital tension, making it very difficult to have fruitful money conversation. Nancy’s frustration is evident when she complains (rightfully) that she hasn’t purchased any new clothes in two years. Sensing that they are reaching their limits, they wonder whether they will be forced to sell their home and possibly file a consumer proposal to obtain debt relief.

Money Coaching in Action

Step 1 – Knowing their Why: 2 hours of coaching time
The motivation to get and stay financially on track begins with a powerful vision. Like many couples, Nancy and Jeff had neither explicitly mapped out their goals nor taken the further step of linking their spending to the satisfaction of their goals.

Guided by Steve’s use of illuminating coaching exercises Nancy and Jeff narrowed down what they wanted most in their lives. Relief from the present financial stress was tops on both their lists. Steve urged them to look beyond this. Getting rid of financial problems would only be motivational in the short term, but then what? With some encouragement, Nancy and Jeff both identified several compelling individual and family goals. They found their why!

Step 2 – Knowing their Numbers: 2 hours of coaching time

“I am surprised how easy the transition has been. I thought getting our finances in order would mean counting the pennies, uncomfortably tightening our belts and possibly moving from our house. Instead, the process was gradual and provided a clear plan that is easy to follow.”

Excerpt from Nancy’s testimonial

Nancy and Jeff were introduced to a new and unique way to understand and see their spending. Using this approach, they were given the exercise of getting clear on their cash inflows and outflows over the course of 4 weeks. The spending exercise was truly eye opening for both of them. Firstly, they were surprised to see what their lives actually cost. Secondly, they realized that too little money was allocated to the things that mattered to them most and too much was flowing to things that didn’t!

Step 3 – First Step Cash Management System training: 1 hour of coaching time
An on-line First Step Cash Management account was opened and Nancy and Jeff were given a tour of the system using their computer. They quickly got comfortable with the system and with their income and spending numbers in hand, they were able to flesh out a preliminary spending plan all on their own.

Step 4: Stepping into their new money life: 3 hours of coaching time.

“There are some bumps for my husband and I to smooth out but we now have a framework to work within that keeps our discussions civil! It is encouraging to see the progress we’ve made in just a couple of months!”

Excerpt from Nancy’s testimonial

As Nancy and Jeff progressed through money coaching they noticed a shift occurring in their attitudes about money, themselves and each other. Things that were muddled before were clearer. They also found that their conversations about money had shifted from arguing about past mistakes to planning for future needs and wants. With their goals clearly in mind and Steve’s assistance, they began to live a new money code.

Also, within one month, they were able to:

  • Pay off and cancel one credit card
  • Make permanent reductions to other 2 other credit cards and a Line of Credit
  • Start savings for personal goals they had identified including vacation, gifts, clothes and pet care

“Thank you for your kindness and gentleness in the process. You manage to discuss our different attitudes objectively, without judgement. I felt that you tried to understand our perspectives, as wayward as we were”

Excerpt from Nancy’s testimonial